Wimbledon Men's Day Eight Tips: Tsitsipas can triumph over Isner
On 'Manic Monday', there are eight fourth-round matches at Wimbledon, and back to check out the value, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"I've been incredibly impressed with Tsitsipas this season, particularly on clay, but his level on clay was more predictable, as he had accumulated an excellent record in Challengers on that surface. I didn't expect him to be so strong on grass, but he's a player on a huge upward curve right now, and his grass stats are now very strong indeed too."
Nishikori gives us Saturday winner
We picked up a decent winner on Saturday as the heavy underdog, Kei Nishikori, didn't just cover the game handicap, but saw off the threat of Nick Kyrgios in straight sets. Today the Japanese player faces the resurgent Ernests Gulbis, with the former top 10 Latvian star having an excellent tournament so far and doing huge improvement to his battered current ranking. Nishikori is [1.29] to stop Gulbis' tournament today, and I make that about right.
Del Potro and Federer look short among the heavy favourites
Nishikori is one of a number of heavy favourites on today's men's schedule, with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic looking accurately priced at around the [1.10] mark as they face Jiri Vesely and Karen Khachanov, respectively. While I was keen to oppose Rafa on grass prior to the event, he's looked very strong in his first three rounds, and it will be interesting to see how he fares this week as the opposition quality increases.
Two other players are also a very heavy favourite, but look a little short at market prices. Juan Martin Del Potro looks very short indeed at [1.16], even against a declining Gilles Simon, and Roger Federer also does at [1.03], as he faces Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman, Mannarino, has commented how difficult the match-up will be, suggesting that 'Federer is Picasso, but I am an artist'.
I do like the chances of Mannarino to cover the +8.5 game handicap at around even money on the Exchange - you'd probably get a little bigger if you allow the market to settle - but I'd prefer Mannarino to be a stronger server to suggest this as a recommendation.
Tsitsipas value to negate Isner serve
The price I do like today is Stefanos Tsitsipas as an underdog at [2.74] as the Greek youngster faces John Isner. I've been incredibly impressed with Tsitsipas this season, particularly on clay, but his level on clay was more predictable, as he had accumulated an excellent record in Challengers on that surface. I didn't expect him to be so strong on grass, but he's a player on a huge upward curve right now, and his grass stats are now very strong indeed too.
You know what you're going to get with Isner across pretty much all surfaces - a big serve, a mediocre return and combined hold/break percentages just in excess of 100%, but Tsitsipas' combined data is similar and looks decent value at market prices.
Monfils' head to head lead in jeopardy
In other matches, Gael Monfils takes a bizarre 5-0 head to head lead into his match with Kevin Anderson, although admittedly many of those matches were a good while ago now. On that basis, it's difficult to ascertain how much relevance that historical series of results actually has. The South African is currently priced as a [1.81] favourite on the Exchange, which looks about right to me.
McDonald likely to keep matters close against Raonic
Finally, it wouldn't be a surprise if Mackenzie McDonald acquitted himself pretty well against Milos Raonic. While the American, McDonald, had a solid lower-level record on grass prior to Wimbledon, I doubt very much that many would have predicted he'd make the fourth round.
Making the quarter-finals would be a huge achievement today, and would make a massive difference to his world ranking, which currently stands just outside the top 100 - it would enable him to enter directly into a number of events he'd previously have been unable to.
Raonic has had a strange tournament, thrashing Liam Broady in the opening round, before struggling past John Millman and Dennis Novak subsequently, and it wouldn't surprise me if McDonald can keep this close, at the very least.
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Back Stefanos Tsitsipas to beat John Isner at [2.74]