US Open Men's Singles Day 5: Edmund underdog value against over-hyped Shapovalov

Roger Federer stumbled into the third round last night...
Roger Federer stumbled into the third round last night...

Friday's matches at the US Open sees the third round begin, and with some rather unheralded names taking to the court, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, looks at tonight's value...

"Shapovalov is another who fits into this bracket, to a certain extent, with a 6-2 tiebreak record underpinning his recent success, and given that he's only won 66.8% of service points, and a poor 33.1% on return, it's difficult to see him going far here without incredible improvement."

Federer with fitness doubt as he stumbles past Youzhny


The main talking point last night was Roger Federer's match against Mikhail Youzhny, with the Swiss legend again requiring the full five sets to outlast his fellow veteran, fighting back from 2-1 down when patently not fully fit. If it wasn't for The Colonel also struggling in the latter stages, it is far from inconceivable that I'd be writing about Federer's exit already.


Tonight's schedule more akin to a 250 event


Rafa also didn't have things completely his own way, dropping the first set to the Japanese clay-courter, Taro Daniel, and with Grigor Dimitrov joining Alexander Zverev as contenders falling by the wayside, we see a number of lower-ranked players with a third round berth.

Indeed, today's eight third round matches could easily be mistaken for a second round schedule at a 250 event, but this doesn't necessarily have to derail our search for pre-match betting value.


Lorenzi in uncharted territory against Fabbiano


In the opening match, at the age of 35 years, Paolo Lorenzi finds himself experiencing two rather new situations - this is just the second time that the Italian has been priced below 1.50 in a Grand Slam match, and the first time in his entire career that he's been a sub 1.50 favourite in a main tour match on hard court.

Lorenzi's opponent today, Thomas Fabbiano, looks a little generously priced at 1.4740/85 currently, and it's difficult to make a case for Lorenzi against his countryman at these prices.


Cilic potentially vulnerable against improving Schwartzman


Another player who looks a little short is Marin Cilic, who is far from proving his fitness, and he takes on the improving Diego Schwartzman, a player who will chase down a lot of balls and rarely gives up - as witnessed by his magnificent break deficit recovery percentage.

This style of opponent is not necessarily what Cilic would prefer at this stage of the tournament, and after breaking through from Challengers on the strength of his clay game, Schwartzman has done very well to improve to becoming a pretty competent hard courter. Cilic may not have things all his own way tonight at 1.282/7.


Zverev fitness an issue against over-rated Isner


The final heavy favourite who looks a little short is John Isner, at 1.321/3 against the older Zverev brother, Mischa.

However, I'm more reticent about Zverev's chances given that he's required two five-set wins to make it to this stage. Anyone keen on Mischa's chances may wish to adopt a strategy whereby a strong start is rewarded.

However, my preferred recommendation today is Kyle Edmund, as the Brit takes on the new sensation on tour, Denis Shapovalov.


Shapovalov not nearly as strong as market perceives


Quite incredibly, on the back of his win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday, Shapovalov has been backed into the 27.026/1 fifth favourite for outright glory, and this has shades of the Lukas Rosol outright market over-reaction following his win over Rafa at Wimbledon in 2012.

Over the last few weeks, I've mentioned over performance on break points a great deal, and how mean-reversion is almost certain, and again we benefited from this yesterday with our selection Leonardo Mayer, beating Yuichi Sugita, with the Japanese another to have significantly over-performed on key points this year.

Shapovalov is another who fits into this bracket, to a certain extent, with a 6-2 tiebreak record underpinning his recent success, and given that he's only won 66.8% of service points, and a poor 33.1% on return, it's difficult to see him going far here without incredible improvement.

Edmund's data this year is much better, winning a slightly less 65.8% of service points on hard courts but a much better 37.6% on return, and taking the absurd 2.407/5 on offer on the Brit is by far my best play this evening.


Recommended Bets

Back Kyle Edmund at 2.407/5 to beat Denis Shapovalov


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