Round two concludes on day four of the Cincinnati Masters tonight, and after a tight win on day three, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to examine the schedule...
"The final big name who is a heavy favourite is Milos Raonic, and while his recent data shows signs of improvement, it's a big ask to assume the Canadian is back to his peak level."
Fucsovics nicks tight tiebreak to give us a winner
After a number of tight matches went against us in recent days, it was pleasant to see one go for us last night in Cincinnati with Marton Fucsovics edging Hubert Hurkacz in a final set tiebreak to yield a winner.
The tournament has now opened up for the Hungarian and he now faces Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, a lucky loser, in round two this evening. The market looks more in line with my model for this, making Fucsovics a [1.53] favourite to get past the veteran Spaniard.
Federer far from dominant in Gojowczyk victory
Among yesterday's other matches, Roger Federer got past Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets, although it's worth mentioning that the German journeyman actually created more break point chances, with five to Federer's four. The difference in the match really came from Federer being able to exploit the Gojowczyk second serve better than his opponent.
Zverev and Djokovic among the big names in action
Today, there are 13 second round matches on the card with many of the big names on tour taking to the court. Our outright choice, Alexander Zverev, is correctly priced as a heavy favourite at [1.19] to get the better of Robin Haase, while there are fitness doubts over both Juan Martin Del Potro, and his opponent, Hyeon Chung. If equal fitness is assumed, I think the Korean represents some slight value at the current [1.40].
Marin Cilic faces a tricky encounter against Marius Copil, who adores quick conditions, while Novak Djokovic looks rather short at [1.10] against another player adept when conditions are pacy, in the shape of Adrian Mannarino.
Jaziri capable of covering game handicap line
The final big name who is a heavy favourite is Milos Raonic, and while his recent data shows signs of improvement, it's a big ask to assume the Canadian is back to his peak level. However, he's [1.09] to defeat lucky-loser Malek Jaziri, who isn't atrocious whatsoever on hard courts, running at 5-4 for 2018 on the surface.
The main game handicap line for this match gives the Tunisian a 5.5 game head start, and the Sportsbook's 4/6 looks a decent price for this line, which is today's first recommendation.
Klahn needing a career-best victory
In addition, I rather like Pablo Carreno-Busta at [1.62] as he faces the qualifier, Bradley Klahn. The American, Klahn, has rather focused on the Challenger Tour as his primary activity, and while his record at that level is decent - he's running at 12-5 this year on hard court, winning 84.8% of service games and breaking opponents 22.8% of the time - this is a huge step up. In fact, Klahn has never even taken a set off a top 20 player in five previous matches and the highest ranked player he's ever defeated was Jurgen Melzer, ranked 36, in 2012.
Given these doubts against a higher calibre of opposition, and the fact that my model liked Carreno-Busta anyway, the Spaniard joins Jaziri on today's shortlist.
Market with doubts over Kyrgios
In other action, Sam Querrey looks under-rated as a slight underdog for the second consecutive match here, with the American available at [2.08] against Karen Khachanov, while there's a superb-looking next-gen clash later on tonight as Borna Coric faces Nick Kyrgios.
The market is very cautious about the volatile Kyrgios, with Coric the [1.58] favourite. To justify this price, Kyrgios will have to considerably under-perform from his best levels.
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