Tuesday evening's action at the US Open sees the first two men's quarter-finals take place, and after a third win on the spin, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, gives his thoughts...
"My model had Isner at [3.44], making the current market line some value, but not enough to consider worthwhile - if it was a few ticks higher, around the [4.20] mark, I’d look at Isner as today’s recommendation."
Millman shocks Federer to give us a day eight winner
We picked up another winner on day eight of the US Open, although it may have disappointed many tennis fans - not only did John Millman cover the game handicap but he actually beat Roger Federer to make the quarter-finals.
The main beneficiary of this was Novak Djokovic, with the Serb now into the [2.34] market favourite purely due to the fact that he now has to play Millman, as opposed to Federer, in tomorrow's quarter final. I'll be looking at that Djokovic v Millman match in detail tomorrow.
Del Potro and Isner likely to create a serve-orientated match
Prior to this, however, there are the first two quarter-finals taking place tonight, with the first, Juan Martin Del Potro against John Isner, taking place not before 18:30 UK time. For this, Del Potro is the [1.34] market favourite, with Isner the underdog at [3.90]. My model had Isner at [3.44], making the current market line some value, but not enough to consider worthwhile - if it was a few ticks higher, around the [4.20] mark, I'd look at Isner as today's recommendation.
As most readers will suspect, I anticipate it to be a rather serve-orientated match-up. Del Potro's projected hold percentage is in the mid 90s, with Isner's also just below the 90% mark. However, these numbers - on a not particularly quick hard court venue - only generate a first set tiebreak percentage of around 35% based on my numbers, and certainly doesn't make the 4/5 with the Sportsbook on 7-6 to either player in the first set as value.
It's difficult to recommend a pre-match line here, unless Isner drifts around five ticks or so, but I do expect a pretty competitive match, and certainly, not a walk in the park for the Argentine.
Nadal with a considerable return edge over Thiem
Indeed, the second quarter-final tonight is unlikely to be a walk in the park either for our outright pick, Rafa Nadal. Prior to the tournament, a quarter-final against an out of form and injured Dominic Thiem probably wouldn't have worried me too much, but Nadal wasn't at his best in the previous round - a four set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili - while Thiem impressed with a 3-0 win over Kevin Anderson, as underdog.
Even saying this, Nadal is still a [1.30] favourite, and my model broadly agreed with this line. Across the last 12 months on hard court, he's held 0.6% more than his Austrian rival, and broken opponents 9.4% more, so he does boast a considerable edge.
In addition, they've met on 10 previous occasions, with Nadal winning seven, but every single head to head match has been on clay - it's difficult also to work out the value of this lead. It's also worth noting that Thiem has performed best against Nadal in quicker clay conditions - when the conditions have been slower, he hasn't found answers against the King of Clay.
However, as with the first match, I can't recommend a position at market prices. Perhaps the best avenue for this evening is either to wait for a drift on Isner, or to look at potential in-play angles during the matches.
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Dan's US Open 2018 P/L
P/L: + 3.39pts (17.84% return on investment)