Wednesday's play at the Winston-Salem Open features all of the matches from round three and we're set for another hot, humid day at Wake Forest University.
It'll be quite tough going in the humidity, as the players indicated after Tuesday's play:
"I had to win free points, especially with the heat. I had to save myself a bit, and I could do [that] with good serves," said Richard Gasquet, while Dominic Thiem added: "It's very humid, you lose a lot of liquid here, a lot of sweat."
Round three of the Winston-Salem Open hasn't been the best one to back underdogs in lately, with only six of the last 32 (19% winning), with more upsets tending to happen in the later rounds here.
And value looks thin on the ground this time as well, with the odds for the most part difficult to argue with.
The one that could perform better than his odds suggest is Marc Andrea Huesler, who's on a roll at the moment, winning all six sets that he's played so far in Winston-Salem.
On Tuesday he took down last year's Winston-Salem finalist Mikael Ymer in straight sets and his awkward lefty, net-rushing game may take some time for defending champ Ilya Ivashka to come to terms with.
Ivashka hasn't been tested yet in this year's tournament, with an easy win over a misfiring Peter Gojowczyk his only outing thus far and Huesler should present more of a problem for Ivashka.
If we look at Ivashka's performances against left-handers recently we find that he's played a tie break in five of his last six and he's gone over 21.5 games an incredible 12 times in his last 13 main level matches against them.
He's faced Huesler once in his career so far and that was indoors at the Eckental Challenger at the end of 2020 when Ivashka served the better of the two in a 6-4, 6-4 victory in which both men won a similar amount of second serve points (69% and 66%).
Comparing the last-10 matches of the pair at main level shows that there isn't that much between them in terms of combined service points won/return points won: 101 for Ivashka and 96 for Huelser.
That's enough to make Ivashka a decent favourite, but 1.330/100 seems short and a few bets appeal here.
The over 21.5 games is clearly a bet that would have won in the vast majority of Ivashka's recent matches against lefties, but 1.674/6 is a bit short for me, so with Ivashka having been taken to three sets eight times in his last 13 against left-handers I like the 2-1 to Ivashka at 4.03/1 for half a point.
Gasquet a possible underdog option against Johnson
I was toying with the idea of backing Richard Gasquet against Steve Johnson at around 2.021/1, with Gasquet having a good record against big servers (13-6 win/loss) on outdoor hard in his career versus the ones in my database.
Gasquet also has a good record in Winston-Salem, with six wins from his eight matches, but Johnson also goes well here (20-8 win/loss) and usually plays his best tennis at home in the States.
I'm also a little concerned about Gasquet's fitness and stamina in hot and humid conditions, so I'll pass on that one.
Mannarino with big statistical advantage over Ramos
The other one that's priced up quite closely is the match between Albert Ramos and Adrian Mannarino and this pair of crafty left-handers have met on nine previous occasions, with Ramos winning all five on clay and Mannarino all four on hard courts.
That's pretty much what you'd expect in this match-up and on outdoor hard in the three matches that there are stats for it's been all Mannarino, who's held serve 85% of the time against Ramos.
Ramos has only held 64% of the time and in terms of combined service points won/return points won Mannarino leads the way by 108 to 92, which is a huge margin.
But in typical Mannarino style he's managed to drop a set in all three of those main level outdoor hard court meetings, which puts me off backing him to win this in straight sets.
In terms of combined service points won/return points won Mannarino leads the way by 108 to 92, which is a huge margin
Ramos won his first ever match in Winston-Salem against a poor John Millman on Tuesday, but I can't imagine he'll relish facing Mannarino on a hard court again, so this looks a match that Mannarino should win.
Mannarino was priced up at 1.834/5 and 1.855/6 the last two times that he faced Ramos on hard, so 1.768/11 today doesn't strike me as fabulous value.
I think this is a tricky day and better opportunities may come in tomorrow's quarter finals, so just one small bet for me on Wednesday.