Miami Masters Day 9: Coric the value in next-gen battle
On day nine of the Miami Masters, the second two men's singles quarter finals take place, with players fighting to join John Isner and Juan Martin Del Potro in the semi-finals. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, gives his thoughts on the matches...
"So far in 2018, Coric has held 2.9% less (79.8% to 82.7%) but broken 6.8% more (31.1% to 24.3%) and Coric's 2018 hard court level (combined 110.9%) is without doubt top 10 level, as evidenced also by his 75% win percentage."
Raonic cruelly denied by Del Potro
Yesterday, we recommended the [3.25] underdog Milos Raonic, and the Canadian was so close to producing an upset, taking the first set and then losing two subsequent tiebreaks to Juan Martin Del Potro. Even more galling was the fact that the big-serving Canadian - usually so solid from these break lead positions - relinquished a break lead twice in the final set.
Del Potro still leading the way in the outright market
The Argentine has now shortened to [2.28] in the outright market for the title, with Alexander Zverev, John Isner and one of our outright picks, Kevin Anderson. Our other outright selection, Borna Coric, is available at [11.5] prior to his fascinating match-up with Zverev.
Market correct in factoring in Anderson's head to head record
Thursday's first quarter-final is at 20:00 BST, with Anderson a [1.50] favourite to beat Pablo Carreno-Busta, and my model made this about right.
Admittedly, while Anderson has a slight edge, there isn't a huge amount between the combined hard court hold/break percentages for the duo over the last 12 months - both have produced a level in and around the top 10 - but the market is understandably influenced by the 4-0 head to head lead that Anderson has over his Spanish rival.
This clearly has some influence, with three of the meetings taking place on hard court in the last year, but it's worth noting that none of these were straightforward victories, and their last meeting - at Indian Wells a fortnight ago - went to a final set tiebreak, with Anderson priced at around [1.43].
With my model pricing this similarly to the market, it's worth moving on to the second quarter-final, which is scheduled to start at around midnight UK time.
Coric's 2018 improvement makes him value to beat Zverev
Two young guns clash here, with Zverev a [1.71] favourite to inflict defeat on Coric, and I like the chances of the young Croat here.
It's probably fair to suggest that Zverev has suffered some expected mean-reversion this year, following large over-performance on break points in 2017, and my model priced Coric up as value here, for two reasons.
Firstly, there isn't much between the two players when looking at 12-month hard court data, with Zverev holding serve 4.1% more (86.8% to 82.7%) but Coric breaking opponents 2.5% more (24.1% to 21.6%), but as importantly, it's actually Coric with the better 2018 data.
So far in 2018, Coric has held 2.9% less (79.8% to 82.7%) but broken 6.8% more (31.1% to 24.3%) and Coric's 2018 hard court level (combined 110.9%) is without doubt top 10 level, as evidenced also by his 75% win percentage. He's certainly shown a better standard than his German rival this year, and with both these factors in mind, taking Coric at [2.40] is today's recommendation.
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Back Borna Coric at [2.40] to beat Alexander Zverev