Cincinnati Masters Day Six: Kyrgios capable of edging Del Potro
After an interrupted day five last night in Cincinnati, there's just one new men's singles match currently on tonight's schedule. Our tennis columnist Dan Weston checks it out...
"If we look at the hard court data generated for both players over the last 12 months, Kyrgios has an edge on serve, winning 70.8% of service points, compared to Del Potro’s 67.8%, but fewer on return (34.2% to 37.8%)."
Weather the winner last night in Cincinnati
Last night's action in Cincinnati was rather affected by the weather, with just three matches being completed in the third round. These were all decided in straight sets, with Juan Martin Del Potro, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno-Busta the three players celebrating wins.
Tonight, three further matches continue from where they left off, with Novak Djokovic a break up over Grigor Dimitrov in the deciding set, while Marin Cilic's clash with Karen Khachanov is interestingly poised on serve in the final set - I'm sure most readers can remember the disaster that befell Cilic last month at Wimbledon when he last played a rain-affected match over two days. In addition, our selection from yesterday, the heavy underdog, Marton Fucsovics, just got his meeting with Stan Wawrinka underway when the players were forced off court.
Del Potro punishes Chung's weak second serve
This leaves us with a sparse schedule of new matches to discuss, with Kevin Anderson versus David Goffin, and Roger Federer against Leonardo Mayer postponed in entirety from yesterday. Just Nick Kyrgios, who meets the aforementioned Del Potro, is a new entry on the schedule.
Del Potro's win over Hyeon Chung last night was actually a delayed round two match, and I was surprised with both the relatively straightforward nature of the win, and also how return-orientated the match was, with seven breaks in 17 service games. Del Potro took a particular liking to Chung's second serve, winning 18 of 24 points.
Both players with fitness doubts currently
The market has priced the Argentine at [1.51] to get the victory tonight, which I make a little short. While it's certainly fair to suggest Kyrgios has had fitness issues, we also must remember that Del Potro pulled out of Toronto last week due to continued problems with his troublesome left wrist.
Hard court data shows it difficult to split the duo
If we look at the hard court data generated for both players over the last 12 months, Kyrgios has an edge on serve, winning 70.8% of service points, compared to Del Potro's 67.8%, but fewer on return (34.2% to 37.8%). However, when looking at these numbers combined - and also when we look at hold/break figures - there really isn't much of an edge for Del Potro, and this leads me to believe the market prices are rather short on him.
Kyrgios with a solid surface record against top 10 opposition
We saw in the last round that the pre-match market was extremely cautious regarding Kyrgios' ability to hit a decent level against Borna Coric, and while the erratic nature of the Australian's display won't have erradicated those doubts, it would be foolhardy to under-rate a player of a high peak level in a big tournament.
Indeed, Kyrgios has a pretty solid career record against top 10 opponents on hard court, winning nine out of 23 matches (mostly as underdog, evidenced by around 10% ROI being generated from these) and it wouldn't be a big surprise to me at all if he got win number ten tonight, at a generous price of [2.88].
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Back Nick Kyrgios at [2.88]