Following Thursday's bumper schedule at the US Open, we now have third round action on Friday night. Back to discuss the value in some of the matches is Dan Weston...
"In short, Koepfer has ridiculously overperformed on the major luck/variance aspects in matches (and also in his bigger sample of Challenger Tour matches during this time period), and this will be virtually certain to mean revert in the not too distant future."
Evans victory creates scheduling disadvantage
We had two matches in play for us Thursday night in New York with Dan Evans getting a nice underdog win over Lucas Pouille, but fellow underdog Fernando Verdasco somehow losing to Hyeon Chung. Verdasco was two sets up as well as 5-2 up in the fifth set - a tough beat to take. So, we went one from two from those two recommendations.
Evans' reward is a third-round meeting with Roger Federer and just to double down on Evans' considerable scheduling disadvantage, he's been put on an early match (not before 1700 UK time) giving less than 24 hours turnaround from the end of that win against Pouille. It does make you wonder whether tournament organisers might favour the bigger name players...
With normal preparation, Evans would probably have a better chance and is priced at [6.20] against the Swiss legend, who is somewhat misfiring in this tournament. He competed well in their last meeting, at the Australian Open in January, losing 7-6 7-6 6-3, and has improved a lot since then - my concern would be that potential fatigue being an issue against an illustrious opponent.
Market concerned about Medvedev fitness
There's a couple of prices today which look too good to be true. Daniil Medvedev looked like he was struggling a little physically in the latter stages of his win over Hugo Dellien, and the market for his match tonight has reacted to this, pushing him out to a current [1.41] against Feliciano Lopez.
Scheduling has done him a favour - he's last on today - and in usual circumstances this price would be utterly absurd against the declining, veteran, Spaniard. Medvedev had to face 14 break points against clay-courter Dellien, who had barely any main tour hard court experience, and while he created 26 himself, such a display would likely see him get exposed by a higher level of opponent.
It's a simple question of fitness really. If Medvedev is fit, then it's a massive price. If not, then there's more of a debate. That's the gamble.
Koepfer benefiting from positive variance
Another player whose price would have looked rather strange in advance of the tournament is the [1.72] about Nikoloz Basilashvili against Dominik Koepfer. Bash, inside the top 20, has a marked statistical advantage over his German rival, Koepfer, who having qualified looks to be having something of a career breakthrough at the age of 25.
Players don't often make a dramatic splash onto the main tour at such an advanced age and generally there's an underlying/variance-driven reason as to why this is the case. In Koepfer's case, this is easy to see - in his five main tour matches in the last three months, he's 3-0 in tiebreaks, has overperformed by 13.1% on break points faced on served (based on service points won expectation) and overperfomed 6.7% on converting break points.
In short, Koepfer has ridiculously overperformed on the major luck/variance aspects in matches (and also in his bigger sample of Challenger Tour matches during this time period), and this will be virtually certain to mean revert in the not too distant future.
Basilashvili today's recommendation
With this in mind, Basilashvili at prices looks a price which is too good to not be today's recommendation. Even though he needed four sets to beat Jenson Brooksby in round two, he created 21 break point chances and Koepfer will need to continue his absurd saving rate in order to quell the pressure Basilashvili is likely to create.
Market also wary of Djokovic fitness
In other matches, a couple of underdogs - Alex De Minaur and Pablo Carreno-Busta - look a little under-rated by the market against Kei Nishikori and David Goffin, respectively, while I'm not sure at all that the current version of Stan Wawrinka should be as short as [1.10] against anyone on the main tour, even against a declining clay-courter in Paolo Lorenzi.
There's been debate about tournament favourite Novak Djokovic's fitness, and despite being a very strong favourite, the market looks a little defensive chalking him up at [1.08] against the limited American, Denis Kudla.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
Dan's US Open P&L:-
9 Units Staked
14.45 Units Returned
Back Nikoloz Basilashvili at [1.72] to beat Dominik Koepfer