Australian Open Men's Singles Day Eight: Sandgren value as a heavy underdog against over-rated Thiem

Roger Federer is an extremely heavy favourite to defeat Marton Fucsovics
Roger Federer is an extremely heavy favourite to defeat Marton Fucsovics
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We see the conclusion of the men's singles fourth round as day eight of the Australian Open starts overnight, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to see if any of the heavy favourites can be beaten...

"My model priced the Austrian at [1.22] to win, quite a bit bigger than market prices, and this isn't entirely a surprise given that Thiem is frequently over-rated on hard courts."

Cilic and Nadal progress to quarter-final meeting


In Sunday's men's action, we kept our outright hopes going with Marin Cilic getting past Pablo Carreno-Busta in four sets, and the Croat takes on Rafa Nadal in the quarter finals, after the Spaniard also required four sets to dispose of Diego Schwartzman. The quarter-final between Cilic and Nadal sees what is effectively crunch time for our outrights, given that we had a pre-tournament position on Cilic to win the quarter, as well as a back to lay on him.

In the other matches, Kyle Edmund fought back from a set and break down to get past Andreas Seppi, while Grigor Dimitrov took all three tiebreaks from Nick Kyrgios, in what was practically a reverse scoreline to Kyrgios' win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the previous round.


Berdych a correctly priced favourite to get past Fognini


First thing on Monday morning (UK time) sees Fabio Fognini face Tomas Berdych, with the Czech a solid [1.39] favourite to beat the Italian, after what was an excellent victory over Juan Martin Del Potro in the previous round. Market prices look correct to me, and on this basis, it would be a surprise to see Berdych not make the quarter-finals.

In fact, Berdych is the biggest price favourite on Monday, with all three other favourites having a huge ranking edge over their opponents, and Roger Federer, at [1.03] against Marton Fucsovics, is the shortest price favourite of the day.


Federer likely to ease past Fucsovics


The Swiss legend looks a touch short to me, but not nearly enough to create value on the Hungarian, Fucsovics, at such a big price, and any sustained resistance from Fucsovics would be hugely unexpected against the tournament favourite.


Thiem over-rated against surprise package Sandgren


It's the third match on the schedule where there is some small value, with Dominic Thiem very short at [1.13] against Tennys Sandgren, who has acquitted himself admirably in Melbourne in the past week. My model priced the Austrian at [1.22] to win, quite a bit bigger than market prices, and this isn't entirely a surprise given that Thiem is frequently over-rated on hard courts.

Sandgren to win at least a set is 11/10 with the Sportsbook (+2.5 set handicap) and that can be considered - Thiem already needed five sets to beat Denis Kudla at a similar starting price in the second round, and while I mentioned that sustained resistance from Fucsovics was unlikely, it's more reasonable to expect it from Sandgren tomorrow.


Djokovic a strong favourite to get the better of improving Chung


Finally, Novak Djokovic is [1.29] to defeat the rapidly improving Hyeon Chung, and it's a mark of such improvement that Chung is so respected in the market against the Serb. This is reflected in Chung's improving hold/break numbers, and these determined that the market prices were broadly correct.

Similarly to Sandgren, it wouldn't be out of the question for Chung to put up a decent fight against a much more illustrious opponent, and if the South Korean can continue his progress, he will be able to boost his ranking extremely well in the coming months.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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