Shanghai Masters Day Five: Anderson and tiebreak the value against Tsitsipas
Thursday morning sees the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters take place, and with his tally for the week now running at four from four, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the action...
"This year on hard court, Tsitsipas is still below the 100% combined hold/break mark, despite winning 14 of 24 main tour matches, while Anderson is strong at 89.6% hold/16.3% break (105.9%)."
De Minaur gives us four from four
Our successful week on the pacy hard courts of Shanghai continued with our Wednesday selection, Alex De Minaur, getting past Benoit Paire in straight sets. The Australian 19 year old's reward is a meeting with fellow Next-Gen rival, Alexander Zverev, in Thursday's third round.
Zverev short for De Minaur meeting
This match actually gets the day's proceedings underway, at 6am UK time, and I feel that the more experienced Zverev looks pretty short at [1.37]. In truth, there's not a vast difference between them on hard court this season, with De Minaur holding serve 78.4% and breaking opponents 27.3% (105.7% combined) and Zverev doing so 85.3% and 26.6%, respectively (111.9%).
These numbers do give the German a decent edge, but it's tough to merit such a short price on a player who hasn't particularly thrived in quick conditions (his record indoors is only a little better than average, for example) over the last couple of years.
However, the game handicap line is fairly tight, at +3.5 games for De Minaur, and the current Exchange price is [2.02] for this, and with this in mind, I would prefer him for the outright match win, as opposed to a pretty skinny handicap line.
Anderson and tiebreaks value for Tsitsipas clash
The other meeting where I find some reasonable value is Kevin Anderson at [1.72] against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Today, the Greek youngster got past Karen Khachanov, in two tight sets, but I feel that he's over-rated against the wily Anderson, who this year has played the best tennis of his career.
This year on hard court, Tsitsipas is still below the 100% combined hold/break mark, despite winning 14 of 24 main tour matches, while Anderson is strong at 89.6% hold/16.3% break (105.9%). My model priced the South African veteran at 1.52 to take this, making the current market prices some value.
In addition, I make over 12.5 games in the first set around a 47% chance, implying a correct price of 2.13 on this outcome. Despite this, the Sportsbook is offering 13/8 on this eventuality (2.63) which is pretty solid value at a venue which is playing very quickly indeed this year (83.9% holds, 0.66 aces per game).
Taking either action - Anderson and also over 12.5 games in the first set - looks viable and they are both today's recommendations.
Querrey with dire record in Asia
In other matches, I wouldn't mind Sam Querrey at [2.84] against Kei Nishikori if the American didn't have a dire record in Asia, while some of the other clashes feature big names as heavy favourites.
Djokovic and Federer unlikely to be ousted
Roger Federer is [1.17] to get past Roberto Bautista-Agut, and has won all seven of their previous meetings without dropping a set. It would be a major shock if Federer ran into significant difficulty against the Spaniard.
Likewise Novak Djokovic, who faces a repeat of his French Open quarter-final against Marco Cecchinato. He's [1.06] to get revenge on a surface where their ability differential is far bigger than clay, and I'd be even more stunned if Cecchinato, who has barely recorded a hard court win in his entire career, was able to get the better of the former world number one on his best surface.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
Back Kevin Anderson at [1.72] to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas
Back Over 12.5 Games in the First Set @ 13/8 in the Anderson/Tsitsipas match