Wimbledon Day Five Men's Tips: Bautista-Agut has a clear advantage over Khachanov

Spanish Tennis Player Roberto Bautista-Agut
Roberto Bautista-Agut looks value against Karen Khachanov...

The third round of the men's singles gets under way at Wimbledon and back with his preview of the day's action, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

"Over short and medium-term time frames, Bautista-Agut has better grass data than Khachanov by a fair distance. This season, he's won around 2% more service points and almost 8% more on return, while there was a not too dissimilar discrepancy in 2018 as well, and in 2017."

Cilic out in shock on day four

After a difficult start to the tournament, we managed to pick up a nice underdog winner yesterday with Steve Johnson triumphing over Alex De Minaur in five sets, and the American now meets Kei Nishikori in round three tomorrow.

In other matches yesterday, the main focus was on Marin Cilic who was dumped out by Joao Sousa in straight sets, while the fitness doubt John Isner struggled in five sets and was knocked out by Mikhail Kukushkin.

In the grudge match, Rafa Nadal's ability on return saw him edge Nick Kyrgios in a match which could have gone either way - Kyrgios' underarm ace was a real highlight though and I'm confused at those who don't view this as a legitimate tactic - if a player stands so far behind the baseline then they leave themselves open to such an approach.

Khachanov opposition continues

Moving on to today, there is just one match which my model was particularly enthused about, even with his market support, is Roberto Bautista-Agut looking value against Karen Khachanov. We've opposed the Russian twice already this tournament and continuing this is logical - if numbers suggest a player is over-rated in one match, they often are in the next. Soon Woo Kwon covered the game handicap easily for us against Khachanov in round one, but Khachanov took the key points in his win over Feliciano Lopez leaving us in this situation.

The rationale is simple - over short and medium-term time frames, Bautista-Agut has better grass data than Khachanov by a fair distance. This season, he's won around 2% more service points and almost 8% more on return, while there was a not too dissimilar discrepancy in 2018 as well, and in 2017.

Court time considerably less for Bautista-Agut

It's also worth noting that Bautista-Agut has spent considerably less time on court so far to get to this stage, 183 minutes compared to Khachanov's 352, and Khachanov's win over Kwon took longer than it has for Bautista-Agut to win two consecutive straight set encounters. With accumulated fatigue a key consideration in the men's Grand Slam best of five set format, this is another positive for the Spaniard.

They've met once before on grass - a five game victory for Bautista-Agut in Halle last summer - and I went back into my archives to look at my pre-match expectations for that meeting. Bautista-Agut was value according to my model in that match and he continues to look value today at the market price of 1.584/7, although I'm not delighted about those odds shortening since I priced it up yesterday morning.

Vesely not far from value against Paire

In other matches, Jiri Vesely doesn't look that far from value at 2.1011/10 against Benoit Paire - the conqueror of Alexander Zverev has very solid grass court data despite never really kicking on from the promise he showed as a young player breaking through on the Challenger Tour - while Guido Pella could potentially keep matters close at least, against Kevin Anderson in what is anticipated to be a pretty serve-orientated match-up.

Tiebreaks less likely in Raonic v Opelka on slower courts

However, as most readers will probably expect, the most serve-orientated match-up is Reilly Opelka against Milos Raonic. My numbers make the first set tie-break chance just under 50% here, but that's based on pre-tournament court speed considerations. If I was to use this year's Wimbledon data so far for court speed assessment, this falls to just shy of the 40% mark, aptly illustrating the markedly slower courts at Wimbledon this year.

We also see tournament favourite Novak Djokovic continue his campaign against the improving Hubert Hurkacz, while Daniil Medvedev's match with David Goffin is certainly one to watch with the market finding it difficult to split the duo. I make Goffin a very marginal favourite.

Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings and watch all the action from Wimbledon on Betfair Live Video

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