It's third round action at the Madrid Masters with eight matches on today's schedule. Dan Weston has assessed the betting with one value play...
"While Davidovich Fokina is a good young clay-courter on an upward curve, Medvedev's opponent today, Christian Garin, is a more proven quantity on the surface. The Chilean, Garin, has won 65% of his matches on clay in the last 12 months, running at almost 105% combined service/return points won in the process."
Medvedev's distaste for clay with potential to continue
Yesterday's pick, Diego Schwartzman, lost from a set and break up against Aslan Karatsev, trading around 1.11/10 to win on the Exchange. There were also comeback victories for Daniil Medvedev and Dan Evans, who both dropped the first set but fought back to win in three.
Medvedev's clay record hasn't been impressive in recent years and while there is scope for improvement, his struggles in victory yesterday against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina give little confidence that such upside will be immediate.
Medvedev's rant in an argument with the chair umpire yesterday made his distaste for clay courts clear - having been told not to damage the clay by the umpire, Medvedev was quoted as saying 'but it's already damaged, it's clay'.
While Davidovich Fokina is a good young clay-courter on an upward curve, Medvedev's opponent today, Christian Garin, is more of a proven quantity on the surface. The Chilean, Garin, has won 65% of his matches on clay in the last 12 months, running at almost 105% combined service/return points won in the process - he looks like a top 15 level clay-courter right now.
Garin has advanced to this stage without much drama, progressing past Fernando Verdasco and Dominik Koepfer in straight sets as a solid pre-match favourite, and I think Back Christian Garin at 2.3411/8 to beat Daniil Medvedev">at 2.3411/8 looks some value, who has provided very little evidence that he's a strong clay-courter but has provided plenty of evidence that he doesn't like the surface.
Evans could give Zverev a test
Another player who previously seemed to have a dislike for clay is Dan Evans, but the Brit is at a career-high ranking inside the top 30 and has impressed this year in general. He's also showing an improved clay level, reaching the semi-final on slow clay in Monte Carlo in a real shock run which contained four underdog victories.
Evans has battled past Jeremy Chardy and John Millman in deciding sets to get to this stage and today faces an upgrade in opposition in Alexander Zverev. The German, Zverev, should obviously be favourite here given surface performance levels, but the 1.292/7 about him looks pretty short and I wonder if Evans can be competitive at least.
Nadal a heavy favourite again
In other matches, Rafa Nadal is expected to breeze past Alexei Popyrin, after easing past countryman Carlos Alcaraz Garfia yesterday. The King of Clay is just 1.051/20 to make tomorrow's quarter finals with a win today, and short-priced favourites are a general theme today, with only that Garin versus Medvedev meeting containing a favourite priced over the 1.402/5 mark. Most favourites look pretty accurately priced, so there could be a rather one-sided day in prospect in Madrid today.
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