Wimbledon Men's Day Six Tips: Nishikori can keep matters close against Kyrgios
Day six action at Wimbledon sees the conclusion of round three, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to assess the schedule...
"Kyrgios has had major issues covering handicap lines on grass as a heavy favourite and opposing him again here looks a decent option."
Medvedev defeat brutal for 'momentum' backers
So near but yet so far was the theme from our Friday recommendation, with Daniil Medvedev fighting back from 2-0 down to go a break up in set five against Adrian Mannarino, for the Russian to then capitulate in the decider.
However, this brings into focus the question of 'momentum' in sport, which is an oft-used term, usually when it suits the agendas of commentators.
Having won the last two sets, and being an early break up in set five, it was evident that - for those who would believe it - Medvedev had all the 'momentum', and in the eyes of some, this would make him virtually guaranteed to triumph. My suspicion is that very few, and perhaps none of those would discuss his loss given such 'momentum' subsequently.
Nadal, Djokovic and Zverev all heavy favourites today
Today there are eight matches in round three and the winners of these matches will enjoy a rest day tomorrow, with no play on the Sunday of the first week at Wimbledon. Value is pretty thin on the ground, with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic looking fairly accurately priced as heavy favourites against Alex de Minaur and Kyle Edmund, respectively, and Alexander Zverev likewise as he faces Ernests Gulbis.
De Minaur is improving rapidly and Nadal may be surprised by the Australian's level, although it is a big ask for the youngster to win three sets, even on grass against Nadal. As for Edmund, his woeful record against big names makes it difficult to justify any stance supporting the Yorkshireman, although I am sure the English media will do their best to try.
Kyrgios looks vulnerable on the game handicap
Nick Kyrgios is a strong market favourite at [1.39] as he faces Kei Nishikori and I'm surprised he's so short, against an excellent player who albeit isn't probably at his best level. Kyrgios has had major issues covering handicap lines on grass as a heavy favourite and opposing him again here looks a decent option.
On the Exchange, there isn't much liquidity in the main +4.5 game line yet but I'm expecting this to settle - based on general market lines - between [1.80] and [1.85]. Taking this price, or putting orders in to try and achieve it, looks a solid strategy.
Del Potro vulnerable if Paire is fit
The other match that my model flagged up some value on, albeit slight, was Benoit Paire as a heavy [8.00] underdog against Juan Martin Del Potro, although I am still worried about the Frenchman's fitness - something that put me off a recommendation on him against Denis Shapovalov when my model also favoured him.
I can remember Paire giving Del Potro a really tough time on clay a number of years ago in their solitary meeting, in Rome, with his famed dropshot wreaking havoc. A repeat of this today isn't out of the question, as long as Paire's fitness does stand up.
Vesely may be able to overturn head to head
In other matches, Matt Ebden looks a fair slight favourite over Gilles Simon on grass. The Australian usually plies his trade on the Challenger tour but has a superb grass court record while Simon isn't nearly the player of old, and finally, Fabio Fognini takes a 3-0 head to head lead into his match with Jiri Vesely.
If you can find reasons to disregard the relevance of these previous matches, the Czech man, Vesely, looks a decent price at [2.68] - while his stats on other surfaces have taken a beating after a woeful year, they are still strong on grass and he looks around top 30 level on the surface.
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Back Kei Nishikori +4.5 games at around [1.80] to [1.85]