It's day three of the Rogers Cup and, with 14 second round matches on the schedule, Dan Weston attempts to go three from three for the week...
"We have similar sample size issues with Wawrinka as Pella, but the fact remains that we have to go back to Cincinnati last August to find a hard court tournament where he won more than two consecutive matches. "
Albot gives us back to back winners
We picked up our second straight winner this week with Radu Albot easing to a nice odds-against triumph against Gilles Simon, winning 82% of points on his first serve and creating 11 break points while facing just one. The Moldovan was well-supported in the run-up to the match, starting considerably shorter than the price when I wrote yesterday's preview on Tuesday morning.
Today Albot faces Guido Pella in round two and there's a decent case for him as value this evening as well. My model makes him a [1.85] chance against the Argentine, but the market prices him as a [2.16] underdog.
In reality, it's between Albot and another player, who I'll discuss shortly, for today's recommendation. But what I fear a little with Pella is that his hard court sample size isn't huge across the last 12 months - just 15 matches. Also, he might be in a decent place after rivalling Albot's semi-final showing last week in Los Cabos and surprisingly reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in July.
Khachanov a value underdog against Wawrinka
That other player is Karen Khachanov, who is a [2.42] underdog against Stan Wawrinka. We have similar sample size issues with Wawrinka as Pella, but the fact remains that we have to go back to Cincinnati last August to find a hard court tournament where he won more than two consecutive matches.
With this in mind, it's not surprising he's hovering just over the 100% combined hold/break mark on the surface in the last 12 months, and while Khachanov's win-loss record on the surface in that time period isn't stellar either, he has better hold/break stats. There's a decent reason for his mediocre win-loss record in the shape of a dreadful 4-10 tiebreak record in the last 12 months on hard court.
In that same sample size, Wawrinka is 11-10 in tiebreaks which probably isn't a mile off Khachanov's expectation in that format, so we can assume Khachanov is around 7-8 tiebreaks below expectation in that time frame, so probably is suffering a little negative variance.
Given this, it makes sense that he's under-rated by the market, and hopefully he can take advantage at an underdog price this evening in one of the late matches on the schedule.
Fognini facing test against improving Paul
Fabio Fognini looked slight value at [1.76] against qualifier Tommy Paul, although the young American's 2019 data makes the price more accurate. He finally looks to be getting somewhere after stagnating following a breakthrough a few years back when he looked like a player of high potential.
We also see a strange head to head with Adrian Mannarino leading Borna Coric 3-0 but in only one of those match-ups was Coric ranked inside the top 40, so it's a pretty irrelevant head to head series in reality.
There's an intriguing all-Canadian clash with Milos Raonic a marginal [1.71] favourite against Felix Auger-Aliassime, who doesn't look that far from being some value at those prices.
Hurkacz capable of an upset over Tsitsipas
I'm extremely interested in Stefanos Tsistipas against Hubert Hurkacz. The Polish Hurkacz is starting to get coverage based on his superb data this year. But he's almost certainly winning far fewer matches than his data suggests. If that's variance, he could well be value at [3.00] against Tsitsipas here, although I was still surprised the market wasn't further in favour of the young Greek, as it often is.
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Back Karen Khachanov at [2.42] to beat Stan Wawrinka