US Open Men's Singles Day Six: Back Troicki at generous odds against Dolgopolov

Viktor Troicki represents underdog value tonight...
Viktor Troicki represents underdog value tonight...

With most of the big names left in the US Open men's singles draw in action on day six our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, checks out the schedule as the third round reaches completion...

"Dolgopolov is 5-8 on hard court this year in main tour matches, with Troicki's 8-9 record better, and looking at service and return points won percentages, there's little to split the duo"

Schwartzman causes another first-week shock

Another outright market contender fell by the wayside last night, as Marin Cilic - a fitness doubt coming into the event - was defeated in four sets by Diego Schwartzman, who survived a considerable wobble from a double break up in set four to go break point down several times on his second attempt to serve the match out.

Schwartzman's reward is a certainly winnable fourth round match against Lucas Pouille, while the Denis Shapovalov bandwagon rolls on following Kyle Edmund's disappointing retirement with a neck injury in their match. The Canadian - now absurdly into the third favourite for the tournament - faces Pablo Carreno-Busta for a quarter final place, and I'll discuss this match in detail in tomorrow's preview.

Fitness doubts for Federer in advance of Lopez match

Before we consider tomorrow's fourth round matches, we have eight matches in the third round today, and there are some bizarre prices in a few, although the heavy favourites Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer are correctly priced, and Federer's price against Feliciano Lopez would be a fair bit shorter if it wasn't for the fitness doubts which clearly beset him in the latter stages of his win over Mikhail Youzhny - my model factored these in when pricing up the match.

Thiem with historical success against Mannarino

Dominic Thiem is another fairly heavy favourite at 1.331/3 against the flashy Adrian Mannarino, and this would be short if it wasn't for the 5-0 head-to-head lead that the Austrian enjoys, and it's worth noting that despite his record in games between the two being dominant, he's only had one particularly easy win - Mannarino has been competitive in the other four.

Dolgopolov short for Troicki match-up

The first match where I feel the prices are strange is Viktor Troicki against Alexandr Dolgopolov with Troicki friendless in the market, opening just shy of 3.02/1 and drifting to 3.2011/5.

In their match at Indian Wells in March, Troicki was priced around the 2.26/5 mark, and while it's fair to say that Troicki's form has been extremely underwhelming since becoming a father fairly recently, it's not like Dolgopolov has particularly impressed either.

Dolgopolov is 5-8 on hard court this year in main tour matches, with Troicki's 8-9 record better, and looking at service and return points won percentages, there's little to split the duo, and this makes Troicki a marginal underdog for this, not dissimilar to his price at Indian Wells six months ago.

Certainly, Troicki's motivation has been questionable over recent months, but if he's not motivated here in the third round of a Grand Slam, then he may as well quit the sport, and I feel he is a decent price for this.

Dzumhur value against over-rated Rublev

I also think Damir Dzumhur is an utterly absurd price at 2.1411/10 against Andrey Rublev, a player with decent potential but who has done little at main tour level so far.

Dzumhur offering value was fairly predictable - the market frequently over-reacts when young players record a few wins (case studies: Shapovalov and Alexander Zverev) - and similar to Schwartzman yesterday, is another clay courter who has done well to improve and record some solid hard court results.

The Bosnian, Dzumhur, is bang in form following his run to the final in Winston Salem, and also the week before in a clay Challenger in the Dominican Republic (where he lost to the altitude king, Victor Estrella) and while he's played a lot of matches of late, it's worth noting that only two of his 11 warm-up matches (he won nine) went to three sets. Furthermore, he's managed to drop just one set so far in his run to this stage, and accumulated fatigue isn't a huge worry.

Market again keen to keep Del Potro onside

Finally, Juan Martin Del Potro looks very over-rated at 2.166/5 for his clash with Winston Salem champion Roberto Bautista-Agut, and I like the Spaniard's chances here as a very marginal favourite.

Del Potro seems to be another player the market is keen to keep onside, which doesn't make much sense given his injury record and mediocre return data since his return to tour from yet another wrist surgery.

Recommended Bets
Back Viktor Troicki at 3.2011/5 to beat Alexandr Dolgopolov
Back Damir Dzumhur at 2.1411/10 to beat Andrey Rublev


Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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