Fourth round action at the US Open continues on Monday with the four remaining men's singles taking place. Dan Weston looks at the value...
"Zverev’s travails this season have been well documented and he’s played 14 sets so far in the tournament, going five against both Radu Albot and Frances Tiafoe, before scraping through a tight four-setter against Aljaz Bedene. Schwartzman on a slow hard court is a considerable upgrade in quality on those players."
Nadal and Federer shortening following Djokovic exit
Matches tonight in New York begin at 17:30 UK time and today's two heavy favourites, Gael Monfils and Rafa Nadal will be hoping to avoid a similar shock as last night where the world number one, Novak Djokovic, retired when two sets down against Stan Wawrinka. This has had some pretty profound effects on the outright market, with Nadal now an [2.22] outright favourite, and Roger Federer shortening to [3.30].
The big other market mover is the aforementioned Wawrinka, with the Swiss man now into [11.5] for the title, and I'll say this now - if Wawrinka wins the tournament, I will be genuinely amazed if the accumulative odds on his three remaining matches are less than this. I think this price is terrible value.
Rublev a little over-rated against Berrettini
Moving back to tonight's remaining fourth round matches, I'm surprised to see Andrey Rublev such a heavy favourite over Matteo Berrettini. The young Russian is [1.53] to progress to the quarter-finals, and there's not a great deal between the duo based on service/return points won on hard court this year in main tour matches - both are around the 103% combined mark.
The market is probably more pro-Rublev because of recent results, but it's worth noting that he's overperformed by 7.5% on break points faced on serve (based on service points won expectation) and I feel that there's probably a little bit of recency bias built into this price. Berrettini's actual hard court win-loss record this year isn't great but his stats would indicate he should have won more than he has, and he looks some value today.
Schwartzman with energy advantage over Zverev
However, I'm going for another underdog today in Diego Schwartzman. The Argentine has been superb here so far against limited opposition, winning each match by at least ten games and not dropping a set throughout, and he's [2.08] against a bigger name player in Alexander Zverev.
Zverev's travails this season have been well documented and he's played 14 sets so far in the tournament, going five against both Radu Albot and Frances Tiafoe, before scraping through a tight four-setter against Aljaz Bedene. Schwartzman on a slow hard court is a considerable upgrade in quality on those players.
Hard court data also in the Argentine's favour
This is illustrated by the hard court data for the two players this season. Schwartzman has won 2.4% fewer service points (not a surprise, given his height disadvantage) but has won 4.3% more return points, so even if we disregard the paths to get to this stage of the tournament, there's little argument to suggest Zverev to be favourite, except for reputation - which he's struggled to justify this year. Schwartzman is today's recommendation.
Monfils unlikely to be shocked by Andujar
The latter two matches on the schedule feature extremely heavy favourites, who both look pretty correctly priced. Gael Monfils is [1.21] against Pablo Andujar - I never thought I'd ever write that clay-courter Andujar has made it to the second week of a hard court Grand Slam - and unless Monfils struggles with injury again, it would be a real shock if the Spaniard knocked him out tonight.
Nadal a heavy favourite against Cilic
Finally, Nadal takes a 6-2 head to head lead into his match with Marin Cilic and the King of Clay looks about right at [1.12] against an opponent who has struggled this season. The head to head stats, however, doesn't flatter Nadal as much as they perhaps should do, although Cilic (60% of service points won in these matches) does look likely to struggle on serve against such a premier level returner.
Nadal has won his two matches so far in very straightforward fashion and I feel it would take both dramatic underperformance from him here, as well as Cilic getting back towards his peak level, for there to be an upset here.
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Dan's US Open P&L:-
13 Units Staked
18.07 Units Returned
Back Diego Schwartzman at [2.08] to beat Alexander Zverev