The Western & Southern Open continues in New York today, and after an intriguing day's play on Saturday, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, gives his thoughts on Tuesday's schedule...
"Coric has underwhelmed a little in the last 12-18 months and my model quite likes the price at around 1.608/13 about Goffin, who should be in decent fitness having played a lot against high quality opposition in some of the exhibition events which took place in advance of the tour resuming."
Fitness-doubts perform well in first match back on tour
It was interesting to see that the three players I highlighted as having potential value with pre-lockdown injury issues all won on Monday, and it could well be that the pause of the Tennis tour has enabled them to get back to fitness. Andy Murray was pushed to a final set, which he won easily, against Frances Tiafoe, while Kevin Anderson (more on him later) got the better of Kyle Edmund. Meanwhile, Milos Raonic actually had fewer return break points than Sam Querrey, but key point performance got the job done against the American.
As with yesterday, matches get underway at 1600 UK time this afternoon, with 12 first round matches concluding the opening phase of the competition, plus two second round games as the Sunday schedule draws to a close.
Giron looks a false underdog against McDonald
In the first round matches, there's a couple of weird prices as there was yesterday. In an all-American clash, Marcos Giron looks decent value at first glance at around 2.1011/10 versus Mackenzie McDonald. Both players have qualified to be here, so have had some game-time already, and in the case of McDonald in particular, this will have been welcome match practice on the main tour after dropping outside the top 250 following long-term injury.
Both players have also played a variety of exhibition events during the pause of the main tour although in the majority of cases, most were against opponents of lowly rank and it's difficult to draw many conclusions from those. McDonald's data in non-exhibition matches since his injury hasn't been superb so he has a little to prove here.
Slower conditions may not be to MAnnarino's liking
In other first round matches, Adrian Mannarino would probably like conditions to be a little quicker than he's likely to find in New York, and this is a little concern prior to his meeting with John Millman. Based on year-long hard court data, the 2.166/5 about the Frenchman looks decent, although the market may be justifiably influenced by the likely conditions. As a slightly shorter-priced favourite, Aljaz Bedene looks a little generously priced at 1.608/13 against the clay-courter, Cristian Garin.
There are also a couple of potentially high-quality opening round matches, with Ugo Humbert - one of the most improved players of the last year or so - a slight favourite over Grigor Dimitrov, while another improver, Hubert Hurkacz, having chances in what looks quite an even match-up in these conditions against John Isner, who is a 1.774/5 favourite.
Anderson needing to serve better against Tsitsipas
Moving on to the second round matches, Kevin Anderson looks a little big at 3.90 against Stefanos Tsitsipas. I've made no secret in the past that I think that Tsitsipas is quite frequently over-rated by the market and he looks a little here too. Interestingly, though, Anderson actually faced more break points on serve than opponent Kyle Edmund in their first-round match yesterday and a big-server such as Anderson conceding 10 break point chances isn't really a positive to take into a match against upgraded opposition.
Goffin should be in reasonable fitness for Coric clash
Borna Coric eased to victory via retirement against Benoit Paire yesterday, with the Frenchman pulling out with illness, and this might have influenced the market for his meeting in the night match with David Goffin. Coric has underwhelmed a little in the last 12-18 months and my model quite likes the price at around 1.608/13 about Goffin, who should be in decent fitness having played a lot against high quality opposition in some of the exhibition events which took place in advance of the tour resuming.
However, I want to continue the watching brief here with most players still not having played a main tour match so far since lockdown. If I had to pick one, it would be Goffin, but I'm quite happy to see how today's schedule plays out before any main recommendations.
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