After several matches on Sunday, the Rome Masters gets properly started today with 13 first-round matches. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, has a look at which players offer value...
"One player who hasn’t got a solid track record on clay in his young career is Daniil Medvedev. While I like the Russian as a prospect, he’s 2-9 on clay, with awful service data (less than 58% of service points won), in particular."
Americans dominate on day one in Rome
There were victories yesterday for Ryan Harrison, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock, among others, on day one in Rome, as Americans dominated the opening day in the Italian capital, and there are a number of matches today for us to get our teeth into.
Medvedev with much to prove on clay currently
One player who hasn't got a solid track record on clay in his young career is Daniil Medvedev. While I like the Russian as a prospect, he's 2-9 in main tour matches on clay, with awful service data (less than 58% of service points won), in particular. Today, he faces Robin Haase, who is inconsistent as usual, but much more competent on clay, and I feel that the 1.674/6 about the Dutchman represents value - I make him around 1.402/5 to get through to the second round.
Kohlschreiber a worthy favourite against Khachanov
Moving through the schedule, there are a number of potentially high quality affairs, with Karen Khachanov's match with Phillip Kohlschreiber one of these. Both have above-average clay data, and Kohlschreiber looks a worthy favourite on what is evidently his best surface, statistically. The German is 1.684/6 to defeat the Russian prospect.
Mayer can compete with short-priced Goffin
Around the same time as this match, there's an interesting match-up between Leonardo Mayer and David Goffin, and the Belgian, Goffin, is the market favourite at 1.341/3. Given his variable level of late, and the fact that Mayer is a more than competent clay courter, perhaps the +4.5 game line can be considered.
Albert Ramos has not been able to replicate his stellar clay season from last year but does look a little under-rated by the market at the current 2.526/4 against Federico Delbonis, who is hardly the epitome of consistency himself. My model made the Spaniard a marginal underdog, but not to the current extent of market prices.
Djokovic respected by the market for Dolgopolov clash
In other matches, Novak Djokovic gets his campaign under way with a match against the unpredictable and unorthodox Alexandr Dolgopolov, who hasn't been fit at all of late - rather like his Serbian rival. Djokovic is currently 1.152/13 to progess, which doesn't look that out of line. His clay stats over the last 12 months are still good, and there will always be some respect from the market that he will reproduce his elite level, which is understandable.
Berrettini capable of a strong showing against Tiafoe
We also see Matteo Berrettini, the home wild card, face Frances Tiafoe in what is a fascinating match-up of two talented young players. I'm not debating that Tiafoe should be favourite, but Berrettini has talent and a strong serve, and looks under-rated at 2.8815/8.
Later on in the schedule, Richard Gasquet takes a dominant head-to-head lead into his clash with countryman Benoit Paire, while the sole Brit in the draw, Kyle Edmund, starts up against Malek Jaziri, who hasn't shown a bad level of late.
Fognini and Monfils meeting likely to entertain
One of the matches of the day is saved for last, with Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils taking to the court in a match which is likely to vary anywhere from the sublime to the ridiculous. Both players are capable of superb tennis but also a level outside the top 100, and my model made Fognini a marginal favourite, and this agrees with the market.
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Back Robin Haase at 1.674/6 to beat Daniil Medvedev