ATP Indian Wells Day Seven: Kecmanovic capable of giving us the hat-trick
Sixteen remain in the men's fourth round singles at Indian Wells, and Dan Weston returns to give his thoughts on the schedule...
"Both players are around the 100% combined hold/break mark on hard court across the last 12 months (with Challenger data - adjusted for opponent quality - factored in) and given prices, I'm happy to have Kecmanovic as my recommendation this evening."
Nadal favourite after shock Djokovic exit
The big talking point from last night's matches in California was Novak Djokovic's shock exit at the hands of Phillip Kohlschreiber, which has done our outright position on Rafa Nadal a huge favour. From a recommended [7.8] in advance of day one, Rafa is now into [2.86], which makes him a very marginal favourite over Roger Federer, who is available at [3.50].
Statistically, Rafa has the edge over Roger for me, and with the two players scheduled to meet in the semi-finals, I'd make Nadal the favourite currently.
Monfils with head to head lead over giant-killer Kohlschreiber
Today sees all 16 remaining men's players take to the court. The aforementioned Nadal and Federer are both heavy favourites over Filip Krajinovic and Kyle Edmund, respectively, while those of you who like dominant head to head leads might be inclined to favour Gael Monfils over the giant-killer Kohlschreiber. The Frenchman has won 13 of their 15 historical meetings, but it's worth noting that their last encounter was over two years ago.
Khachanov slight value for tight encounter with Isner
Several matches tonight show a likelihood for tiebreaks, with my numbers having John Isner versus Karen Khachanov, and Ivo Karlovic against Dominic Thiem both having a reasonable chance of a first set tiebreak. The latter clash has the slightly higher percentage, at around 40%, but with the Sportsbook offering even money on over 12.5 games in the first set, this proposition offers no value.
In that first big-serving match, between Isner and Khachanov, the Russian's recent slump has been demonstrated by the market pricing, which has Isner trading at [1.67] on the Exchange. Twelve months of hard court data has this closer to even money - Isner would be [1.87] in this case, so there looks to be a touch of value on Khachanov here, although both may not prefer the slowish conditions.
Kecmanovic value for the hat-trick tonight
The player that I do think is value tonight is in danger of making me sound like a broken record. Miomir Kecmanovic has already taken down two opponents to give us several successful recommendations, and I like his chances of a hat-trick tonight against Yoshihito Nishioka.
The Serb has got to this stage in impressive fashion following several straight-set triumphs, while Nishioka's match with Felix Auger-Aliassime in round three ended after almost three hours in a dramatic third-set tiebreak. Possibly it's fair to suggest Kecmanovic is the fresher of the duo here now, and I make Nishioka a [1.81] favourite to make the quarter-finals.
Despite this, the market is more bullish on the chances of the man from Japan, making him shorter at [1.59], and therefore there's some value on Kecmanovic at [2.58]. Both players are around the 100% combined hold/break mark on hard court across the last 12 months (with Challenger data - adjusted for opponent quality - factored in) and given prices, I'm happy to have Kecmanovic as my recommendation this evening.
Raonic looking for Struff revenge
In other matches, Milos Raonic will be hoping to avenge last month's Dubai defeat at the hands of Jan-Lennard Struff, and is [1.43] to do so, while Denis Shapovalov is similarly priced to end the run of Hubert Hurkacz, who again got the better of Kei Nishikori for the second time in the last month in another big upset.
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Back Miomir Kecmanovic at [2.58] to beat Yoshihito Nishioka