After Thursday's play was suspended, the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open take place Friday evening and Dan Weston is surprised Raonic is the underdog...
"Tsitsipas has only broken opponents around 19% on hard court in the last 12 months, although has very solid service numbers, and we should see a pretty tight match here with single breaks, and probably, at least one tiebreak required."
Raonic value to continue progress
We picked up our third consecutive winner of an unbeaten week in New York with Milos Raonic fighting back to get the better of Filip Krajinovic in three sets on Wednesday night, before play was suspended yesterday. Matches resume this evening - we are scheduled for a 1800 UK time start - and it's that man Raonic back in action as he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final.
Raonic hadn't overly exerted himself prior to that win over Krajinovic - he had three straight set victories to his name by that stage - but the two and three-quarter hours he needed to beat Krajinovic may have taken it out of him if he had been required to play yesterday. However, a day off might be to the Canadian's benefit, and I think he's value as a [2.60] underdog to get the win here.
Return data still hindering Tsitsipas
Opponent Tsitsipas has seen support for the upcoming US Open's outright betting after progressing to this stage, and he's now the [8.4] third favourite for the tournament. Despite this, though, I have my doubts over the Greek man in Grand Slams, with his return game uninspiring and, statistically, not particularly matching the drivers for historical Grand Slam success over the last decade.
Tsitsipas has only broken opponents around 19% on hard court in the last 12 months, although has very solid service numbers, and we should see a pretty tight match here with single breaks, and probably, at least one tiebreak required. My model makes a first set tiebreak a 35% chance, so not as high as Tsitsipas' previous matches against John Isner and Reilly Opelka, but still, a solid chance compared to the average ATP match.
However, the big-serving Raonic's serve numbers are even better, and he doesn't have a large disadvantage on return over Tsitsipas, and I'm surprised to see him such a notable underdog here tonight. He's our recommendation this evening.
Djokovic likely to find joy on Bautista-Agut serve
In the second semi-final, matters are probably a little more clear-cut, with Novak Djokovic a heavy [1.18] favourite to get the job done against Roberto Bautista-Agut. The world number one looks accurately priced to make Saturday's final, and in their career head-to-head matches, has caused Bautista-Agut real headaches on the Spaniard's serve, with Djokovic breaking him almost 36% of the time. Interestingly, my pre-match projected hold model also gave Djokovic a 36% chance of breaking in a return game tonight.
Even if we look at the last three years in isolation, where they have won two apiece out of their four meetings, Djokovic has broken Bautista-Agut in just over 28% of games, and Bautista-Agut holding at these rates is not a way of obtaining consistent victories. I'd be quite surprised if we didn't see Djokovic playing for the trophy on Saturday evening.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
Back Milos Raonic at [2.60] to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas