Tsitsipas similarly priced to last week in Madrid
Action in Rome gets underway a little later than earlier this week, with a 1330 UK time start for the opener - Stefanos Tsitsipas versus Alexander Zverev. Tsitsipas, after dropping sets in prior matches this week and saving match points in the process, got the job done a little easier yesterday against Jannik Sinner, while Zverev continued his run of straight-set victories this tournament - albeit against slightly weaker opposition generally.
Tsitsipas is the 1.705/7 favourite to get revenge on Zverev for last week's defeat in Madrid, which is basically the same line as last week. Then, I leant towards Zverev at market prices but not formally - there wasn't quite enough discrepancy between market and model prices.
Based on 12 month clay data, there's not much between the duo. The serve-oriented Tsitsipas has the edge on service numbers, but it's Zverev with a similar advantage on return, but 2022 season data isn't in alignment - Tsitsipas has a greater advantage on serve with the two players having similar return numbers. On this basis, it's pretty tough to dispute the market lines in what should be a very competitive match.
Djokovic looking short-priced for Ruud clash
The market suggests that this won't be the case for the second semi-final tonight between Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud. Djokovic found it tough last night against Felix Auger-Aliassime, nicking their clash 7-5 7-6, while Ruud had the reverse scoreline in his win over Denis Shapovalov.
Djokovic is the 1.232/9 favourite, which appears to be a line based on reputation more than anything. Ruud has won a higher percentage of service points on clay in the last 12 months, with Djokovic leading on return, but 2022 season data - a year which has been a struggle for the world number one so far - shows a drop-off for Djokovic.
I can understand why Djokovic is favourite, but not at these prices which look very short indeed against an opponent who has won over 80% of his matches on clay in the last year.
Ruud is an extremely strong clay-courter, running at almost 110% combined service/return points won on the surface in the last year, so I'm confident in him competing well against Djokovic here.
We should be able to get in excess of 1.9010/11 on Ruud with a 4.5 game head start, and I think this looks a decent enough line to recommend today.
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