We are down to the last 16 in the men's singles event in Cincinnati and with most of the big names remaining in the draw, Dan Weston is back with his thoughts...
"The Spaniard has rather surprisingly got a decent hard court record, both this year and across the last couple of years as well, hovering around the 101-103% combined serve/return points won percentages."
Khachanov triumphs as Kyrgios implodes
Karen Khachanov yielded us a nice underdog winner from Wednesday's second round matches with victory over an imploding Nick Kyrgios, who again courted controversy with his antics during the match. Of course, this is part of the gamble involved when analysing Kyrgios' matches - when focused, he can challenge the best, but with a different mindset, he can lose to the worst. Khachanov, who of course is considerably better than those worst players, created nine break points and faced four himself, and fully deserved his victory.
De Minaur accurately priced to continue progress
Our outright pick, Alex De Minaur, also progressed into round three with a straight-set victory over Reilly Opelka, and today he faces Yoshihito Nishioka, who surprisingly got past his Japanese countryman, Kei Nishikori. De Minaur is [1.54], and that looks about right to me.
In fact, accurate pricing is a rather recurring theme of today's action. Generally speaking, the more high-profile players are, the market will be more accurate and this is completely logical, given the extra exposure of their abilities. However, this does sometimes get us to a situation in high profile events where there isn't much in the way of pre-match value when there aren't shock results in the opening couple of rounds, and this is the case with today's schedule in Cincinnati.
Carreno-Busta could compete with Djokovic
The only real spot that my model liked was Pablo Carreno-Busta as a huge underdog against Novak Djokovic, who is [1.05], and the Spaniard has rather surprisingly got a decent hard court record, both this year and across the last couple of years as well, hovering around the 101-103% combined serve/return points won percentages.
Naturally, this is far worse than the world number one, Djokovic, who stands at almost 114% this year on hard court - truly elite level numbers - but this might be a little closer than the market anticipates. Certainly, I think potentially more like the four game margin from their 2017 head to head meeting, as opposed to the 11 game margin from their other head to head match, in 2014. I'll stop short of a handicap recommendation, but it would be the best of a bad bunch today.
Federer and Medvedev also in action
In other matches, Roger Federer is a heavy favourite to get the better of Andrey Rublev, who did indeed knock out Stan Wawrinka yesterday - I suspected Wawrinka was over-rated by the market again - while our hero from yesterday, Khachanov is [1.58] to defeat Lucas Pouille, which again looks very accurate. My model priced them virtually identically.
We also see Daniil Medvedev - potentially the biggest test to the elite three at the US Open - face Jan-Lennard Struff, who got past Stefanos Tsitsipas yesterday, and Medvedev is priced around the [1.50] mark for that, as is David Goffin against Adrian Mannarino, which looks likely to be a more return-orientated match-up than most on the schedule this evening.
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