Action at the Shanghai Masters continues on day two with most of the first round schedule taking place, and our tennis columnist Dan Weston has picked out his best bets
"I'm quite happy to oppose Dzumhur with Fucsovics here, particularly given that he's running at just a 91.6% combined hold/break percentage on hard court this year, as opposed to Fucsovics' 103.2%."
Quick conditions anticipated for last week in Asia
Proceedings got under way in Shanghai yesterday, with four low-profile opening round matches, as well as the remaining qualifying round. The majority of the big names on the ATP Tour, of whom the eight highest ranked received byes, will not take to the courts until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Despite the absence of the upper echelons of the tour, there's still some value spots to discuss on Monday, with action starting at 6am UK time. As I've often mentioned in historical previews, I definitely advocate being extremely cautious in round one of tournaments, however, and would recommend that those getting involved only do so for small stakes.
I don't see this round one being any different to most other events, in truth. This is the last week of tournaments in Asia and some players may be very keen to get back to home comforts. Conditions are anticipated to be very fast for an outdoor hard court, and should have some benefit towards those players who are more serve-orientated.
Two matches where my model indicate pretty sizeable discrepancies from the market was Damir Dzumhur against Marton Fucsovics, and Stan Wawrinka versus Borna Coric.
Fucsovics a nice price against Dzumhur
The market is finding it quite difficult to split the former duo, with the Hungarian man, Fucsovics, a slight [1.86] favourite, and I do like this price. He performed creditably in Beijing this past week, making the quarter-finals, and the two wins he picked up snapped an unimpressive streak of four defeats in five.
Dzumhur's form is nothing to write home about either - he's lost seven of his last ten - and his wins have been against mediocre opposition in general, with only Guido Pella, albeit on the Argentine's less favoured indoor hard surface, being a decent win.
I'm quite happy to oppose Dzumhur with Fucsovics here, particularly given that he's running at just a 91.6% combined hold/break percentage on hard court this year, as opposed to Fucsovics' 103.2%.
Still plenty of doubts surrounding Wawrinka
Coric at [2.48] against Wawrinka is certainly another statistical discrepancy - Coric has much better data on hard court across both the current year, and the last three months - and I do feel that Wawrinka is still being over-rated by the market as he attempts to recover his lost ranking.
Wawrinka is definitely improving, but a 101.9% combined hold/break percentage on hard court in the last three months bears little relationship to his market status. The Swiss man has won all three prior meetings, which is a concern, but the last of these was in January 2016, and all meetings were when Wawrinka was in the top five - a level that even his most ardent supporter would be hard pressed to suggest he is at currently.
Furthermore, Stan has a pretty mediocre record in quicker conditions and even though Coric has lost both his last two matches, he failed to convert three match points against Feliciano Lopez, and was dire on break points against Cameron Norrie - a trait that is often just variance. We can chance Coric at these prices.
First-set tiebreak market not worthwhile for Monday's action
In other matches, Matt Ebden, if recovered from illness, may have a decent chance at [2.66] against Frances Tiafoe, and there are a lot of correctly-priced matches which are around even-money, which could go either way.
I'm also not particularly enticed by the first set tiebreak market for Monday's schedule, with Bradley Klahn against Nick Kyrgios being the match with the highest likelihood, according to my model. However, the chance of this is still just around the 40% mark, so I'll wait for some better spots in the coming week.
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