There's a fascinating day one schedule in Montreal this evening in the ATP Masters 1000 event starting today and Dan Weston is back to discuss the value on the card...
"Hard courts aren't really Lajovic's thing (he's running at around 96% combined serve/return points won on the surface in his career) while despite recent success on clay, I make this Basilashvili's best surface."
Montreal this week sees players begin the US Open preparations
The vast majority of the players on tour will be using the two upcoming Masters 1000 events - this week in Montreal prior to next week in Cincinnati - to prepare for the US Open which takes place in just under a month's time, so we should see players fit and motivated to perform here as they look to try and benefit from some useful competitive court time, as well as the obvious ranking points and financial rewards as well in two high-profile events.
12 matches on day one take focus today with there being seemingly some value on the card, although with the obvious caveat of the usual first round caution recommended.
Tsonga looking short against Struff
Several of these matches with potential value include players - some veterans - whose numbers indicate they aren't performing at their peak levels from years gone by. Firstly, these include Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who looks very short at [1.62] against the improving Jan-Lennard Struff.
Across hard and indoor hard in the last 12 months, Tsonga is running at a 102% combined serve/return points won percentage, which certainly rates as being solid as opposed to spectacular, and not hugely dissimilar to his German rival's numbers today.
Wawrinka also looking short against Dimitrov
In addition, two of these types of players meet today with Grigor Dimitrov facing Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss veteran, Wawrinka, is [1.43] to get the win today and I make this very short indeed, despite five defeats from the last six making Dimitrov's already mediocre 2019 even worse. Wawrinka hasn't exactly impressed much this year either, running at 102% combined serve/return points won across all surfaces in 2019, and is probably a little flattered by his win percentage this calendar year - this looks a real battle between players who have seen better days.
Basilashvili should be too good for Lajovic
However, today's recommendation focuses on Nikoloz Basilashvili against Dusan Lajovic. The Georgian, Basilashvili, is [1.57] to get the win here today and has a considerably better hard court record over the last 12 months, holding around 7% more and breaking just under 6% more as well.
Hard courts aren't really Lajovic's thing (he's running at around 96% combined serve/return points won on the surface in his career) while despite recent success on clay, I make this Basilashvili's best surface. He should be full of confidence after retaining his title in Hamburg a week ago - including four underdog victories - and will benefit from the subsequent week off court.
In addition, Basilashvili is also freerolling on ranking points in these Masters events. He missed them both last year with his pre-Hamburg 2018 ranking being in the 80s, so a good run here could really signal a rise up the rankings for the 13th seed.
Market getting to grips with Kwon's potential
In other matches, the market looks like getting to grips with Soon-Woo Kwon's potential ability with the Korean priced at [1.52] to get past Ilya Ivashka, while it will be interesting to see Richard Gasquet's level in an all-French clash with Benoit Paire. Bernard Tomic versus Roberto Bautista-Agut looks another fascinating clash, with the Spaniard priced at [1.20] against the current version of Tomic.
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Back Nikoloz Basilashvili at [1.57] to beat Dusan Lajovic