French Open Men's Singles Day Nine: Tiebreaks again likely in Isner match...
Monday's action at the French Open sees the remaining four matches of the fourth round. Returning to preview the schedule is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"We've profited from several Isner matches in the past week, backing the first-set tiebreak (7-6 to either player correct score) at odds against, and we can do the same again here today."
Outright market unconvinced by Zverev triumph
Alexander Zverev's win over Karen Khachanov yesterday at Roland Garros can only be described as an epic, with the German youngster - for the third consecutive match - coming from 2-1 down to win 3-2.
After the match, Zverev didn't seem overly concerned at questions regarding his accumulated fatigue - perhaps he's not quite understanding of these effects at this stage of his career - but the outright market is, with Zverev friendless and drifting out to [19.0], the biggest price he's been all tournament. We shall see the extent of this accumulated fatigue as he faces Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.
In the other matches on court on day eight, the aforementioned Thiem comfortably disposed of Kei Nishikori, while Novak Djokovic eased past Fernando Verdasco. Things weren't so easy for Sunday's other pre-match favourite, however, with David Goffin dumped out in a shock loss at the hands of Marco Cecchinato, who faces Djokovic in his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Nadal virtually guaranteed to progress
Today sees the return of the King of Clay, with Rafa Nadal looking strong in the event as he faces Max Marterer. Nadal is a virtual shoo-in to make the quarter-finals, priced at [1.01], and the damage he's likely to do to Marterer's serve is likely to prove critical to the German's hopes. My model gave Marterer a projected hold percentage of just 49.7% against the most dominant clay courter of all-time.
Fognini capable of giving Cilic a tough encounter
Marin Cilic is [1.47] against Fabio Fognini, which looks about right, although I will say that the Italian is a man for the big stage, and this may not be a comfortable ride at all for the Croat favourite, in a match where the winner faces either John Isner or Juan Martin Del Potro.
Tiebreaks again likely in Isner match
We've profited from several Isner matches in the past week, backing the first-set tiebreak (7-6 to either player correct score) at odds-against, and we can do the same again here today.
My model made this a 55% chance (implied odds of [1.82]) but the Sportsbook is again pricing this up generously, at 11/10. Quite surprisingly, the duo haven't combined to play over 50% of tiebreaks in their career head to head matches, which is something of a surprise and perhaps the reason why the Sportsbook have gone so big, but I'm not overly keen on assessing these head to head records, and would rather focus on the pure numbers that my model has generated.
Schwartzman return game makes him favourite against Anderson
Indeed, my model also quite liked Diego Schwartzman, as he faces Kevin Anderson for a quarter-final spot, almost certainly against Nadal. The diminutive Argentinian is a [1.76] favourite to get the win here, but Anderson, despite his big-serving nature, is no mug on clay.
However, it's Schwartzman's superb return data that gives him an edge on his favourite surface here, and he can reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final with a win today.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
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