Semi final day at the Montreal Masters features two potentially one-sided matches this evening, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the matches...
"Having said this, we may be able to take advantage of an in-play opportunity, with my model giving Zverev a 96.6% projected hold percentage."
Outright leaders Federer and Zverev heavy favourites to progress
The two outright market leaders, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev, progressed from their quarter-final matches in straight sets yesterday, and firmed their positions at the top of the market - Federer is now a [1.30] favourite to take the trophy, while Zverev is a solid second favourite at [4.9].
Certainly, our outright position on the young German (12/1 each way) is now looking pretty favourable, with Zverev a [1.19] heavy favourite to progress from his semi-final against Denis Shapovalov, with the young Canadian winning another three-setter, fighting back from a set down to dispatch Adrian Mannarino yesterday despite the Frenchman having six more break points in the match.
Haase unlikely to be able to see off Federer
However, prior to this, the Swiss legend, Federer, takes to the court at 8pm UK time against Robin Haase, who has never reached this stage in a Masters event - his previous best showing was a solitary quarter-final in Monte Carlo in 2012, where he was easily beaten by Novak Djokovic - and while Federer is [1.06] to oust the Dutchman, it would still be a push to suggest that this is too short.
My model priced this similarly, and with Haase a notorious choker, it would be a huge shock if Federer was eliminated, and if Haase somehow got to a stage where he was serving for the match, it wouldn't be a surprise at at all if he had difficulties getting over the line.
Shapovalov in uncharted territory against Zverev
The match for night owls, at 1am UK time, between Zverev and Shapovalov, sees another heavy favourite in Zverev, with the underdog also in rather uncharted territory. Wild card Shapovalov had never made it past the 2nd round in a Masters event until this week, and for him - and the Canadian supporters - a final against Federer would be an absolute fairytale.
Unfortunately for Shapovalov, Zverev comes into the match in strong form, with the fourth seed on an eight match unbeaten run on hard courts, dropping a set in only two of these eight matches. The pre-match market on the younger Zverev brother is absolutely correct - there's no pre-match edge in this match either.
Zverev likely to be strong on serve
Having said this, we may be able to take advantage of an in-play opportunity, with my model giving Zverev a 96.6% projected hold percentage, and with Shapovalov being poor on return in his young career, and worse at converting break points, backing Zverev at 0-30 or 15-40 down on serve can be considered. Exiting for profit can be considered at 30-30 or deuce, or those with more tolerance for risk can do so if Zverev manages to hold, with a hedge for a loss if Zverev is broken.
I feel that this is the best spot for today's matches, and obviously we also have Zverev's outright to support as well, with victory over Shapovalov tonight giving us at least a part-win from our each-way position.
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