ATP Cincinnati Day Three Tips: Karatsev value to get back to winning ways

Croatian Tennis Player Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic has struggled away from grass this year...

The Cincinnati Masters continues on Tuesday with first and second round matches taking place today. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, gives his insight on potential value...

"Karatsev can bounce back to winning ways today when he faces Marin Cilic, who still has plenty to prove away from grass with his numbers on other surfaces being pretty unspectacular since the tour resumed last summer."

Auger-Aliassime gives us a Monday winner

We picked up a winner on Monday with Felix Auger-Aliassime defeating Marton Fucsovics in straight sets, and the Canadian progressed along with the likes of Karen Khachanov, Alex De Minaur, Jannik Sinner and, in the battle of the veterans, Andy Murray - he got the better of Richard Gasquet in straight sets.

With those matches taking place in the first round, the action from that round concludes tonight with a further 22 players competing in 11 opening round ties today, plus a further four clashes as the second round gets underway.

Zverev potentially vulnerable to Harris upset

Looking at those round two matches, Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov and Alexander Zverev are all strong favourites priced around the 1.201/5 to 1.3030/100 mark to get their tournaments started with victories.

Of the quartet, I think it's arguably the biggest name, Zverev, who looks the most vulnerable - opponent Lloyd Harris has really kicked on this year and could easily provide a very tough test. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Harris could cover some form of handicap here.

Market finding it tough to split Isner and Norrie

Moving back to round one, action begins at 1600 UK time and there are a couple of spots worth discussing in some detail. Firstly, the market is finding it tough to split John Isner and Cameron Norrie, with the big-serving American, Isner, a very marginal 1.9520/21 favourite to progress.

I can't help thinking the market has over-reacted slightly to Isner reaching the semi-final of Toronto last week - he was easily defeated by Daniil Medvedev in that match - and it's actually Norrie who has better hard court numbers this year if we look at them from a combined service/return points won perspective.

The Brit didn't take his chances last week against Karen Khachanov in his opener - he was 2 from 10 on break points - and that cost him, and he will need to be more clinical against Isner today, but in a likely high-variance encounter, I think Norrie should be favourite.

Karatsev looking like value against Cilic

On the subject of players not taking their break point chances against Karen Khachanov last week, another player who had plenty of opportunities to break was Aslan Karatsev who was 4 from 16 on break point chances last week in their all-Russian clash. Khachanov, who was 5 from 9, took the win that day but only won seven more points in a straight set victory, and these stats indicate that Karatsev was highly competitive in that meeting and was arguably unfortunate not to extend the match to a third set at the very least.

Karatsev can bounce back to winning ways today when he faces Marin Cilic, who still has plenty to prove away from grass with his numbers on other surfaces being pretty unspectacular since the tour resumed last summer. The Russian has a big data advantage on hard court in the last 12 months and looks solid value at 1.875/6, and he's today's recommendation.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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