The Western & Southern Open moves into the last 16 in New York today and, after some big names were ousted on Monday, Dan Weston previews the action...
" Even in fairly slow conditions, these two big-servers combine to create large pre-match expectation of a first set tiebreak."
Thiem among big names exiting
We picked up a winner on Monday with Emil Ruusuvuori covering the game handicap against Matteo Berrettini in a tight three-set loss that could have even gone the Finn's way. It wouldn't have been the only shock if Ruusuvuori got the job done - Dominic Thiem, Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov all exited the tournament, while Alexander Zverev was also defeated by Andy Murray.
Bedene similar price to yesterday
This leaves 16 players left in the event and there's some interesting match-ups to discuss. First up on the schedule sees Aljaz Bedene take on Daniil Medvedev and it's interesting to see that Bedene is a similar price against Medvedev - probably the second best player remaining in the competition - as he was against Taylor Fritz yesterday.
I suspected that price on Bedene was out of line yesterday and he seems much more realistically priced today at [4.30].
One of the earlier matches sees David Goffin face Jan-Lennard Struff. Goffin had an extra day's rest after a win against Borna Coric on Sunday night and the market has probably over-reacted a little on Struff's victory over Denis Shapovalov yesterday. Goffin at [1.72] looks a little value.
Raonic a further test for Murray
This is also the case with Milos Raonic at a similar price for his clash with Andy Murray. No doubt, Murray will take great heart from his three-set win over Alexander Zverev yesterday but Raonic will be another big test. Both players have struggled with injury in recent times but Raonic's underlying data is still impressive and shows him as a top ten player still - the [1.68] about the Canadian looks on the cusp of value.
Tsitsipas and Isner likely to create tiebreaks
I want to look, however, at a simple mathematical play for today's recommendation with John Isner and Stefanos Tsitsipas meeting in one of the later clashes. Even in fairly slow conditions, these two big-servers combine to create large pre-match expectation of a first set tiebreak. My model has this as a 56.4% chance (implied odds of 1.77) but we can get even money with the Sportsbook on over 12.5 games (exactly the same as a first set tiebreak). It's not a huge edge, but it's some value based on my numbers.
Among other matches, there is another fairly serve-orientated match with Matteo Berrettini facing Reilly Opelka, while Novak Djokovic is understandably a heavy favourite for his match against Tennys Sandgren, who has done well to make this stage. Djokovic is still seeded for a semi-final clash with Medvedev, but Thiem's exit in the bottom half of the draw has opened up that half and he may well benefit from a potentially easier opponent in the final, should he make it that far.
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