The US Open begins today at Flushing Meadows, with 32 first round matches on the schedule. Returning to discuss some of today's best bets is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"Over the last 12 months on hard court, Schwartzman is running at 102% combined service/return points won, which is decent but certainly not representative of his price against the Lithuanian here, who as mentioned is pretty competent on the surface himself."
With 32 matches on the card, and action beginning at 16:00 UK time, there's plenty to keep tennis bettors occupied over today and the coming two weeks. However, with such an abundance of matches on the card, highlighting a few specifically will be useful to summarise some of my thoughts.
The Big Matches:-
Even though this is round one, where every match features a seeded player versus an unseeded player, there's still plenty of fascinating clashes on the schedule.
Roberto Bautista-Agut 1.538/15 vs Nick Kyrgios 2.8615/8: Based on hard court numbers this year, Kyrgios looks some slight value at that underdog line. Having said that, he's not played an abundance of tournaments and we don't have the biggest sample size of his current level. Add to this his famed inconsistency, plus a recent injury, and it's tough to predict which Kyrgios will turn up today - but if he plays close to his average level at least he should be very competitive against Bautista-Agut, who hasn't got as good numbers this year as he has done in previous seasons.
Murray priced at double-digits to beat Tsitsipas
Andy Murray 12.011/1 vs Stefanos Tsitsipas 1.081/12: Some casual observers might be shocked to see Murray at double-digits to beat Tsitsipas, but since his injury comeback his fitness and underlying numbers haven't been great. He's only got past round two once this season in main tour events - at Wimbledon - although his losses have generally been against decent opposition. In addition, the best of five set format is unlikely to benefit the Scottish veteran, against Tsitsipas who comes into the event having reached the semi-finals in both of the August Masters 1000 events. We would have to see Murray roll back the years to get close to a shock here.
The Potential Value
Dusan Lajovic 2.486/4 vs Benoit Paire 1.664/6: Paire has been poor throughout this season and indeed, since the tour resumed last summer. The only thing which has been consistent about him is his inconsistency, although he did pick up a few underdog victories in Cincinnati several weeks ago. Lajovic is a pretty mediocre hard courter but there's nothing in the data which should suggest that he should be underdog here against the Frenchman.
Schwartzman looks short-priced against competent Berankis
Ricardas Berankis 7.206/1 vs Diego Schwartzman 1.152/13: There's no dispute that Schwartzman should be favourite here, but he looks short-priced against a pretty competent hard courter in Berankis. Over the last 12 months on hard court, Schwartzman is running at 102% combined service/return points won, which is decent but certainly not representative of his price against the Lithuanian here, who as mentioned is pretty competent on the surface himself. Berankis +7.5 games is 4/5 with The Sportsbook, which is today's recommendation.
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