With day five at the US Open a few hours away, it's time to have a close look at the men's singles third round matches. Dan Weston previews the action...
"In the last 12 months on hard court, Pella has outperformed Basilashvili considerably on serve, winning 66.6% of service points to 59.0%, and also has an edge on return winning 39.2% on return, as opposed to 36.9%."
Favourites again performing well on day four
Yesterday's pick, on what was discussed as a day where value was thin on the ground, Jaume Munar on the game handicap, ended up in defeat despite an attempt at a comeback during the third set.
Yet again, the vast majority of matches ended up going with the favourite - Mikhail Kukushkin's win over Hyeon Chung, who hasn't been fully fit in recent months - being the exception so there is a virtually fully strength draw still as the tournament reaches the third round stage.
Kyrgios with curious exchange with umpire Lahyani
Despite this, yesterday's action wasn't devoid of talking points, with Nick Kyrgios' match with Pierre-Hugues Herbert being of particular focus.
At a set and a break down, Kyrgios was approached by umpire Mohamed Lahyani, and although there have been various different speculations as to the nature of the conversation, the volatile Australian talent managed to cruise through the rest of the match subsequently from this losing position. He now faces Roger Federer in a mouthwatering meeting tomorrow night - more on this in tomorrow's preview.
Pella the fresher player against Basilashvili
Moving on to today's card, I only found value on one player - Guido Pella. The Argentine faces Nikoloz Basilashvili this evening having cruised through his two opening matches for the loss of just 16 games across six sets.
Opponent Basilashvili, on the flip side, has toughed out nine sets, spending almost two hours extra on court, and there have been some question marks over his fitness as well, in any case. With all this in mind, Pella does look generously priced at the current [1.74] on the Exchange.
Pella with the statistical advantage
In the last 12 months on hard court, Pella has outperformed Basilashvili considerably on serve, winning 66.6% of service points to 59.0%, and also has an edge on return winning 39.2% on return, as opposed to 36.9%, and these numbers bear testament to the improvement on Pella on hard court in recent times.
I can remember the days where he was virtually a walking bye on any surface which wasn't clay, and Pella does deserve credit for working on his non-clay game. Opponent Basilashvili tends to do his best work in quick conditions, and I don't anticipate him finding them here. At these prices, it's Pella for the win.
Outright picks Coric and Nadal in action
This meeting is probably the lowest profile match on the entire schedule, with Rafa Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro and John Isner all pretty justifiably heavy favourites to come through their third round matches, and as well as our main outright selection, Nadal, we also have our other pick, Borna Coric in action, as he faces Daniil Medvedev, who won for us on Wednesday.
While I felt Medvedev was decent value against a slightly over-rated Stefanos Tsitsipas then, his price against Coric in another Next-Gen clash looks much more realistic, with Coric priced at [1.68] at the time of writing.
In addition, my model - when taking into account Stan Wawrinka's data from the last three months only - also agreed with the market for his meeting with Milos Raonic. When this was considered, Raonic's line of [1.79] looks about right.
With numerous big names in action, today's matches at Flushing Meadows look to be excellent prospects for the neutral, and hopefully a few of these players will be tested by a couple of the less illustrious names on tour.
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