July 2014 Match Previews

* Please note that some July Previews were accidentally deleted.

30th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Will we see the ATP or the Challenger version of David Goffin today...

Today's action on the clay in Kitzbuhel starts in around an hour and there are eight second round matches on the schedule today, with most having some decent trading angles to get involved with...

In the opening match, Albert Ramos is very slight underdog against Maximo Gonzalez, who is more used to playing in Challengers.  This price is based on Ramos' struggles in beating WR729 Victor Galovic in the first round, whilst Gonzalez had a decent win against the over-rated Pablo Carreno-Busta.

Stats indicate Ramos should be favourite.  He's much more experienced at ATP level and comparing their Challenger stats on clay in the last year, he has a slightly better 74% to 70% win ratio, and has held 2.3% more whilst breaking 0.8% less.  However, the ATP stats have more of a difference, with Gonzalez obtaining just one main draw win from five on his favoured clay in the past three years.  In that time, Ramos has won 48 and lost 42 on the surface...

Bearing this in mind, and the fact that Gonzalez has a low projected hold, I feel laying the Argentine's serve should be viable today.  Based on the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Spreadsheet, Gonzalez's serve can be laid in many situations, unless he's holding very easily.

This is also the case for Jarkko Nieminen, who faces Juan Monaco in the second match on court.  Both players were in finals last week so there shouldn't be a great difference in condition, although the bizarre nature of Monaco's win over Andrey Golubev yesterday puts some doubts in my mind...

Monaco starts at around 1.50 and that looks correct to me, as there's almost an 11% difference in how frequently these two players break opponents on clay, and with Monaco defending runner-up points, he should take this seriously.

Both players are worse than average for losing break leads and also for recovering break deficits, so laying either player a break up looks a good strategy.

Paolo Lorenzi is another player who can be laid a break up according to the break up/down stats, as he takes on Pablo Andujar.  

Andujar is another player who was a finalist last week and he may be a little tired, but also may see this as a final chance to boost his ranking before the hard court season, where he won't expect to pick up many points.

The Spaniard starts at 1.40 which appears a little short based on fitness concerns, so any lay of Lorenzi a break up should be tempered by this knowledge.  This should be a match where the Rolling Projected Holds come into their own, with it being very important to assess Andujar's level, without being able to see a live stream.

I'd also expect Pere Riba to struggle to hold against Andreas Seppi.  The Spaniard has an atrocious record at ATP level, winning just 5 of 21 matches on his preferred clay in the last 3 years.   In those he's held just 64.9% of the time, and I'd expect him to struggle to hold consistently today.

My main worry with Seppi is he doesn't tend to do things easily, but I feel that he's a little value at 1.48 for this match, and opposition of the Riba serve is recommended according to today's Rolling Projected Holds.

As I mentioned yesterday, David Goffin has been on an incredible run, adding yesterday's 2-0 victory over Kenny De Schepper to 15 consecutive straight sets wins in Challengers.

This has led to a huge over-reacting bandwagon today for his match against Philipp Kohlschreiber, who starts at 1.65 on what is arguably his best surface.  It certainly is for returning, with the German breaking 28.1% on clay in the last 12 months, and this should enable Kohlschreiber to put pressure on the weak Goffin serve.

I feel that with there being value on Kohlschreiber today as well as Goffin having a low projected hold, general opposition of the Goffin serve is mandatory.  Furthermore, Goffin has lost a break lead a shocking 57.1% on the ATP Tour in the past 12 months, and with Kohlschreiber strong at 39.7% for deficit recovery, this makes laying Goffin a break up a very attractive proposition.

The match where there could be the most breaks is the clash between Diego Sebastian Schwartzmanand Marcel Granollers.  After his superb, great value, thrashing of Alexander Zverev yesterday, Schwartzman is more realistically priced at 2.75 today against the Spaniard, who won this event last year.

Both players are stronger on return than serve, and that's especially the case for Schwartzman, who as I detailed yesterday, has incredible return stats but is a very weak server.

Laying either player's serve here seems a solid strategy.  I don't have in-play data on Schwartzman due to him mainly playing in Challengers but I'd be surprised if it wouldn't be viable to lay either player a break up today.

The other two matches, between Dominic Thiem and Jiri Vesely, and Lukas Rosol and Andreas Haider-Maurer, have less trading avenues available, so I thought I'd sum up by saying that I hope Haider-Maurer doesn't play like this...

YouTube Video



Good luck in the markets and stay green!

29th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS

Diego Sebastian Schwartzman is a superb returner...

Today's action on the clay in Kitzbuhel starts in around an hour and the six 1st round matches in Austria take the focus for today's match previews.

Conditions are a little on the quick side of average based on last year's service stats and playing at altitude certainly favours some players over others...

One of these players is Robin Haase.  The Dutchman thrives in these conditions and won the event in 2011 and 2012, and lost in the semi-finals after making the Gstaad final the week before (also held at altitude) in 2013.

The Dutchman - whose lack of mental strength was statisically highlighted in one of my latest articlesadded yesterday - takes on Italian clay-courter Paolo Lorenzi today and starts at around 1.42 today.  This would appear short in normal circumstances but clearly the market has taken Haase's Kitzbuhel record into account and it's hard to argue with that.

Haase edges two projected holds around the ATP mean, being generally stronger on serve but a little weaker on return.  On that basis it's tough to recommend laying either server in individual service games, but what I do like is laying Lorenzi a break up.

Lorenzi loses a break lead 47.8% in the last 12 months and that's very poor - well above the ATP top 100 mean of 30.9%.  Haase's break deficit recovery percentage is a little below average but against such a poor opponent for protecting leads, I like this trade.

Before this match there are two clashes starting at 10am and opening up is the form player David Goffinagainst Kenny De Schepper.  

Goffin has destroyed the Challenger tour in recent weeks winning three consecutive clay events all in straight sets (15 matches in a row) but only Blaz Rola and Jarkko Nieminen were ranked in the top 100 so how impressive this actually is, is questionable.  Seven players were ranked outside the top 200 and 11 outside the top 150...

I would have preferred Goffin to have faced a much better clay courter first up as I feel he could be worth taking on this week, but instead we were rewarded with a big-serving hard courter with a very limited return game, which won't put much pressure on the Belgian's weak serve...

Goffin starts at 1.23 and that's about right for me due to the aforementioned deficiencies of De Schepper.  I never thought I'd say this but with a high projected hold and high break point 'clutch' score today, Goffin looks worth backing when losing in individual service games, at points recommended in theTennisRatings Trading Handbook.

As mentioned previously, Jarkko Nieminen made the final of the Tampere Challenger last week in his home country and the Finn takes on Teymuraz Gabashvili at 10am today.

Nieminen might be a little tired and in any case, Gabashvili has the better clay stats at ATP level over the last 12 months, holding 2.2% more and breaking 3.1% more.  Despite this, the Georgian starts as marginal underdog at 2.10 and I think this is a decent price with him edging two projected holds around average.

Having said that, the in-play stats favour Nieminen and recommend laying Gabashvili a break up - though whether that's viable is borderline based on the fact that Gabashvili represents pre-match value.

At around mid-day, Gstaad runner-up Juan Monaco takes on Andrey Golubev and the Argentine may also be a little on the tired side.  However, with an atrocious hard court record, he may see this as one final tilt at getting some clay ranking points, and he's defending runner-up points here from last year.

Monaco starts at 1.44 and that looks a little short to me, but even with that, the in-play stats are so heavily in his favour, it's hard not to want to side with him in selected situations...

In a match where both players are much better on return than serve, Golubev's projected hold is low and the Rolling Projected Holds in today's Tier Two Trading Spreadsheet show his serve can be taken on in a variety of circumstances today.

Furthermore, the Kazakh loses a break lead 37.0% (slightly worse than average) but Monaco has a stellar break deficit recovery percentage - 46.6%.  This takes the combined score on Golubev's serve to be 83.6 - well above the top 100 ATP mean of 64.0 and laying Golubev a break up, assuming Monaco isn't in bad condition, looks very viable today.

Also perhaps a little tired will be Pablo Andujar, who got the better of Monaco to win his third ATP title on Sunday.  Today the Spaniard takes on home favourite Jurgen Melzer in another match where there could be breaks and swings.

Andujar begins at around 1.75 and that looks about right to me, and the best angle here looks to lay either player a break up, assuming Andujar doesn't look knackered...

Both players lose break leads 44% of the time and that's well above ATP average, so they are consistently vulnerable when in the lead in sets.  Melzer has the better deficit recovery so laying Andujar a break up in particular looks a good strategy.

Rounding off the action is another fascinating match between Alexander Zverev and Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.  There's been a market move on Schwartzman and that looks justified, with the Argentine having much better Challenger stats on clay in the past 12 months, and also in 2014.  

There's definitely a bandwagon rolling on Zverev and taking him on, with combined hold/break Challenger stats still under 100% (as detailed by one of the articles I added yesterday), in the near future looks like a good plan.  He has huge potential but asking him to be consistent at 18 at ATP level is a huge ask...

Certainly his service stats are poor and this is also the case for Schwartzman, who as evidenced by today's stat of the day has a superb return game.  He should really put pressure on the Zverev serve today and this should cause the young German all sorts of problems. 

This leads to two very low projected holds and Schwartzman has the edge here, making him the value choice at around evens.  With such a low projected hold, taking on the Zverev serve today appears mandatory...

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

28th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Donald Young has below average service holds at ATP level...

There are four new tournaments this week and action got underway in Kitzbuhel this morning.  This event - held at altitude in Austria - is the only European event, and also the only clay tournament, this week, as the European clay season draws to a close.  

The US hard court season takes the focus, leading up to the US Open which starts at the end of August.  Matches will generally be played in the European evenings, making it an excellent time of the season for recreational and beginner traders to get involved.

With there being a 48-man field for ATP Washington, there are ten matches tonight which is relatively high for a Monday schedule.  Action gets going at 9pm UK time and despite statistics showing conditions to be a little on the quick side of average last year, my projected hold model - which does take this into account - has highlighted several matches of interest tonight.

In the openers, I like two slight favourites in Benoit Paire and Alejandro Falla, who enjoy clear statistical edges over opponents Frank Dancevic and Robby Ginepri, respectively.

However that has to come with several caveats.  Paire's fitness - as well as his mental stability - is far from guaranteed but assuming he is on his game, he should be much better than his Canadian opponent.

Falla is a strange one - his price looks too good to be true and has taken a little drift as well, opening at 1.75 and now trading at 1.87.  I don't particularly rate the Columbian generally but against a Challenger journeyman he should be too good unless there's something unaccounted for...

Looking at other matches, there are several where I expect holding serve to be more of a challenge than average.  Ilya Marchenko is a player much stronger on return than serve, based on his Challenger stats, and he takes on Marinko Matosevic tonight.

Matosevic's 2014 stats have been improving of late and he starts at around 1.33 tonight which looks about right.  Projected holds are low for both players, according to my model, although they are especially so for Marchenko, and taking on his serve seems a solid plan here.

Another match with two weak servers takes place between home player Donald Young and Yuichi Sugita.  Sugita plies his trade mostly in Challengers but has a pretty strong hard court record in those and this may not be easy for Young, who starts at around 1.70.

With projected holds in the 60%'s, taking on either players' serve seems mandatory here.

There is also a women's event in DC, with eight matches on the card this evening.  Unfortunately two of them have players - Kuwata and Black - with barely any available stats so leaving these two matches alone seems the safest policy.  As with the men's event, stats show the conditions should play on the fast side of average.

One match with a strange price is Kiki Bertens against Sorana Cirstea.  The Romanian opened at 1.97, but has drifted to 2.42, and this is bizarre based on the stats.  I didn't see her 6-1 6-1 defeat to Voegele in Baku but many people have claimed it was an obvious tank - fairly logical as she has a lot of ranking points to defend in the near future.  On that basis getting on Cirstea makes sense, but there could be more to it...

On the whole, the rest of the WTA matches in Washington have high projected holds with perhaps Vania King and Francoise Abanda's match having the best potential for breaks and swings.  However, even that isn't enough to warrant laying the server unless both players are struggling to hold.

Over in Stanford - where there is a Premier event - there are six matches on the schedule, and projected holds are also generally high.  

19 year old Sachia Vickery has qualified for the main draw and she faces Shuai Zhang tonight.  Zhang starts at 1.46 and that looks generous to me, with perhaps the age and unknown quantity to many about Vickery being a reason why that is the case.

In her four main draw matches in the last 12 months, Vickery has held just 46.2%, and whilst this rises to 63.7% across qualifiers, this would mean her serve will be exposed at WTA level currently.  Certainly against an opponent that boasts strong return stats (43.6% at WTA level on hard courts in the last year) her serve should be tested, and opposing Vickery's serve looks a good plan here.

Finally, I've added a new article which looks at Challenger players with a view to stepping up to the ATP Tour.  You can check that out here.
 
Good luck in the markets and stay green!

25th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Pablo Carreno-Busta should have his serve tested by Tommy Robredo today...

It's quarter-finals day in this week's tournaments and there are a number of trading opportunities available today, all highlighted in the Tier Two Daily Spreadsheets, and I'll give my take on a number of them in today's previews.

In early matches, it was no surprise that the match between Misa Eguchi and Bojana Jovanovski had many breaks and swings and I'm hoping Eguchi will be able to get into some more events as she looks a player with excellent trading potential.

It's midway through the first set in the Juan Monaco vs Thomaz Bellucci match in Gstaad with a break apiece being traded already.  Spreadsheet subscribers will have noticed the high combined scores on both players here, making it viable to lay either player a break up, and a winning trade has already occurred midway through the first set.

Also viable is laying Monaco a set up - according to the Ultimate Pre-Match Betting Spreadsheet, Monaco won just 34.8% of matches 2-0 when he started as favourite from June 2013 to June 2014 - well below the ATP average of 46.6%.  Furthermore, Bellucci wins at least a set 90.0% as an underdog - vastly over the tour mean there.

The men's match which is most likely to see breaks is the Fabio Fognini against Borna Coric clash inUmag with Coric's adjusted challenger stats indicating that he should struggle to hold serve on a consistent basis against a volatile, but good returner.  Taking on the Coric serve looks a solid plan there.

I also would like to be on Tommy Robredo against Pablo Carreno-Busta in an all-Spanish clash in Croatia, with the younger (and generally over-rated) Carreno-Busta having a low projected hold according to my model, and having a high combined score of 84.4 when a break up, losing a break lead 43.8% in the last 12 months, with Robredo recovering a deficit 40.6% of the time - both a fair bit above average.

There's not much which stands out in the remaining WTA matches in Baku, or the other men's event inAtlanta with projected holds generally high.  I feel Thiemo De Bakker could cause Benjamin Beckersome issues with the 1.63 about the German looking pretty short - De Bakker has been under-rated this week.  

Unsurprisingly there are high projected holds between John Isner and Marinko Matosevic and the SP of around 1.50 on Isner looks about right.  With break point 'clutch' scores high for both players, I do like backing the player losing on serve in-game at points recommended in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook.
 
Good luck in the markets and stay green!

23rd JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Shahar Peer's serve will be under pressure today, whilst trying to progress to defend final points...

This week's tournaments are into their third day and there's a number of possible opportunities on today's card, with all tournaments playing on the slow side of average with the exception of Gstaad.

Matches in WTA Baku got underway an hour or so ago and I'm not surprised to see Urszula Radwanskastruggles to hold against Misa Eguchi although I didn't feel it would be one-way traffic, as it is currently.  Baku trading spreadsheets were sent out yesterday evening so subscribers will have been aware of the very low projected holds in this.

Another match in Azerbaijan today which should have breaks is the clash between Vesna Dolonc andShahar Peer (above, pictured).  Peer was defeated by Elina Svitolina (who is in action tomorrow) in last year's final although last year represented a much weaker field.  The ranking system doesn't account for that though and with Peer's ranking standing at 97, she'll need to defend these points to avoid dropping out of the top 100.

Both ladies are stronger on return than serve, holding under 60% on hard court in the last 12 months but breaking over 40% and this contributes to two low projected holds on my model.  Laying either player's serve from the off - with starting prices of 1.73 on Peer looking about right - looks good to me, and then re-assessing each service game using the Rolling Projected Hold triggers in the daily spreadsheet.

Dolonc is also horrific when a break up, losing a break lead 68.2% in the last 12 months, so laying her when a break up looks a natural entry point.  Peer is surprisingly solid in this respect.

In Gstaad, the match I'm most interested in is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Juan Monaco, with both players far from solid generally and also having much better return than service stats.

The match is priced at around evens apiece and that looks good to me - very little to separate these two players, who both break over 30% on clay but hold under the ATP clay mean.

This leads to two projected holds a little below average, even in quick conditions, and the best avenue here looks to be laying the player a break up, with today's ATP Tier Two Spreadsheet showing combined scores of 88.7 on GGL and 81.2 on Monaco - well above the ATP mean of 64.0.

I'd also expect Yann Marti - who somehow defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver yesterday saving 23/29 break points - to have his serve broken much more than average by Marcel Granollers, who is currently 1.31.

Marti's Challenger service stats are atrocious and indicate that yesterday's success was one of very positive variance for him.  Laying the Marti serve if he gets in front - especially if he's a set up and on serve - looks the best plan here.

The final match that really interests me is over in Umag where two clay-courters, Carlos Berlocq andPablo Carreno-Busta, meet in an intriguing clash.

Berlocq starts at around 1.70 and that's good value to me - he has held 2.2% more and broken 8.4% more on clay in the last 12 months, and Carreno-Busta has an awful record when starting price underdog - put simply he struggles against 'better' players.

Projected holds are low for this with, again, both players being better on return than serve.  Carreno-Busta's is especially so and I like attacking his serve from the off here, with the Rolling Projected Holds showing that unless he's holding very easily, this theme can continue as long as the price is viable.

Furthermore, with Carreno-Busta losing a break lead 43.8% in the last 12 months, and Berlocq recovering a break deficit 30.4%, a combined score of 74.2 is enough to warrant laying the Spaniard a break up today as well.

Good luck in the markets and stay green!

14th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Marsel Ilhan could take advantage of Mikhail Kukushkin's issues on clay in a swingy match...

It's day one of four new tournaments this week and with only Bogota likely to play relatively fast (and last year's service hold average in Columbia wasn't even hugely over ATP hard court mean) projected holds are likely to be a little on the low side this week and this means there should be plenty of opportunities to lay the server.

As with last week, the post-Wimbledon comedown continues and the events, with the exception of Hamburg, are poor quality affairs and this is certainly the case in Bogota where Alejandro Gonzalez, Matt Ebden and Victor Estrella Burgos are the 6th-8th seeds.  This is an incredible state of affairs and I'm surprised more 40-65 ranked type players haven't made the trip, with very cheap ranking points on offer.  Bernard Tomic is a player that has made the effort and you'd like to think that guarantees his motivation, and this is the type of tournament he could win and use it as a start to get his career back on track.

Matches got underway around 30 minutes ago and it will be of no surprise to daily spreadsheet subscribers to see Andrey Golubev and Benoit Paire serve up a swingy encounter first up in Hamburg with projected holds low in that match.

Also in this bracket is Mikhail Kukushkin against Marsel Ilhan with the Turk capable of an upset in this clash.  He starts at around 2.75 and this is value based on his Challenger record on clay.  Both players have weak serves and hold below the ATP clay mean and whilst I don't have in-play stats on Ilhan due to lack of data, Kukushkin loses a break lead (43.8% in the last 12 months) well over average but also recovers a break deficit (40.4%) a lot too.  That contributes to price swings and this is likely here.

Initially I'm keen to oppose the Kukushkin serve from the off and go from there, using the Rolling Projected Hold triggers in the Tier Two Spreadsheet to proceed subsequently.

Another player who is much better on return than serve is the qualifier Filip Krajinovic and he takes on home player Jan-Lennart Struff later today.

Krajinovic's 12 month Challenger stats on clay aren't bad at all (19-10 record, 74.2% holds and 30.5% breaks) and indicate he could get some decent wins on the ATP Tour, plus at 22 years of age he has improvement in him.  The Serb starts at 2.75 and I think that's a touch of value today.

With stats like these, it's unsurprising projected holds are low and with Struff looking short, I like taking the same approach with him as Kukushkin.  He's a lot more solid a break up though (24.2% lead loss in the last 12 months) so laying him a break up has much less appeal, however.

In WTA action, I'd expect Rebecca Peterson to struggle to hold serve in Bastad against Jana Cepelova, who despite a poor record as favourite is value at 1.22 today.  Today's stat of the day has more info on that.

The women's match which is likely to have breaks from both players is Irina Begu against Lara Arruabarrena with both ladies holding less than average and breaking more than average on clay in the last 12 months.  This leads to two low projected holds and some value on Arruabarrena at 3.55 - although it's worth noting there is some appeal to lay her serve despite this with her projected hold around the 50% mark.

However, both players fall short of being worthwhile laying a break up.  Combined break lead/loss stats are above average but not hugely so, and with Begu looking short laying her a break up in the first set appeals much more than laying Arruabarrena in this situation.

As always, good luck in the markets and stay green!


9th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Rajeev Ram has now boosted his record to 18-7 in Newport...

Today's five events have just got underway and there's an abundance of Tennis action on the schedule, although with many events resembling a Challenger, high quality action cannot be necessarily guaranteed.

That's not a huge problem though, with the market more likely to be unaware of lower level players and their tendencies than regular ATP/WTA competitors and this gives us an edge over a lot of the market.  

Furthermore, with projected holds generally low, it's likely there will be some opportunities to lay the server in the markets today.

I want to focus on matches with this potential for today's match previews.

ATP Stuttgart was postponed yesterday with rain causing all matches to be moved to today, and most matches in Germany are streamed.  

Whilst I don't have in-play data on many players due to their low ranking, I expect the match betweenYann Marti and lucky loser Henri Laaksonen to have breaks of serve.  I also like Laaksonen's chances in this with the Finn having a better Challenger record on clay.  He's won 6/12 with Marti just 3/8, and Laaksonen has held 3.5% more and broken 3.3% more.  Odds of evens definitely appeal here.

Furthermore, both players have weak serves (Marti has held just 68.8% on clay at Challenger level and Laaksonen 72.3%) and on that basis laying Marti's serve in particular looks to be a good proposition.

Marco Cecchinato has decent clay stats in Challengers and looks to be - at just 21 years of age - a player that can achieve some half-decent results on the surface at ATP level in the future.

Today he takes on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and disappointingly GGL is priced about right at 1.45.  I was hoping the market might price him lower, underestimating Cecchinato.

Something else worth being aware of about Cecchinato is that he's likely to be a player that has high trading potential.  Holding fairly low at 78.1% and breaking a lot at 31.7% in Challengers would convert to the low 70's and mid/upper-mid 20's at ATP level and this would make him an attractive trading proposition generally.

My projected hold model indicates either player should hold less than 70% with Garcia-Lopez having the edge - laying either player's serve looks a strong play here.

Over in the Newport ATP event, I feel that if Adrian Mannarino isn't shattered after his Challenger win last week he should be too good for Dudi Sela, with the Frenchman having much better grass court stats.

Sela's serve is poor at ATP level and laying his serve when the price is viable when the set is on serve, and laying him when a break up can also be considered.  

However, it's vital that we know if Mannarino isn't going to tank, and whilst this isn't an exact science, especially without live pictures, we can assume that if he's saving break points and taking Sela's serve to 30+ on a fairly regular basis, that this won't be the case.

I also like the Newport GOAT Rajeev Ram's chances against a fatigued Jack Sock with the younger American having had to contend with a Wimbledon doubles final and a transatlantic flight, as well as a match yesterday with Ram having a day off.

Prices of around 2.30 look good on Ram who with his facile win over Matt Ebden on Monday boosted his Newport stats to 18-7 - superb for a low ranked player.

Laying Sock's serve from the off, and using the Rolling Projected Holds in today's ATP Tier Two Spreadsheet, looks to be the way forward here.

As always, good luck in the markets and stay green!

7th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Rajeev Ram has a decent 17-7 record in Newport...

With Wimbledon over for another year there is one remaining grass court tournament this season - at Newport in the USA.

There's an abundance of tennis on this week with four clay tournaments as well, and with those starting earlier today, Monday's match previews focus on the Newport event which starts in around an hour.

As evidenced by today's stat of the day, conditions in Newport should be slow and this should lead to more breaks than we've been used to at SW19 in the past fortnight.  I wouldn't be surprised if the market was largely unaware of this and treated the event as a normal grass event, when in fact projected holds are likely to be low all week for this tournament.

Opening the schedule at 4pm is Michal Przysiezny against Dudi Sela and I'm expecting more breaks than average in this - Sela's matches tend to feature this and his weak serve means he loses a break lead (48.6%) much more than average.  Przysiezny is also poor in this respect (40.7%) but worse at recovering deficits.

The Pole starts at around 2.25 which I make some value, so I like laying Sela's serve when the set is on serve, and also the Israeli when a break up.

Also at 4pm is Ricardas Berankis against Malek Jaziri and it's the Lithuanian who is pre-match favourite at around 1.70.  Sample size on grass is small for both but from what I have, this makes Jaziri value at around 2.25.  Berankis has horror break point conversion stats - just 24.4% in the last 12 months across all surfaces at ATP main draw level - and this holds him back in a big way.  To put this into context, it's 5.5% below Ivo Karlovic.

I like laying Berankis' serve when the set is on serve here - I don't have in-play stats on Jaziri but I'd doubt very much if they would make laying Berankis viable when a break up.

The final match I want to preview is Matt Ebden versus Rajeev Ram (above, pictured).  I quite like the American's chances here in an event he's traditionally done well in, with a 17-7 record.  For a player that's never ranked in the top 70, that's some record and in the last five years he's recorded wins over Falla, Levine, Olivier Rochus, Querrey, Zemlja, Russell and Nishikori all as underdog, and taken a set from Lleyton Hewitt when heavy underdog.

On that basis, I feel he's a value choice at around 2.22 against the journeyman Aussie who has failed to pull up many trees for a long while now.  Ebden's return game holds him back and whilst his serve isn't horrific, he doesn't break opponents enough either when the match is on serve, or when he's a break up.

With Ebden a false favourite at 1.77, laying his serve when the set is on serve appeals today with Ram's grass court return stats not too bad at all.

As always, good luck in the markets and stay green!

4th JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Novak Djokovic has never lost a match in straight sets in a Grand Slam when priced between 1.20 and 1.49...

ATP Five Set Winners in Previous Rounds:-

Still In:-
(Bold Indicates 5 Set Win in Previous Round)

Novak Djokovic
Grigor Dimitrov

Knocked Out:-

Jan Hernych
Fabio Fognini
Dusan Lajovic
Yen-Hsun Lu
Richard Gasquet
Julian Reister
Santiago Giraldo 
Jiri Vesely
Kevin Anderson
Leo Mayer
Jerzy Janowicz
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jeremy Chardy
Andrey Kuznetsov
Simone Bolelli
Tommy Robredo
Kei Nishikori
Nick Kyrgios

It's men's semi-final day at SW19 today and both clashes are intriguing with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer favourites over Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic respectively.

Djokovic is first on court at 1pm today and starts at around 1.26 against the Bulgarian prospect and this looks about right in a 5-set battle.

I'm not too concerned about the 5-setter Djokovic had against countryman Marin Cilic in the quarter-final with top players being able to deal with this much better generally, and also Dimitrov had a 5-setter in a previous round, against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  

According to my model, Djokovic's projected hold is above average whilst Dimitrov's is a little below, due to the excellent return game of the Serbian top seed.  This gives us very little to work with regarding laying servers, and I don't like backing Djokovic in-game when losing on serve due to his notoriously atrocious break point stats.  I've made the point previously that if Djokovic could up his numbers to the level of Nadal in this respect, he'd be borderline unbeatable.

Furthermore, both players lose break leads less than 20% of the time so it's not viable at all to lay the player a break up in the set either.

What we can work with is a trade backing Djokovic if he's losing the match.  He's never lost a match priced between 1.20-1.49 in a Grand Slam in straight sets out of 19 matches, with three losses coming in four sets and three in five.  One also came via a retirement against Andy Roddick in the 2009 Australian Open.  When he dropped the first set priced under 1.50 in a Grand Slam, he won the second set 13/18 times so this makes for a solid trading opportunity, and when he lost the first two sets, he won the third on 4/5 occasions.  Backing him a set down and then averaging down if he goes two sets down looks an excellent strategy.

Roger Federer starts his semi-final at 1.40 against Milos Raonic and that might be a touch of value with my model starting him at 1.31.  However, I do feel the match is likely to be tight with two excellent servers competing but the Swiss player - who has broken 25.7% on grass in the last three years compared to Raonic's 13.6% - has a much better return game.

This gives Federer the edge in projected holds with his projected hold very high indeed at 96.8%.  Raonic's is a touch above the ATP grass mean of 83.1% and there's an obvious temptation here to back Federer in-game when losing on serve.  However, I'd temper this with his relatively poor break point stats (and Raonic being strong at converting break points) and this play probably is just about enough positive expectation for me.

As with Dimitrov and Djokovic, both players are very strong a break up losing deficits under 20% of the time so laying the player a break up cannot be considered.

Federer's record when he has lost the first set priced under 1.50 in Grand Slams contains just three defeats from 19 matches since 2008, with those coming against Tomas Berdych in 2010 and 2012, and Tommy Robredo in 2013.  Both of Berdych's defeats came in four sets with Robredo coming in three sets.

He's got a worse record than Djokovic at winning the second set having lost the first (just 12/19 second set wins) but he's been superb at coming back from two sets down, winning an incredible six out of seven matches in this odds range in this scenario.  I like backing Federer if he loses the first two sets here, and then clearing liability on him should he take the third.

As always, good luck in the markets and stay green!

2nd JULY 2014 MATCH PREVIEWS


Nick Kyrgios has played much more tennis than Milos Raonic...

ATP Five Set Winners in Previous Rounds:-

Still In:-
(Bold Indicates 5 Set Win in Previous Round)

Nick Kyrgios
Grigor Dimitrov

Knocked Out:-

Jan Hernych
Fabio Fognini
Dusan Lajovic
Yen-Hsun Lu
Richard Gasquet
Julian Reister
Santiago Giraldo 
Jiri Vesely
Kevin Anderson
Leo Mayer
Jerzy Janowicz
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jeremy Chardy
Andrey Kuznetsov
Simone Bolelli
Tommy Robredo
Kei Nishikori

The remaining quarter-finals of Wimbledon (4 ATP, 2 WTA) are scheduled for today and particularly in the men's matches, the market justifiably expects the favourites to succeed, with Milos Raonic being priced the biggest, at around 1.50.

The Canadian takes on Australian sensation Nick Kyrgios and it's worth noting that more routine wins for Raonic have led to him playing much less tennis this fortnight.  That's of a huge benefit in an arduous Grand Slam and I feel the Canadian is very generously priced at market prices, with the market over-reacting on Kyrgios' potential and recent victories.

Both players have an excellent serve so don't expect many breaks or break-backs in this...

That's a pretty common theme for the men's action today, with all favourites having projected holds over 85% and only Marin Cilic having a low projected hold for his clash with top seed Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has beaten his countryman in all nine meetings and a failure to record a tenth would be a huge surprise.  Cilic is relatively solid a break up (26.2% break lead loss in the last 12 months) so laying him a break up isn't particularly viable here.

That's also the case for Grigor Dimitrov (13.8% break lead loss - a very solid figure indeed) against Andy Murray with the Scotsman starting at 1.29, which looks a touch of value to me.  

And finally there's an all-Swiss clash between Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer.  Federer looks the value choice at 1.37 based on their grass court records (he holds 4.8% more and breaks 7.0% more in the last three years), and his dominant 14-2 head to head lead. 

With both players solid a break up, again laying the player a break up isn't recommended.  ATP in-set trading potential is somewhat limited today.

The WTA matches have Eugenie Bouchard as a favourite against Angelique Kerber, with the market seemingly feeling Kerber will have a letdown after an epic big win, but being oblivious to this fact with Kyrgios.  As I mentioned on the Champion Picks Podcast prior to Wimbledon, Kerber was my pick at 100/1 and she's now into single figures.

If Kerber wasn't potentially fatigued (and Bouchard hadn't had a rest day) , Bouchard at 1.78 would be really wrong, and I still make Kerber value today.  As with men's matches, break-back stats aren't enough to justify laying either player a break up here.

That's also the case for Simona Halep's match with Sabine Lisicki, with the German surprisingly solid a break up.  Having said that, with Halep's superb return game taken into account, Lisicki has a low projected hold for this and I do like laying her serve when the set is on serve and the price is viable to oppose her.  Market prices of Halep at 1.40 look pretty much spot-on.

As always, good luck in the markets!

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