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ATP French Open Day 9: Murray unlikely to have an easy ride from Khachanov

Andy Murray's clay data is far from elite level...
Andy Murray's clay data is far from elite level...
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The latter stages of the French Open are starting to take place, and after today's four matches we will know the identity of the quarter-finalists. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the fourth round action...


"Khachanov's clay data this year is very solid indeed for a player who has just turned 21 - he's won 10 of 15 matches and in the process, has held serve 82.7% of the time, breaking opponents 22.8% (combined 105.5%)."

Two leads blown by ATP selections over the weekend


Frustratingly our ATP selection yesterday, Milos Raonic, replicated Kyle Edmund's display on Saturday and lost from a 2-1 lead. However, I'll be brutally honest, even when Raonic broke to level the fifth set at 5-5, it was an utter travesty - quite simply, he didn't deserve to win with a total of 84 unforced errors, compared to opponent Pablo Carreno-Busta's 28 - the Canadian's level was very low indeed.

However, we've still had a solid ATP campaign - although nothing compared to our WTA successes - and I'm looking to get back on track today by taking on Andy Murray against Karen Khachanov.


Murray short-priced against talented Khachanov


Murray is a current [1.16] in the opener to beat the young Russian, and I'm finding it impossible to like the Scotsman at such a low price - in the last 12 months on clay, he's held serve 78.9% of the time, while breaking opponents 33.9% (combined 112.8%) and these mediocre serve numbers are quite indicative of his serve ability this past week in Paris, where he's only held 84.6% despite being an overwhelming favourite to beat vastly inferior opponents.

Opponent Khachanov's clay data this year is very solid indeed for a player who has just turned 21 - he's won 10 of 15 matches and in the process, has held serve 82.7% of the time, breaking opponents 22.8% (combined 105.5%).

Of course, these numbers are worse than Murray's, but not as bad as to indicate such market prices. Khachanov's serve data is pretty strong, and we can back the Russian +6.5 games at [1.92] to keep the match close, at the very least.


Verdasco not without a chance against frail Nishikori


On court at the same times as Murray and Khachanov is Fernando Verdasco, who takes on Kei Nishikori. The Spaniard, at [2.44] will certainly have his supporters against the physically frail Japanese player, who just about outlasted Hyeon Chung in the previous round, but my model made market prices about right.

Later on this afternoon, not before 1:30pm, sees the second batch of matches, with Marin Cilic at [1.28] favoured by the market to get past Kevin Anderson in what is likely to be quite a serve-orientated encounter. My model agreed with this line.


Outright pick Wawrinka facing tough Monfils test


Finally, our outright selection, Stan Wawrinka, is a heavy favourite at [1.34] to defeat the enigmatic Frenchman, Gael Monfils, and my model did make this quite short against a talented, but frequently flaky opponent. Monfils at his best could make Wawrinka's afternoon very difficult indeed, but we will need Wawrinka to beat Monfils, and then either Cilic or Anderson to cash our 'to win the quarter' outright bet.


Recommended Bet

Back Karen Khachanov +6.5 games at [1.92]


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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings


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