Madrid Masters Day 5: Tiebreaks probable in Isner clash with Cuevas

American Tennis Player John Isner
John Isner's match with Pablo Cuevas is unlikely to feature many breaks of serve...
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It's third round action on day five of the Madrid Masters Day, with players fighting for a quarter-final spot. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the matches...

"However, the last match I want to discuss is John Isner versus Pablo Cuevas, and in these quick conditions in Madrid, I don’t expect many breaks at all. With my model giving projected hold percentages in the high 90%s for both players, it brings the likelhoods of tiebreaks into the equation."

Edmund value to back up Djokovic victory

Action in Spain starts at 11:00 UK time this morning, with a number of interesting clashes on today's schedule for us to take a look at.

In the opening match of the card, Kyle Edmund - fresh from shocking Novak Djokovic - takes on David Goffin, with the Belgian a comfortable market favourite at [1.53]. This to me, is pretty short, with my model making this very level indeed.

In fact, in the last year on clay, both players have an identical 107.6% combined hold/break percentage, while Edmund has won 0.8% more service points, and Goffin 1.2% more on return.

With this in mind, it really is impossible to agree with the market pricing, even if Edmund arguably got a little lucky against the former world number one yesterday, converting 4/5 break points, and facing seven on his serve, and the Brit can be backed at [2.88] this morning.

Kohlschreiber can get a win on the board against Anderson

Also starting earlier on the schedule is Phillip Kohlschreiber, who is [1.76] to get past Kevin Anderson, and I make this a little generous on the German, who has shown a better level on clay in recent matches, and longer-term. Anderson has lucked into a 3-0 head to head lead, with only one match completed (one was settled via Kohlschreiber retirement in the first-set, and one by walkover), and interestingly, that match three years ago where Kohlschreiber retired was also in Rome, and he was priced at [1.48] to get the win.

Raonic with a big advantage over countryman Shapovalov

Following these matches on the schedule sees Milos Raonic match up with Denis Shapovalov, in what is an all-Canadian clash. Raonic is [1.36] to get past his younger countryman, who still has yet to string a decent run of results together on clay. I expect this match to be pretty serve-orientated in quick conditions, and unless Raonic is either injured or has an extreme off-day, the more experienced Canadian should progress.

Also at a similar time, Borna Coric faces Dominic Thiem, and with Coric's unexpected thrashing of Jan-Lennard Struff markedly improving his surface data, the market prices look about right. Thiem is [1.76] to get past his fellow next-gen talent.

Zverev looking short-priced against competent Mayer

In other matches, Juan Martin Del Potro is [1.26] to get the better of Dusan Lajovic, while Rafa Nadal faces the diminutive Argentine, Diego Schwartzman. The King of Clay is a fair-looking [1.04] to make the quarter-finals, and continue his demolishing of every rival, on his favourite surface.

I also feel Alexander Zverev, at [1.25], is a little skinny against Leonardo Mayer, whose clay data over the last 12 months isn't bad at all, and perhaps Mayer can be considered on the game handicap.

Tiebreaks likely in Isner clash with Cuevas

However, the last match I want to discuss is John Isner versus Pablo Cuevas, and in these quick conditions in Madrid, I don't expect many breaks at all. With my model giving projected hold percentages in the high 90%s for both players, it brings the likelhoods of tiebreaks into the equation.

Currently, the Sportsbook is 7/5 for the first set to be 7-6 to either player, and I make this a 67% chance, priced at 1/2, so there's a huge discrepancy between the Sportsbook pricing and mine - quite simply this is a mathematical spot that we can look to take advantage of.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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