February 2014 Archive


Carla Suarez Navarro's match with Klara Zakopalova looks to have great trading potential...

It's the quarter finals in Sao Paulo today and the semi finals everywhere else as this week's tournaments get towards the business end.

Today's matches are fairly tough to assess with all players that my model indicated value on having various doubts over them which has made me feel that there isn't much in the way of reliable pre-match picks.

No doubt that if Klara Zakopalova isn't feeling the exertions of the last fortnight, she is value at around 2.35 against Carla Suarez Navarro in Florianopolis but I can't consider that a given.

Projected holds are very low for this and if Zakopalova's game is on, CSN's serve should be greatly pressured here.

Not only this, combined scores are above the required 105 when both players are a break up, so laying either player when leading is recommended.

Suarez Navarro lost a break lead 52.68% in the last 12 months with Zakopalova recovering a deficit 56.76%, whilst Zakopalova lost a break lead a huge 63.64% and CSN recovered one 44.68%, which is low but still takes the combined score over 105.

I feel Dominika Cibulkova is short at 1.33 for her match with Shuai Zhang in Acapulco but Zhang's record as a heavy underdog doesn't inspire huge confidence.

I do feel that laying Cibulkova's serve from the off and seeing how things progress using the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet triggers from Rolling Projected Holds is the way forward here.

In men's action, Juan Monaco doesn't have a great record as a slight favourite but looks to be some value against Paolo Lorenzi in Sao Paulo with the market very much against the Argentine at 1.56 after some recent poor displays. 

He got past Albert Ramos yesterday despite conceding 18 break points to Ramos' 7 which is one of the biggest winners discrepancies I can remember for a fair while.

Lorenzi's projected hold is low for this and his serve can be laid at almost all times when the price is viable.  

Furthermore, the Italian can be laid when a break up as he gives up a break lead 34.48% and Monaco recovers a break deficit 50.85% in the last 12 months - giving a combined score of 85.33 when Lorenzi is a break up - well above the required 75 in the ATP.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Donald Young's match with Gilles Simon should be good to trade today...

Today's matches got underway around an hour ago and whilst there's not much value abounding on the ATP side today, there is a match which has excellent trading potential.

Both Gilles Simon and Donald Young (above, pictured) are much better on return than serve with both posting very weak serve numbers.

This leads to two low projected holds and Simon is perhaps a little short at 1.34 for this.  However with projected holds this low, opposing either server can be considered in most circumstances, according to the Rolling Projected Holds in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet, and also laying Young when a break up is recommended.

The stats in the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet show that Simon recovered a break deficit a strong 42.86% in the last 12 months, and Young's stats when a break up were horrific - losing a break lead 58.82%.  This gives a combined score of 101.68 when Young is a break up - much higher than the required 75.

In WTA action, I feel the match between Alexandra Dulgheru and Teliana Pereira could also have breaks in it with both players having stronger return stats than service stats, although sample size on Pereira on a hard court is small.

Projected holds are low and close and make Dulgheru the slight favourite, which is what the markets do too.

Laying either player's serve in most circumstances looks viable according to the triggers, and laying either player a break up - both have lost a break lead over 60% - particularly Dulgheru, also appeals.

Finally I feel Kimiko Date-Krumm should be favourite against Christina McHale and I'd be surprised if she didn't at least trade a fair bit lower, and take a set at the very minimum.

The Japanese veteran edges two projected holds a little below WTA mean, but the swings her should come when a player leads by a break.

Date-Krumm is one of the worst in the WTA for holding onto a break lead, losing it 67.35% in the last 12 months.  The combined score when she leads by a break is 114.72 when McHale's 47.37% deficit recovery is factored in.

McHale lost a break lead 57.89% in the same time period and with Date-Krumm recovering 48.72% of the time, this is also above the required 105 for laying the player a break up in this.

This match could well be a bit of a comedy of errors with both players struggling to get a convincing lead.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


David Goffin's matches tend to make for excellent trading material...

54 matches today and there's not far off 24 hour trading conditions for those who don't like sleeping...

Four matches got underway around half an hour ago leaving just the 50 to get my teeth into for today's selected match previews.

With such a lot of matches available, I thought I'd write a little on quite a few matches, as opposed to a lot on a few matches.

In Dubai, I like the chances of Ivan Dodig at around 1.50 against the usually over-rated Sergiy Stakhovsky and laying the Ukranian's serve with a low projected hold looks good in a lot of circumstances.

Teymuraz Gabashvili's match with James Ward looks good for trading with two low projected holds.  Ward has improved notably of late but does have a worse hard court challenger record than Gabashvili, who is justifiably favourite, although perhaps a little short at 1.47.

Breaks and swings look very possible in the Nikolay Davydenko and Andrey Golubev match with again two low projected holds on display.  Davydenko's service stats have declined significantly lately and he stands at just 69.0% holds on hard court in the last 12 months.

Donald Young retired in qualifying in Acapulco with a shoulder injury but without seeing his match it's difficult to know if this was a precaution or whether he's taking advantage of the vagaries of the lucky loser system.  He faces Jarkko Nieminen today and Nieminen, who isn't without fitness issues himself, still looks value at 1.44.  Laying Young a break up here looks a great play.

Lukasz Kubot's match with David Goffin looks to have fantastic potential for trading with two very low projected holds and two very high combined scores when either player leads by a break.  You shouldn't go far wrong in the long run laying either player's serve or either player a break up in this match-up.

Julian Reister's serve stats on clay in the last 12 months are atrocious and in Sao Paulo he takes on Andreas Haider-Maurer in a very low quality affair.  Value perhaps on AHM as an underdog but you can read the same for this match as Kubot v Goffin.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez looks value against Rogerio Dutra Silva with the Brazilian rarely winning at ATP level.  Opposing Silva should work well here.

In WTA action, in Florianopolis, both Kiki Bertens and Sesil Karatantcheva have awful stats on hard court and both could struggle to hold serve here.  I don't have in-play stats on Karatantcheva but I'd be surprised if either held much more than they were broken.

Klara Zakopalova had a long week last week and Donna Vekic has ability - however with Vekic's ridiculously poor break point stats being a big obstacle for her to overcome, Zakopalova is fairly priced at 1.50.  If Vekic can address this issue she will become a serious player.

Projected holds are low as usual for a Zakopalova match and we should be able to get an idea of how this match will go in the opening few games - whether Zakopalova puts up much of a fight if she goes a few games behind is up for debate.

Teliana Pereira has awful hard court stats in main draw and qualifying matches and I'm surprised to see Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor the underdog here, as she's taken wins from Pironkova & Zakopalova on the surface in the last 12 months, so she's clearly no mug on hard courts, despite both preferring clay.

Pereira's projected hold is super low and I feel opposing her in any way, shape or form is the way to go - laying her serve or her when a break up looks good.

Over in the women's event in AcapulcoYvonne Meusburger could be some value at 1.94 against Sharon Fichman who had a good run in the Midland ITF event 2 weeks ago and qualified here.

As with Zakopalova, you can almost guarantee low projected holds on a Meusburger match so opposing the server, particularly Fichman, should work well here.

I feel that both Shahar Peer and Caroline Garcia offer value as underdogs against Eugenie Bouchard and Lourdes Dominguez Lino respectively but Bouchard tends to get the job done with minimum fuss when short priced, and how much confidence anyone can have with Garcia at the moment is up for question.

Finally a welcome back to tour for Iveta Melzer (ex Benesova) against Victoria Duval - after 18 months away from the tour it's tough to have any idea how this match will go though.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Andreas Seppi's match with Florian Mayer could be good for trading...

Today's five tournaments get started in around an hour at ATP Dubai and one match which should be good to trade is the clash between Andreas Seppi (above, pictured) and Florian Mayer.

Certainly the German has had a much better 2014 season so far and starts the match at around 1.55 favourite.  Based on stats that's probably a little short but fairly understandable given a noticeable decline in Seppi lately.

Those stats generate two projected holds a little below ATP average on courts that may play a little slowly (service holds were 2.1% below ATP average last year) and both players look vulnerable a break up.

Seppi lost a break lead 46.88% in the last 12 months which is very high, and with Mayer's 33.82% break deficit recovery percentage around average, the combined score when Seppi leads by a break is 80.7% - above the required 75 in the ATP.

Mayer lost a break lead 35.96% and Seppi recovered a break deficit 41.38%, so the combined score when Mayer leads by a break is also above 75 - 77.34.

Both the ATP & WTA events in Acapulco are now on hard courts after switching from clay and the opener between Dudi Sela and Alejandro Falla appeals on a trading basis.

Sela's matches generally feature many breaks and swings and this is natural with his stats indicating 64.4% holds and 33.3% breaks on hard court in the last 12 months.

Prices are just coming through but Falla is currently a best price 1.77 which seems to be a touch of value.

Projected holds are both very low for this and laying the server when the match is on serve looks good in all circumstances based on the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Daily Spreadsheet.

Furthermore, both players struggle to hold onto break leads with Sela losing one a whopping 62.50% in the last 12 months, and Falla doing so 51.61%.  Both combined scores are gigantic so laying either player a break up looks to have a huge edge.

Finally, WTA action in Florianopolis gets underway after it was delayed yesterday and the match between Anna Schmiedlova and Monica Niculescu looks good for trading with projected holds both low.

Last year in Brazil service holds were low in this event (4.2% below WTA hard court mean) and I'd expect Schmeidlova to struggle to hold in particular (Niculescu has broken a superb 52.1% on hard courts in the last 12 months).  

The combined score on her when a break up is a massive 126.79 - she has lost a break lead 75.00% in the last 12 months whilst Niculescu has recovered a deficit an average 51.79% of the time.

Laying Schmiedlova when a break up, with a low projected hold and a high combined score, hugely appeals.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Kurumi Nara's match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino should feature breaks...

Four of this week's tournaments reach the quarter final stages today, and the WTA event in Dubai plays the semi-finals.  

Despite there being 18 matches today, there really isn't an abundance of value to be had based on pre-match prices, although that wasn't the case yesterday, with TennisRatings Tips subscribers celebrating three wins out of three, as Roger-Vasselin, Sousa and Sousa +1.5 sets all came in.

Due to this lack of value, today's previews will focus on the matches where I feel there will be a lot of breaks and swings, and these come in WTA Rio.

The quarter final line-up in Brazil is hardly the who's who of the WTA and it's worth noting that only three of the eight remaining competitors have average service holds over 57.1%.  Considering the WTA mean on clay is 61.3%, this illustrates that service holds could be a struggle for many women today.

However we don't necessarily need the biggest matches to find the best trading angles and today's stats show this.

Kurumi Nara (above pictured) takes on Lourdes Dominguez Lino in the opener and projected holds are very low for this indeed, and I feel that both women could struggle to hold more often than they get broken.  

Clay data is scarce on Nara, who has only played the matches this week on the surface in the last year but using some qualifier stat adjustments in combination with her stats this week lead me to believe her serve will not thrive.  Certainly, at 5 foot 2, she isn't built to be a big server...

Lino starts as slight favourite, currently at around 1.83 and that's fairly reasonable.  In such a competitive match I'd recommend to lay either player's serve from the off and then apply break-back percentages once a player goes a break up.

These show that Lino, in particular, is vulnerable a break up and should be laid in that situation.

In the last 12 months, when a break up, she's lost that lead 59.65% of the time, whilst Nara has recovered a break deficit to go back on serve 51.85%.  This leads to a combined score of 111.50 which is above the required 105 to take such action.

Whilst Nara loses a break lead a similar amount - 58.33% - Lino doesn't get leads back enough to warrant the same course of action, doing so just 45.10%.  This means laying Nara has marginally positive expectation at 103.43 (average is 98.26) but it's below the 105 threshold.

I think Klara Zakopalova's match with Katarzyna Piter should also feature breaks (as usual with Zakopalova) and as 1.22 favourite, the Czech has a reasonable edge of two low projected holds.

They indicate Zakopalova is perhaps a little short for this but as Nara, there's a lack of decent main draw clay data for Piter.

This lack of data basically means I don't have in-play stats on Piter but I do like the options of laying Zakopalova a break up here, with her being a touch short, and having a low projected hold.  

Piter's projected hold is woeful too and she should struggle to hold more often than she gets broken but unless she can lead in this we may not get the chance to oppose her serve realistically.

The final match I want to assess is Teliana Pereira against Irina Begu with Pereira - who starts as a 1.67 favourite - edging two more low projected holds.

Begu in particular has a very weak service game but has much better return stats.  

With the combined score when Begu is a break up being a huge 136.73 (it is very rare that a player has a combined score this big) laying Begu a break up is mandatory.

Laying either player's serve when the match is on serve also works well for me.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


I like the chances of Dinah Pfizenmaier in Rio this afternoon...

Today's matches have been underway for several hours so I will preview some of this afternoon/evening's matches.

Soon to start at WTA Rio de Janiero is Katerzina Piter agianst Dinah Pfizenmaier with Pfizenmaier the 1.65 favourite.

I really feel this an excellent price on the German, who has strong clay stats from 11 WTA matches on the surface in the last year.

Piter's only WTA clay match in that time period was her unsurprising first round win over Haddad Maia and her clay qualifying stats aren't great at all, and she lost 5/9 in the last 12 months.

On the flip side Pfizenmaier won 8/9 clay qualifiers in addition to her strong WTA record and I'd be surprised if she lost this.

With a low projected hold and a non-value price, laying Piter's serve in many circumstances can be considered according to the Rolling Projected Holds in the TennisRatings Tier Two Spreadsheet.

Another match of interest is the standard Klara Zakopalova match - today she faces Silvia Soler-Espinosa, who after a torrid hard court season, must be delighted to get back on her favoured dirt.

Both have very low projected holds for this and Soler-Espinosa's is especially low - I expect her to have real issues holding consistently today and it wouldn't surprise me at all if she was broken more often than she held.

As she's given up a break lead 53.33% and Zakopalova has recovered a break deficit 56.76%, the combined score when Soler-Espinosa is a break up is over the required 105, so laying the Spaniard when a break should be viable.

Due to Soler-Espionosa's woeful 36.96% break deficit recovery, sadly the same cannot be considered when Zakopalova is a break up.

In around an hour, Alize Cornet takes on Kirsten Flipkens in Dubai and I feel there is value on the Frenchwoman here against an opponent that hasn't hugely impressed in the first couple of months of the season.  

Flipkens' stats have detiorated in the last six months and I make Cornet much stronger favourite than the current 1.85.

Flipkens has a low projected hold for this so I feel opposing her serve from the off is a good plan, and using the triggers from the Tier Two Spreadsheets should create some future entry points.

However the combined score on her when a break up isn't high enough to lay her a break up as a longer-term trade.

In ATP action, I feel David Ferrer is way too short at 1.09 against Federico Delbonis, who is a player of high potential on clay.

No doubt Ferrer should be heavy favourite but this price is ridiculous considering he's declined a little, and had a long week last week.  

He will probably win but Delbonis is no mug, and has a good record when heavy underdog so will not be overawed at all - let's not forget he beat Federer on clay last year.

I feel a lay-to-back of Ferrer is the way forward here, especially as, without a high projected hold, he could easily drop serve early before recovering.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Klara Zakopalova's matches are often superb trading material...

WTA Rio is my focus today, as it features some matches with huge trading potential today with projected holds low, and break-back potential high.  With almost all matches streamed, this should be an excellent day for trading in Brazil.

The top seed Klara Zakopalova (above, pictured) starts her campaign today against the Columbian clay courter, Mariana Duque-Marino, and as generally the case with the Czech, projected holds are low.

Zakopalova's is 'less bad' than Duque Marino's and justifies her current price at around 1.39, with her break point 'clutch' score much better.

Opposing Duque Marino's serve when possible seems a huge play and also, opposing either player a break up makes statistical sense.

The WTA Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet shows that Zakopalova, when a break up, gave it back 63.64% and Duque Marino recovered a break deficit 50.00% in the last 12 months.

Duque Marino, when a break up was even worse!  She lost a break advantage 71.43% of the time, with Zakopalova recovering it 56.76%.  

This takes the combined score way over the required 105 to lay either player a break up.

Another match where this is the case is the clash between Alexandra Cadantu and Teliana Pereira, and Cadantu's recent injury doubts must be the reason why Pereira is short at 1.53.  

Both projected holds are low and close, and with both women losing break leads and recovering break deficits over 50%, their combined scores are also way over 105, at 119.89 and 112.27 respectively.

Laying either player's serve on serve, particularly Pereira's seems a good starting point and using the triggers from the Rolling Projected Holds in the Tier Two Spreadsheets afterwards, is the way to go here.

Laying either player a break up is definitely viable too.

Finally Irina Begu is around evens for her match with Vania King and projected holds are again, low for this.  The Romanian held just 45.3% on clay in 2012, breaking exactly the same figure.

I have to mention as well that Begu is one of the worst players in the WTA for holding onto a break lead, losing it 65.22% in the last 12 months.  King's break deficit recovery is around average at 51.35% so laying Begu a break up is definitely recommended.

As with the other matches above, laying each player's serve initially and using Rolling Projected Holds to proceed is also viable.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Alison Van Uytvanck may struggle on clay today...

5 tournaments greet me on my return from New York and there will be plenty for bettors and traders to get their teeth into this week.

As always, Monday starts off fairly quietly and the three early matches in WTA Dubai have been completed.  Both matches remaining there look fairly accurately priced although Sorana Cirstea and Roberta Vinci, who has been very disappointing in 2014, both have low projected holds for their match.

The WTA also has its first clay event of the season and it's a very low quality affair in Rio De Janeiro.

Rio is a new event so it will be interesting to see how the courts play and I will be keeping an eye on this throughout the week.

With the field being low in quality, decent stats are hard to come by today but two matches that could be interesting to traders are the matches between Johanna Larsson and Alison Van Uytvanck and also Nicole Gibbs against Paula Ormaechea.

Larsson has a strong 9-6 record on clay in the last 12 months and clay stats are fairly limited on Van Uytvanck, but in two WTA matches on the surface in the last year she only held 7.7%...

In 2 main draw matches and 3 qualifiers she's held a combined 57.5% and broken 30.8% and those are obviously poor stats.  She has mixed ITF success on the surface, winning the Chiasso clay event last year (however she was priced under 1.50 for all 5 matches - so clearly played inferior opposition) 

She has a low projected hold for this and I feel Larsson is the value pick at around 1.75.

Laying Van Uytvanck's serve from the start and then assessing, using the Rolling Projected Holds in the TennisRatings Tier Two Spreadsheet, seems a very reasonable approach for this match.

In the other match I mentioned, Ormaechea has a very strong 9-3 clay record in the last 12 months and should be too good for Gibbs, who has played just 2 clay matches on the main tour or qualifying in the past 3 years.  

Projected holds are low for this, in particular on Gibbs, and I feel opposing her serve when realistically possible appeals here.

Having done some work on tomorrow's matches in Rio for the Tier Two Spreadsheet already this morning, I can say with certainly that they will contain some matches with huge swing trading potential...

In ATP action I like Blaz Kavcic's chances against Thanasi Kokkinakis in today's only match in Marseille, and clearly I'm not alone in that as his price has shortened significantly.

The young Australian has a low projected hold here and opposing his serve in most circumstances works well for me.

The other matches that interest me mainly come at ATP Rio de Janeiro, and the clash between Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Martin Klizan is intriguing.

The Spaniard, I feel, is over-rated here at around 1.83 with Klizan holding 74.2% to 69.3% on clay in the last 12 months, and breaking 25.9% to 26.6%. 

With a better break point 'clutch' score according to the daily spreadsheets, and having been accustomed to the court in qualifying, I feel Klizan is value.  

However, it's worth pointing out his record as a slight underdog is atrocious (as is his record when a set up), but I do feel he will trade much shorter.  I can see Klizan taking the first set and losing this.

Projected holds are both low and using the Rolling Projected Holds in the Tier Two Spreadsheet will provide some good triggers for laying the server when the match is on serve.

A quick round-up of some of the other matches sees Filippo Volandri take on Dusan Lajovic with the Italian some value at around 1.75.  For once his projected hold isn't very low, due to the poor return game of the Serb.

However, Lajovic's projected hold isn't good - his clay service hold isn't impressive at all and Volandri's return game is exceptional (32.0% breaks on the surface in the last 12 months at ATP level) so laying Lajovic's serve when possible definitely appeals.

Finally, Thomaz Bellucci faces Santiago Giraldo with Giraldo marginal favourite at around 1.75.  

Projected holds are around average, in Giraldo's favour, making the SP fairly reasonable.

What is worth mentioning is Bellucci's in-play stats give weight to price swings in-play.

According to the ATP Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet, the Brazilian has lost a break lead 43.75% - well above average - but recovered a break deficit an excellent 48.78%.  

The net result of this is that with Giraldo losing a break lead 32.50% in the past 12 months, the combined score on Giraldo when a break up is 81.28 - above the required 75 as detailed in the ATP break-back percentages article.

On that basis, laying Giraldo when a break up appeals.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Filippo Volandri's match with Christian Garin should have plenty of service breaks...

My last match previews for a few days as I'm going to New York for a short break early tomorrow morning until Sunday - normal service will resume on Monday!

Today's matches are getting underway in Rotterdam and Doha and with so many matches I will be fairly brief with my thoughts and cover a few matches.

There are 18 matches in Doha today and the one I'm looking at with low projected holds is Klara Zakopalova against Elina Svitolina with both players below the WTA average, and having combined scores over 105 when a break up.

Zakopalova is currently 2.40 underdog after her Fed Cup exploits (she played a match and a half yesterday) and otherwise she would be slight favourite for this.

The stats mean that laying either player's serve when on serve and laying them a break up are viable strategies.

Other players with low projected holds are underdogs Cagla Buyucackay (against Karolina Pliskova) and Al-Nabhani whose projected hold is an incredible 25%!  Her opponent, Monica Niculescu, is 1.05 and she actually should be 1.01 according to my model.

Also, since her return to tour, Alisa Kleybanova has held just 47.4% of the time and if we get a chance to lay her serve against Dominika Cibulkova then that should be viable.

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni should also find it hard to hold consistently against Yvonne Meusburger, who has excellent return stats.  

In men's action in Memphis tonight, I expect the likes of Alex Kuznetsov against David Goffin and Teymuraz Gabashvili's match with Mikhail Kukushkin to feature breaks and swings in the price, with Goffin & Kukushkin in particular excellent for swing trading.

In Buenos AiresChristian Garin's match with Filippo Volandri has the potential to be a traders dream with both players much stronger on return than serve, and I feel Facundo Arguello can cause Leonardo Mayer some problems.  

Arguello has a solid Challenger record on clay whilst Mayer's stats - despite his final last week in Chile - aren't that strong.  He may be suffering from fatigue, but it's worth noting his record as heavy favourite is strong.


Annika Beck should struggle to consistently hold serve today...

A new week beckons with four tournaments getting underway today.

There are three ATP events with the 500 in Rotterdam the highest quality tournament, whilst there is a WTA Premier in Doha with most of the top players on show.

In DohaMona Barthel takes on Annika Beck in the opener and this is a match where I feel service holds may not be in abundance.

Beck has held just 44.8% on hard court in the past 12 months but has broken much more than average, and this leads to both players having low projected holds.

Barthel starts as favourite at around 1.50 and this seems pretty reasonable.  

With projected holds very low for Beck, laying her serve should appeal in almost all circumstances, but interestingly Barthel doesn't recover break deficits enough (42.31% in the last 12 months) to want to oppose Beck when a break up as a longer-term trade, despite the younger German losing a break lead 58.62% of the time.

Stats show Su Wei Hsieh is effectively Beck without the return game and with 50.9% holds and 32.9% breaks, she won't win many matches.  Today she takes on Flavia Pennetta who is justifiably short at 1.23 for this.

Hsieh's projected hold is very low for this so opposing her serve when prices allow works, and furthermore, as she gives up a break lead a huge 65.96% of the time, the combined score on her when a break up is well over the required 105 so laying her a break up definitely is viable.

I cannot for one minute think that Hsieh will win this easily so if she does lead, I'm almost certain there will be swings and drama along the way.

In ATP action, the opener in Buenos Aires between Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Guido Pella has low projected holds with both players struggling to hold serve on the surface - 68.8% and 71.9% holds respectively.

Garcia-Lopez, who was in highly inconsistent form last week in Chile, is perhaps a little short at 1.44 and I like opposing the serve of either player when prices allow here.

Additionally, both players have given up break leads and recovered deficits more than ATP average and Pella's 57.1% stat for giving up a break lead is even bad for the WTA.  

On that basis, laying the player a break up should also be a move with positive expectation.

Finally, night owls might enjoy the clash between Nick Kyrgios and Tim Smyczek in Memphis with both players also having a low projected hold - although stats aren't in abundance on the young Australian.

Smyczek starts as marginal favourite which I feel is fair but he has huge issues holding serve, particularly in pressure situations and a break up (he's given up a break lead 52.38% in the last 12 months at ATP level).  

This could also be a match with breaks and swings.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Dudi Sela's match with Bjorn Phau should feature plenty of service breaks...

Today's quarter finals in the three ATP events get going in just over an hour so it's the perfect time to give you my thoughts on some of the day's matches.

It's very rare that there is a quarter-final between two opponents as poor as Dudi Sela (above, pictured) and Bjorn Phau but these two face up first in Zagreb.

Projected holds for this are incredibly low for an ATP match with them being more like an average WTA match - both opponents have held under 70% on hard/indoor in recent times and with Sela breaking much more - 30.8% which is well above average - Phau's serve in particular could be under severe pressure.

Prices of around 1.53 on Sela seem pretty correct, so I like the approach of laying both servers to start with and seeing where this goes - the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet indicate this approach should be able to be continued when prices allow. 

I don't have in-play stats for Phau but with Sela losing a break lead 62.5% of the time and recovering a break deficit 46.2% of the time it's highly likely that the combined score on both players when a break up will be over 75 as detailed in the ATP break-back percentages article and on that basis laying the player a break up should have positive expectation.

Another match where there could be more breaks than average is the first match in Montpellier as Jarkko Nieminen takes on Marc Gicquel.

Gicquel, almost 37, has had the week of his dreams after failing to win any of his nine ATP matches in the past three years and if Nieminen hadn't been ill and struggled past his opponents this week, the 1.58 on him would be pretty attractive.

Laying either player's serve and then using the Tier Two Rolling Projected holds appeals, and I feel this approach should also be able to be continued.

Nieminen also has a very low break point 'clutch' score and it wouldn't surprise me if he traded at least a fair bit bigger than SP here, or got broken when leading.

Finally, I feel Jerzy Janowicz is a little short at 1.65 against a very competent opponent in Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

The Pole is still just 12-12 on hard/indoor in the last 12 months and has held 79.6% (very poor for a 'big server') and broken 16.2%.  Opposing his serve should be pretty low risk and the Rolling Projected Holds give a good insight as to when this should be viable.

Janowicz does have a strong record as favourite though so may well get the job done in the end, but I think Roger-Vasselin, supported by the French crowd, is good value to take a set at least here.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Nikolay Davydenko should be worth opposing when a break up today...

It's day three of this week's tournaments today and yesterday was a very low calibre affair with most matches akin to typical Challenger matches.

The day's play commenced about an hour ago and Dan Evans got TennisRatings Tips subscribers off to a good start with a facile win over Jan Hajek.

There are plenty of matches today where projected holds are low and my focus will be on several of those.

Nikolay Davydenko (above, pictured) takes on home player Julien Benneteau in Montpellier and stats make the Frenchman correctly priced as 1.55 favourite, with him having a superb recent indoor hard record.

As always with Benneteau, punters should be aware of his horrific third set record, so he should be looking to get this done in two sets - certainly those who have backed Benneteau should be taking the bigger price on the 2-0 set score than the match outright price.

Projected holds are low for Davydenko, whose stats have declined recently, and a little below average for Benneteau.

Laying Davydenko's serve from the off seems a reasonable strategy, and then using the triggers from the Tier Two Spreadsheet's Rolling Projected Holds to proceed from there.

Laying Davydenko a break up also appeals, as does laying Benneteau in the same scenario.

The February edition of the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet shows both players lose break leads over 40% of the time, as well as doing the same when a break down, taking the combined score for both players a break up over the required 75 as detailed in the ATP Break-Back Percentages article.

Another match where projected holds are low comes in Zagreb as Andrey Kuznetsov faces Sergiy Stakhovsky.

I feel Stakhovsky is a little short at around 1.43 for this and considering that, and his low projected hold, I feel it's worth laying his serve to start with and seeing where that goes - again using the triggers from the Tier Two Spreadsheet.

Even though he's probably the value proposition pre-match, I feel this approach is also reasonable on Kuznetsov, bearing mind his projected hold is very low indeed.

Furthermore, with the Russian giving up a break lead 50.0% in the last 12 months and Stakhovsky recovering a deficit 30.95%, this also takes the combined score on Kuznetsov over 75 when he is a break up.

Quite surprisingly, in Vina Del Mar, break back percentages aren't that high but the match with two players having low projected holds are Guillermo Garcia-Lopez against Paolo Lorenzi.

GGL can count himself lucky to be here after coming back from the dead against Julian Reister in the first round and his clay record isn't great - just 68.6% holds and 27.3% breaks in the last 12 months.

He does however have an astronomically high break point clutch score for this so anyone laying his serve should bear this in mind and perhaps clear liability at 0-40 or 15-40.

Laying Lorenzi's serve is also an option when price allows.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!


Paul-Henri Mathieu has struggled to win many matches in the past year...

This week's three ATP events get started today with just five matches scheduled to ease us into the week.  

In Montpellier, the one match is the all-French clash between Nicolas Mahut and Paul-Henri Mathieu, and whilst these two are very close friends (they went on holiday together in the off-season) there is a big difference in their surface stats in the last year.

On hard/indoor Mahut has held 84.9% and broke 17.7% whilst Mathieu's stats are far worse at 75.4% holds and 14.5% breaks.

Mathieu also has poor break point stats and Mahut is the value pick at around 1.44 here, having shortened by several ticks from this morning.

The net effect of this is that Mathieu has a low projected hold and his stats when a break up are atrocious as well - he's let a break lead slip 61.9% in the last 12 months, and whilst Mahut has only recovered a break deficit 22.73% in the same time period, it's easily good enough to push the combined score when Mathieu is a break up to be well over the required 75 to make it viable to lay him a break up.

Laying Mathieu's serve in select circumstances based on Rolling Projected Holds, and laying him a break up is what I feel works well here.

In Zagreb, Marin Cilic should have no issues getting past Mate Delic, who is 0-8 in Challengers and Qualifiers in the past 12 months.  1.08 on Cilic is even a touch generous.  I'd be surprised if Delic could threaten the Cilic serve much and the younger Croat has a low projected hold.

It's worth mentioning, however, that the latest edition of the ATP Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet - available in just a few hours - shows a marked decline in Cilic's in-play stats since his return to tour from his drugs suspension.

I used adjusted Challenger stats for Jesse Huta Galung against Benjamin Becker with the German justified favourite.

Projected holds are both low for this so we may see a few more breaks than expected here - laying the server is pretty viable in a variety of scenarios.

Later on tonight there are two matches on the clay in Vina Del Mar and both favourites, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Leonardo Mayer are pretty justified.

Stats indicate that Mayer's opponent, Andreas Haider-Maurer, should be laid a break up tonight although that's from a small sample size.

Stats also show that Garcia-Lopez, and his opponent Julian Reister, are both weak from a break up, giving up a break lead an above-average 42.42% and 44.44% respectively.

Considering they both recover break deficits above average also, doing so 39.13% and 38.10%, it makes sense to lay the layer a break up in this match, particularly Reister, who has a low projected hold.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!