It's round three at the Cincinnati Masters tonight, and after going two from two yesterday, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, again goes on the hunt for value...
"Fucsovics, as well as a good hard court record in the last year or so, also has a pretty decent record indoors, suggesting that he’s quite adept in quick conditions."
Jaziri and Carreno-Busta yield day four winners
We picked up several winners on day four last night with Malek Jaziri covering the +5.5 game handicap in a straight-set defeat to Milos Raonic, while as suspected, Bradley Klahn continued his poor record at stepping up against higher-ranked opposition, giving Pablo Carreno-Busta a relatively straightforward victory.
With the Hyeon Chung v Juan Martin Del Potro clash postponed from Wednesday - the winner faces Nick Kyrgios - there are seven third round clashes today with the remaining players fighting for a quarter-final berth.
Raonic looking short against Shapovalov
Opening proceedings this afternoon at 1600 UK time is an all-Canadian clash, with Milos Raonic facing Denis Shapovalov. The more experienced Raonic is a [1.57] market favourite, but my model priced this a little closer. When examining the 2018 hard court data for the two players, there really wasn't much to split the duo, with Raonic holding serve 88.4% of the time, and breaking opponents 19.0% (107.4%) and Shapovalov doing so 83.7% and 23.0% respectively (106.7%).
Considering this, it's tough to make a case for Raonic at these prices, and in truth, both players should enjoy the quick conditions on display here in Cincinnati.
Fucsovics value to get revenge over Wawrinka
The other player my model liked as value tonight is Marton Fucsovics, who got us a winner on Monday against Hubert Hurkacz, and in a repeat of last week's meeting in Toronto, he faces Stan Wawrinka.
In that match, Fucsovics was unlucky to be defeated, losing 6-1 6-7 6-7, and for that he was priced at [1.95]. While opponent Wawrinka has recorded much better return data this week, it's a stretch to suggest he should be considerably shorter - he's currently [1.44] on the Exchange - and I certainly make the Swiss man more of a marginal favourite.
Fucsovics, as well as a good hard court record in the last year or so, also has a pretty decent record indoors, suggesting that he's quite adept in quick conditions, and Wawrinka has struggled a touch when conditions are fast, running at a combined 100.6% in 29 indoor hard matches in the last 36 months, and a horrific 94.0% on grass (where he is 3-7).
After such a tough-to-take defeat last week, I'd like to think Fucsovics will be motivated for revenge and it's also worth noting that a run to the quarter-finals by winning tonight will give him a career-high ranking and put him just outside the US Open seedings, which would be unheralded territory. I like the [3.15] line about the Hungarian tonight.
Djokovic with a dominant head to head over Dimitrov
In other action, Karen Khachanov's improvement is evidenced by opponent Marin Cilic being correctly priced at [1.59] against the Russian, while Novak Djokovic takes a 7-1 head to head lead into his meeting with Grigor Dimitrov. Even though the Bulgarian does frequently find his best in quick conditions, the [1.29] about the former world number one, Djokovic, looks fair.
Federer a heavy favourite against Mayer
Finally, we also see Roger Federer take to the courts, with the Swiss man [1.09] to beat Leonardo Mayer. This looks a little short to me, but not hugely so, and it will be interesting to see if Federer can improve on his second-round display against Peter Gojowczyk. Mayer has given Federer a decent match previously in quicker conditions, in Shanghai in 2014, failing to convert match points in a final-set tiebreak defeat.
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