Paris Masters Day Six Preview: Krajinovic can continue dream week

Filip Krajinovic is not without a chance against John Isner today...
Filip Krajinovic is not without a chance against John Isner today...

Some rather unheralded names comprise today's semi-finals at the Paris Masters, and with matches getting underway at 13:00 UK time, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the action...

"Simply taking the Serb at 4.1 for a small stake to make the final looks the best option, and it will be interesting to see how much he benefits from a rest day yesterday, compared to Isner's arduous three-set marathon against Del Potro."

Surprise results on Friday create a shock semi-final line-up in Paris

Friday's matches have contributed to something of a shock semi-final line-up this afternoon in the French capital, with our outright pick, Juan Martin del Potro, succumbing to a final-set defeat to John Isner, while Rafa Nadal pulled out of his match with Filip Krajinovic - giving the Serb a dream week regardless of today's result - with a knee injury, which also makes him a doubt for the tour finals in a week's time.

Veteran Benneteau two wins from his first ATP title

There were also wins for our selection, Jack Sock, who came back from a first-set tiebreak loss to win in three sets against Fernando Verdasco, while Julien Benneteau's superb week continued as he ousted Marin Cilic in straight sets.

Benneteau has often been described as the best player on the ATP Tour to have never won a title, with this even referred to on Twitter with #Bennytitlewatch, and he's now two matches away not only from winning a title, but a Masters 1000 level title.

Isner short as a heavy favourite against Krajinovic

First up on this afternoon's schedule, however, is the clash between Isner and Krajinovic, with the big-serving American - finalist last year - a heavy favourite at 1.3130/100 to dispatch the in-form Krajinovic.

My model didn't particularly agree with this line, making Isner pretty short - not in a height sense - and suggesting that a price of 1.444/9 would be more appropriate here. Also, a first-set tiebreak percentage of around 36% was indicated.

Outright back on Krajinovic more appealing than handicap lines

I had a look at handicap lines, but I wasn't particularly enthused by the 11/10 about Krajinovic +2.5 games with the Sportsbook - I'd prefer around 5/4 - and likewise Krajinovic +1.5 sets at around evens.

On this basis, simply taking the Serb at 4.1 for a small stake to make the final looks the best option, and it will be interesting to see how much he benefits from a rest day yesterday, compared to Isner's arduous three-set marathon against Del Potro.

Benneateau slight underdog for Sock clash

Immediately following this, Benneteau faces Sock, with the American finishing his season strongly following a mediocre few months. Sock starts as favourite at a current 1.794/5, and this looks about right to me - my model priced him at 1.804/5 to make the final.

This second semi-final looks a little more likely to be less serve-orientated than the first semi-final, although both players boast surface hold percentages in excess of the ATP mean, and it's interesting to compare the latter stage records of both players.

Benneteau solid in semi-finals despite woeful final record

Benneteau is 10-8 throughout his career at ATP level in semi-finals, having not made one for over three years, while Sock is 7-7, but has lost his last three this year, against Roger Federer, Steve Johnson and Kevin Anderson. However, as mentioned, Benneteau has issues in finals, having a 0-10 record throughout his career, while Sock has won three finals from seven matches.

It will be fascinating to see how Benneteau deals with the pressure. At almost 36 years of age, the veteran Frenchman will certainly never get a better chance to win that elusive title, and doing so in his home country in a massive tournament would be a magnificent achievement, regardless of the quality of the field this week.

Recommended Bet
Back Filip Krajinovic at 4.10 against Jack Sock

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