ATP Tennis 2019 September 23

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Finally, a decent week. Some bad luck in a semi-final in Metz but, otherwise, felling good and heading to bed early each night for a nap and then getting up for 3am tennis!

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The @bangthebook article is up and the @ballboyz pod should be up momentarily. I have two outrights this week, one in venue and it’s treading lightly as Chengdu is only in year four and Zhuhai is in year one.

I’m going with Edmund in Chengdu and DeMianur in Zhuhai. Here’s hoping they both make deep runs.

I’m out of time to be breaking down matches with all the other content I pumped out today so , just be aware, it’s probably best to watch and learn on day one anyway - see how fast Chengdu is playing at altitude and see what the conditions are like in Zhuhai.

I do like Edmund to put some work in against Garin, and I will be backing him. Garin is a clay courter with minimal hardcourt success and Edmund should benefit from faster conditions. Klahn vs Jung is two Challenger level players who I don’t see a huge edge between and they both went through qualies so I don’t see an acclimatization edge. Evans should roll but, he is -700.

I want to see some matches in Zhuhai before I bet. I do think Norrie wins though and was tempted to throw him in a parlay with Edmund. He has beaten Gojo handily both times they have met and Gojo is on a hell of a losing streak. Nishioka should beat ARV on hard courts but the price seems high and Ito should beat a local wildcard but Wu had some success in Shanghai two weeks ago and this is an easy match to avoid.

Edmund -3.5, -110

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 September 20

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I continue to try to bet totals and I continue to fail. I have no excuse left. I lose them every way possible - today Meds was up an early break in the first set, couldn’t close it out, dragged it out to twelve games, cost the over, considering he got the required double break in the second.

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Pouille lives. And he looked pretty good. St. Pete’s is dead. I expect Med to roll as I feared during the podcast. His price has only shortened to +150. If you thought, before the tournament, that he was capable of besting Rublev and Berrettini, then it’s probably still a good number.

St. Pete’s

Medvedev continues to roll. It is pretty incredible. I’ve written many times in the last two years about his tendency to break twice if he is able to break someone early in a set. Once he gets rolling, he really rolls. I don’t see anything different on Friday. Rublev and Meds have played twice, both on hards, and Rublev has never won more than three games in a set. One of those matches was in Cincy this year and a pretty fast outdoor court should be pretty similar to a slower indoor court. Rublev also continues to play dangerous tennis. As I mentioned on Tuesday, Rublev drops a ton of sets. He’s dropped one in each match here this week and he’s now dropped a set in 19 of his 25 completed matches since Wimbledon, which is astounding. I expect Meds to win this match by breaking Rublev on a regular basis; Rublev held serve all fifteen times against Berankis yesterday but Berankis is a guy who breaks serve less than 20% of the time on hard courts, and likewise Rublev held serve eleven of thirteen times against Ivashka on Tuesday but, Ivashka also breaks serve less than 20% of the time. Meds, conversely, is breaking serve over 30% of the time on hard courts this year. I’ll take Meds on the -3.5 handicap.

Berrettini obviously looked amazing but, I am not sure what to take away from a match against a fairly clay specific player on an indoor hard court. I don’t see such an easy match against Gerasimov. Gerasimov’s favorite surface is indoor hards, where he is over 60% as a pro, and he is great in tiebreaks. I rode Gerasimov through qualies and the first round and I suspect he’ll keep this close. The +3.5 is unfortunately juiced to -125 but, the o22.5 is probably playable at a 10 cent book, and the o10.5 games in the first set is a big plus number too. I’ll pass on the game but, I highly doubt Berrettini runs away with it.

I don’t know how Ruud is in the third round and I think this is massively under priced. I wanted to fade Coric pre-tournament but, he showed some fight and came back against Fucs and he has a beatable opponent in Ruud. Coric is not special on indoor hards but, he’s light years ahead of Ruud, who was gifted the inconsistent Bublik and a clay courter in Caruso. Coric dominates Ruud in any statistical category you want to look at. If he is healthy I don’t see how Coric doesn’t destroy the Norwegian.

I don’t see any edge between Sousa and Kuku. Their combined hold/break numbers on hard courts are within 6% every year, they career hard court winning percentages are both between 0.450 and 0.485, and they are both sitting around 45% in tiebreaks. Easy pass.

Metz

Someone pointed out to me that Bedene is winning over 90% of the points on his first serve. That is wild. And unsustainable. His career average on hard courts, and his average in 2019, is in the low 70’s. Regression is a bitch. PCB looked great in destroying Goffin on Thursday, the Spaniard is significantly better than Bedene in every hard court stat I look at and it’s been apparent for a while that PCB is better on hards than any other surface. I expect him to continue his good play and get past Bedene on Friday. Bedene hasn’t been to the semi-finals in an ATP hard court tournament since January 2016 and I don’t expect him to get there on Friday.

Paire cares! He showed some incredible fight (and maybe benefited from a gassed Gasquet) in coming back from a set down and a break down in the third set to beat his countryman on Wednesday. With a day off on Thursday, Paire should be rested and motivated, given the path now left in front of him, and he is a far better and more accomplished player than Barrere. Paire is great in tiebreaks, of which I expect at least one, and Barrere should be feeling some pressure under the lights on Friday.

I’ll keep riding Pouille. He’s my outright pick, he’s super comfortable on French, indoor, hard court venues and he’s beaten Kraj both times they have played on hard court recently. These guys have almost identical hold/break numbers on hard courts and very similar win percentages on this surface. The difference is Pouille is great in tiebreaks and he has much greater experience at the business end of a tournament; especially one on this surface. I think it’s lined correctly and I’m just picking a winner here.

I don’t see an edge between Tsonga and Basil. The last two years their combined hold/break numbers on hard courts are 104, 103, 102 and 101. They are nearly identical. Tsonga also faces fitness issues and is being forced to play on back to back days - something Gasquet struggled with earlier this week. I suspect Tsonga comes out hot and wins the first set and then possibly fades and I also could see a tiebreak. considering Tsonga has played 22 in 35 matches this year and Basil has played 22 in 43 matches. I’ll pass.

Medvedev -3.5, -150
Coric/Paire ml, +125
PCB/Pouille ml, +140

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 September 19

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Gasquet epic choke and I continue to beat my head against a wall with Gilles Simon. Results in a losing day.

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Fucs and Pouille still live. Thursday is a scary day with big hurdles.

St. Petes

Medvedev should not be challenged by Donskoy. These two guys are playing in different stratosphere’s at the moment. Medvedev is 7-1 on indoor hards in 2019 and he covered the -4.5 spread in all seven of those wins. Donskoy only has two main draw ATP wins in 2019, period. And they were both in January. Now, Medvedev, like his Russian brethren, doesn’t have the greatest track record in Russia. The spread, at -4.5, is more expensive at -138 than the u20.5, which is -125. I suck at totals but, I’ll grab this one, thinking the talent gap is big enough to complete the deal.

Rublev is obviously back on the right track. But, you saw, early (and really late) in his first round match how inconsistent he can be. The same as Medvedev, Rublev has a rough record in St. Pete’s and while he should blow Berankis out of the water, I think this is too expensive. I’ll pass.

With Klizan losing in the first round, the quarter is wide open for Berrettini. And he gets himself a bit of a clay courter in his first match. Now, that clay courter may be in luck. It would appear these courts are playing even slower than last year - with only two tiebreaks so far in fourteen main draw matches. Maybe RCB can keep this close and maybe, as I mentioned on the podcast, Berrettini suffers a bit of a US Open hangover. This seems slightly mis-priced but, I don’t want to back RCB. Pass.

How are Caruso and Casper Ruud in the second round of an indoor hard court tourney? This screams under in some fashion.

I have an outright on Fucs. This is a big hurdle. Coric has not been healthy this summer though, and the price is very indicative of that, as Coric is only -163. I feel like Fucs has a real shot here, especially given how in-form he looked from 1-5* in the first set. Just an epic run of tennis he put on Vatutin. Fingers crossed.

Metz

Pouille/Tsonga, hope they roll. They might be the only two Frenchmen left that I trust. They both excel on indoor hards, are great in tiebreaks and I feel both are under-priced.

Medvedev/Donskoy u20.5, -125
Pouille/Tsonga ml, +120

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 September 18th

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Hubert Hurkacz ruined a perfect day and a perfect week with a total no-show performance. In doing so he also, in the process, exemplified one of the live betting tenants I’ve always wanted to study but, have never had time… the idea that when you don’t break serve with multiple chances in one return game, you generally get broken immediately thereafter (it’s #11 on a list of, currently, 17 research ideas).

Anyway, it’s been a good start to the fall season, here’s hoping it continues.

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Klizan was never in it and it is a good lesson learned. Read my weekly outright preview and then read my daily breakdown article from Monday. I had him pegged as a good outright bet, and took him, because of his history on the surface and his potential path, not having to face any likewise indoor hard court proficient players - yet, he was a pick’em against a clay-oriented player in the first round. The line in that match said everything. It is obviously time for me to start checking for first-round match-up lines before I finalize my outright previews, if possible.

St Pete’s

Casper Ruud has played a grand total of two indoor hard court matches in 2019. In Australia. In January. At the Challenger level. He beat the #488 ranked player and lost to the #233 ranked player in the world. He went 3-1 last year, playing one Challenger tournament in Calgary and not beating anyone ranked in the top 200. As far as I can tell, Ruud has only played one ATP level indoor hard court match, a qualifier in Stockholm in 2017… that he lost in straights. Ruud is improving fast but, surface can mean a good deal and I feel like Ruud may be out of his element here. Bublik seems like he’s a cheap price and I’m tempted to grab him. Bublik is an above 0.500 winner at all levels on indoor hards in his career and particularly at the Challenger level where he is well over 60% and where he has two titles this year. Ruud is essentially a Challenger level indoor player, based on his experience. Bublik is, unfortunately, a super inconsistent player. He can run to a final, like Newport, or make the third round of the US Open… and yet, he can go out in the first round of every tournament in between. I highly suspect Bublik wins this match and the price seems about right. I’ll pass.

Caruso has played three clay tournaments between the US Open and now. I’m not sure what kind of transition he is in for, moving to indoor hards. Caruso’s form has been all over the map too - semi-finals in Umag (on clay), out in qualies at the Open, two first-round exits in Italy, and then suddenly a run to the semis in Seville. However, he is under 0.400 for his career on indoor hards and has played only seven total matches on hards (indoor or outdoor) at the ATP level this year. Fabbiano is better on hard courts in every sense but, that doesn’t mean much when your hold/break numbers are in the mid-90’s and your career winning percentage is 0.289. This is a straight pass.

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Fucsovics is dominant in every category I look at when it comes to handicapping a tennis match. I have an outright on him this week and I think he gets past Vatutin pretty easily. Vatutin dropped the first set in each of his qualification matches and should be a good warm-up match for Fucs to help end his losing streak.

Kovalik is hardly a tour level player at the moment and his 2019 hold/break stats reflect that. But, not too long ago, like as recently as last October, he was a top 100 player. In 2018 Kovalik was rocking a combined hold/brak number of 107% on hard courts. Sousa is hardly a hard court stalwart and certainly shouldn’t be -300 against anyone on indoor hards. This is a pass.

I’ve been riding Gerasimov this week and am tempted to again. Indoor hards are Gerasimov’s best surface and he is rolling - the only set he’s dropped in three matches in Russian was a narrow tiebreak. Unfortunately, both times Gerasimov has run up against Mannarino he has been beaten in straight sets, including last year in Moscow on indoor hards. I like the Belarussian here but, some head-to-heads scare me, and this is one of them. I’ll pass.

I’ve got a bit of a different angle for the last match in St. Pete’s. Kukushkin and Dzumhur have played five times in their careers. Kukushkin has won the first set four times. Dzumhur has developed a bad habit this year, that of dropping the first set in his matches. He has dropped the first set 29 times in 44 matches in 2019. The first set is lined at -163 moneyline and -1.5, -110 handicap in Kuku’s favour. I am really tempted to take the handicap but, get this… there were only three tiebreaks played in twelve qualifying matches this week. Two of them were played by Dzumhur. Only one tiebreak has been played in the first round and it was played by… wait for it… Kukushkin. A 7-6 Kuku first set wouldn’t shock me. So, I’ll spend the juice and take Kuku -163 in the first set.

Metz

I mentioned on the pod that Copil and Simon was a slam dunk over if the total was 22.5. And Andy loves it when I find a total, live, on the pod. Copil is 18-14 going over 22.5 in non-Slam matches this year; he is 15-7 at going o22.5 if you take away the Challenger level matches. Simon is 19-17 going over 22.5 in non-Slam matches in 2019 and 11-7 if you strip away clay and grass and just look at hard courts (he doesn’t play Challengers). Anyway you look it, this appears headed for a long match.

I like Ugo but, he doesn’t have the requisite data or hard court history at the ATP level for me to be laying -350. As for Maden, he doesn’t play enough ATP level matches every year for me to be confident in handicapping his numbers. Ugo might be a parlay piece for some people but, for me, this is an easy pass.

Gasquet is 7-1 lifetime against Paire. He fought back after dropping the first set on Tuesday and his hard court stats blow Paire out of the water. Paire is on pace to set new levels of tournament attendence in 2019 and either he is just running around collecting paycheques or he is trying to re-discover a love for tennis. Maybe this will point to big things for him in 2020 but, for now, I sense some possible fatigue. Paire is in a risky spot, coming off a bye in a tournament where seeded players don’t always win their first matches. I like the Gasman here.

Neither Hoang nor Barrere has enough data for me to be comparing them. I missed out on Hoang in the first round and I don’t want to compound the error by chasing here. Pass.

I don’t see an edge between Verdasco and Krajinovic. Their hard court hold/break numbers are within 6% in each of the past three years, they both win tiebreaks about 47-48% of the time, and they are both just over 50% winners on hard courts in their career. This is an easy pass.

Kukushkin 1st set ml, -163
Copil/Simon o22.5, -110
Fucs/Gasquet ml, +114

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 September 17th

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We’re in the home stretch. I need to pick up my shit. The week has started well with two nice parlay wins. Only gets harder now though, as we’re into the main draws.

I mentioned Hoang on the podcast, and he he won with ease. I passed because I thought he was pretty expensive, at -175. But, I obviously should have went with my first instinct, as he rolled. More money left on the table.

I have placed three outrights this week, two small ones in Russia and one, full unit, in France. Please listen to the Ball Boyz podcast or give the BangtheBook preview a read.

St. Petes

Viola is one of tennis’ true journeymen; 32 years old and still making the rounds at both Challenger and ITF events. He hasn’t played a main draw ATP match in my five-year database, so I’m not sure what to make of this impending duel with Donskoy. Viola actually has made two hard court Challenger finals this year, including one just three weeks ago in Mallacora. It’s a bit of a renaissance of the Italian. But, I have no stats to judge him on, at least in comparison to Donskoy. Donskoy is himself a tweener; not really a tour regular and not really a pure Challenger player. Donskoy has regularly kept his hold/break stats on hard courts in the mid-90s which is just below the league average and I suspect he is properly priced at -300. He’s on home turf, he’s been to this tourney ten times in his career and he’s beaten Viola twice. However, the flip side of that is Viola has beaten Donskoy twice too and he’s been through qualies this weekend, he’s in the draw as a lucky loser and really he should be super motivated. This feels like Viola or pass. And I’ll pass.

I don’t have an angle in the match-up between Dudi Sela and Berankis either. Berankis is a solid bet in the Challenger circuit and in 250’s like this but, he’s lost to Sela three times before and Sela just went to the final in Cassis during the second week of the US Open (he got trucked, badly, by Tsonga in the final). These two guys have hold/break numbers on hard courts that are never more than 8% apart, they are both running around 47% in tiebreak success and their career head-to-head is three apiece. I suspect Berankis is a tad bit too expensive here given Sela’s potential form. I say potential because you can never be sure what it means when a guy beats four dudes ranked outside the top 150, then gets destroyed by a “name brand” like Tsonga. Pass.

I’d really love to get on Rublev here. But, he has almost zero history of success in St. Pete’s so that’s a concern. And he is playing a guy who is rolling on indoor hards - playing Davis Cup and now qualies in the last four days and winning his last six sets. Their hard court stats are not that dissimilar, with Ivashka having a 101% combined number last year and Rublev having a 102%. 2019 is a lot more starkly in Rublev’s favour but, that seems skewed by Rublev’s great outdoor season in Cincy, Winston-Salem and the US Open. Rublev is still a below 0.500 player on indoor hards and as I said, he has a rough history here in particular. Ivashka is plenty comfortable indoors and is an above-average tiebreak player. I feel like Rublev gets this done but, is maybe a little expensive. Pass.

I’m on Klizan as an outright. This match is scarily lined as almost a pick’em, which surprises me. I don’t see how Klizan loses this match to what is essentially a clay only kind of player (RCB Is below 0.400 for his career on hards and grass). I don’t want to double down though and this line makes me super suspicious. I’ll pass and pray.

Gerasimov is one of the sneaky guys on tour who is super good on indoor hard courts. A bit of a specialist you might say. While he may be relatively average on other surfaces and he struggles to maintain a top 100 ranking, he is great on quicker indoor surfaces. He wins over 60% of the time indoors at both the ATP and Challenger level and at 25 years and 6’5 it’s no fluke. Rosol has played one main draw match this year on the ATP tour and is a career 0.450 player indoors. He had to save match point against Dzumhur in qualies and I think Gerasimov continues his roll indoors (like Ivashka he played qualies and Davis Cup this weekend and has won all eight sets he’s played). And I’ll continue to bet on him as I’ve done the last three days.

A semi-retired player and a lucky loser. Ya, I’ll pass on Tipsy and DD. Gross.

Metz

PCB is a slam dunk. He’s not special on indoor hards and it’s his first indoor hard court match of 2019 but, Lenz is hardly a tour regular. Lenz is a 26 year who was playing ITF events three months ago and I don’t see him having a main draw match win in my five years of data. The spread is set at -4.5 though which makes me nervous, so I’ll have to find a parlay partner.

There are a bunch of mis-matches in France on Tuesday and this is another one of them. Bedene is a 0.500 player on indoor hards in his career and his opponent is a 17 year old Frenchman. I don’t want to put too much thought into this. The price seems low and I’ll bite.

I get the chance to bet on Gasquet? This is another match, like Bedene and PCB that I think is under-priced to the favorite. Gasquet is better than Granollers in every statistical category I look at - the last three years of combined hold/break numbers show massive advantages for Gasquet, he is far better in tiebreaks, has a massive advantage in career hard courts numbers (both outdoor and indoor) and Gasquet has beaten Granollers all three times they have played. I mentioned I am concerned about Gasquets fitness and that is why I stayed away from his outright but, I’m not asking him to win five matches here, just one. And with how fast this venue can play I want to see a few more matches before I start betting handicaps. Gasquet in a parlay.

Hukacz doesn’t have a great indoor history nor does he have a positive tiebreak record but, I’ll chalk that up to small sample size and youth. He has the game to excel on indoor hards and he blows Barrere out of the water in any hard court stat you want to investigate. I suspect he gets through here and I imagine he drops a tiebreak along the way. This is probably a good over bet too but, I’ll stick to just counting on Hurkacz to get the win.

Sonego has beaten Otte twice, recently, on hard courts and is coming off a final in Genova. But, Genova is clay and Sonego is making a weird transition here from outdoor hards to clay to indoor hards. Otte is nothing special but, he has gone through qualies and should be plenty adjusted to conditions in Metz, where Sonego has never played before. For those reasons, I’ll pass on this.

Struff should win this. He is having a much better year than PHH and has slightly better numbers across the board. Struff has better hold/break numbers every year, better career hard court winning percentage, better recent form (PHH has lost SEVEN matches in a row) and he’s beaten PHH four times. But, much like Klizan, the short number gives me pause. I’m not sure what I’m missing here and with enough action on the board already, this is an easy pass.

Tsonga should roll. I have no idea why Andujar is playing an indoor hard court event in France. But, Tsonga’s prices are huge. The moneyline is not helpful, even in a parlay, the spread is a scary -4.5 and the 2-0 is juiced to -175. Pass.

Gerasimov/Bedene ml, +104
Hurkacz/Gasquet/PCB ml, +139

Good luck


ATP Tennis 2019 September 2 US Open Day 8

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Oh man. This Open is just getting good. How fun was last night?

Hopefully Fed tires out like usual (although he pretty in control yesterday) and hopefully Nadal runs into someone who he can’t bully off the court.

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I’m down to just Meds. I wish Thiem hadn’t have been sick. What a travesty this draw has turned into. I think the premise of my outright preview still holds up though. The Big 3, they are a fading.

Day 8

How hot is Rublev? So many players have these swoons in play and so many times it is due to injury and rushed return. Rublev was on a similar path to his two Russian compatriots, winning Umag and losing in the finals in Milan in 2017. And he started 2018 REAL strong. But, he was injured in April of ‘18 and really hasn’t been the same since, other than a brief flash of style in Washington. His form began to return in Indian Wells where he lost in the Challenger final to Kyle Edmund. This summer he started to blossom with a final in Hamburg, a quarter-final in Cincy and a quarter-final in Winston-Salem. There was a defeat of both Stan and Federer on hards and a defeat of Thiem on clay in there. Those are top notch wins. He’s also dropped Tsitsipas and Kyrgios this week. He seems to be in peak form. The only set he dropped this week was in a tiebreak to Tsitsipas and there is no shame in that, as Tsitsipas has an incredible tiebreak record. Rublev’s also only been broken three times and that was also by Tsitsipas. Conversely, Berrettini has had a much easier path (Gasquet, Thompson and Popyrin) and has dropped a set in each match. The Italian has been broken six times so far and trails Rublev in every hard court category, including losing to Rublev on hard courts already this year on hards (albeit on faster indoor courts). Maybe the slower court will make this a little dicier but, Rublev seemed to use that to his advantage against a big server like Kyrgios the other night. As long as Rublev hasn’t run out of gas (this will be his eighth straight week of action since Wimbledon) I think he gets through here. I’ll back him on the handicap here.

Monfils is looking sharp. His only two lost sets were in tiebreaks to Shapo. Andujar has been gifted quite a nice draw with a clay courter in Sonego (and kind of a grass guy apparently) and Bublik who is hardly a third round Slam kind of guy. Monfils has handled Andujar all three times they have played and those were in Andujar’s prime. Andujar’s 33 now and while Monfils is 32 he still seems in his prime, winning his biggest title to date this year. Statistically, on hard courts, these two players are not comparable:

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I’ll take Monfils to roll here. He covered the -5.5 easily in the first two rounds and while he didn’t cover against Shapo, Andujar seems a big step down from the young Canuck.

I would love to say that Zverev is the one who is going to step into the void left by Djoker this weekend. I really, really thought Zverev would be the next guy to break through and of course I left him off the list of futures this week, even though I thought this was the Slam where the breakthrough would happen, because his form has just been terrible lately. He hasn’t done anything to prove me wrong yet, going five sets, unnecessarily, with Albot and Tiafoe and then four gruelling, long sets with Bedene. I have no idea what kind of gas he has or whether he has the confidence to close out a set or match against someone with actual skill. Schwartzman is #21 in the world and hasn’t dropped a set yet. He’s closed out two matches with bagels so far and dropped a breadstick on Sandgren in his last match. I suspect the over is the best way to go here but, I suck at totals. So, I’ll just pass and hope someone wins this one quick so they can push/defeat Nadal.

Cilic’s actually done pretty well against Nadal lately, outside of a blowout in Acapulco in 2017. In their last five matches, since 2015, Cilic is 1-4 and that win came against an injured Nadal, who retired. He’s won a set in four of those matches and if his serve is on, there is a chance he keeps this close. I highly doubt he can actually win though; he hasn’t beaten a healthy Nadal since 2009, in their first ever meeting. Saying all that, I don’t know how to cap this match. The handicap seems low, at -6.5 but, as I just said, Cilic seems to steal a set on a regular basis. Nadal hasn’t looked challenged yet, blowing out Chung and Millman and given that he’s winning those matches by 9 and 11 games, this -6.5, again, seems low. I think this may be a situation, like with Meds and Stan, where I want to see how the match goes before jumping in. Their history of first sets have been all over the map, but, in all of Nadal’s 8 wins, he has won the second set. If Nadal grabs the second set, I’m going to be in on him, hopefully after he has dropped the first to make the match handicap palatable.

Rublev -3.5, -125
Monfils -5.5, -138

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 September 1 US Open Day 7

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Fitting that Kyrgios ends the winning streak. I get sucked in by this dude all the time. And it never fails to disappoint.

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Kyrgios kills me on two fronts. Down to Meds and ADM, both on the top half. Also, it would appear anyone with a Nadal ticket is laughing. He looked value at 4/1 post-draw and like the Aussie he has faced zero resistance. Of course, the Aussie final was the reason I wasn’t interested in Rafa. Same goes for anytime he has played Fed off of clay in the past half decade. But, I don’t see a way Nadal isn’t in the final next Sunday. I would love for the stopper to be Zverev (he’s 0-5 against Rafa but, has taken a bunch of sets off of him) but, Zverev still looks lost at times and will probably struggle mightily with DSS on Monday.

Day Seven

Djokovic has owned Stan throughout their career if you go strictly off their total head-to-head. It’s 20-5, and one of those Stan wins was a Djoker first set retirement. One thing to consider though is that the of the last seven match-ups, Stan has won three… and all three were in the very late stages of Slams. The counter-point t to that would obviously be, all those wins were before Stan’s injury. They haven’t played since Stan missed the second half of 2016 and Stan doesn’t seem like the same player. He’s still good, like top 20 good, but, he’s not the same. Djoker, meanwhile, is experiencing something of a second peak, after his 18 month swoon. If anyone can push Djoker, it’s Stan but, he is also plenty capable of throwing sets away. In those last seven matches, the seven where Stan has won his famous three… well in the four losses, Stan was bagelled or breadsticked in the final set each time. I don’t know how to cap this other than, I expect Stan to keep it tight early and to fade late. So, I think the +5.5 or the +6 is out. I would like nothing more than for Stan to win this but, it seems unlikely. Djoker has routinely been getting -2.5 set spreads (you’ll notice one of my posted plays was Djoker -1.5, -200… that was him down 1-2 in the set and it was obviously still expensive), so I’m thinking Stan +2.5 in the first set if I can get it live less than -200 (it’s +1.5 +125 right now, so hopefully Djoker serves first and holds) and Djoker -2.5 in the fourth set if he leads 2 sets to 1. If Stan is somehow up 2 sets to 1, then all fourth and fifth sets are off.

Meds should keep rolling, right? I mean Koepfer can’t keep this up. I don’t see a bet here though. Medvedev hasn’t covered the -6.5 since the first round against Gunney and he’s played two pretty gruelling four sets in a row now (including a bizarre one on Friday night). If at any point I can get Meds live around -3.5 I’ll think about it. This would take Koepfer getting an early break or even winning the first set. So, we’ll see about that. One further thing to watch would be tiebreaks. These guys have both played a few so far and neither has lost one yet. That’s not overly surprising for Meds, as he has a very good track record. Koepfer though, is a .500 level tiebreak player, even at the Challenger level. So, if a set gets to 6-6, a live bet on Meds to win the set at anything less than about -250 should be worth it; I doubt Koepfer can keep winning them.

The same breakdown I just laid out for Stan applies to Goffin. He has a lousy 1-8 record against Federer but, if you isolate the last three, you have a Goffin win and two losses where he made it to a first set tiebreak. Fed has dropped two first sets here in New York this week and Goffin has won all three of his first sets. The first over 9.5 costs -150 and that interests me, especially considering books have caught on a bit to Fed’s new found desire to get a break and not look for a second. Fed is only -1.5, -175 to Goffin in the first set. Means Goffin is only +1.5, +125 and that isn’t enticing enough. A 6-4 or 7-5 Fed win costs me the Goffin +1.5 but pays off the over. I’ll take that bait.

ADM is one of the two outrights I have left. I didn’t expect it to be Dimitrov in the fourth round but, I’m happy with this outcome. I don’t want to have a bet here as I’ll just be watching to see if ADM gets in trouble and I’m required to jump in live with a hedge on Grigor.

Fed/Goffin 1st set o9.5, -150
Bunch of possible live spots

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 31 US Open Day 6

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Fed looked back to normal, eh? Dimitrov looked shaky but, survived, as expected and DeMinaur keeps winning my heart, on hard courts, against guys less than 6”6.

Kudo’s to Meds too, what a tight, fun match.

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Big win for ADM! Big win for Meds! Bring on Kyrgios tonight!

Day Six

I guess I’m in on Nick. He’s playing great. He’s focusing his energy instead of freaking out about extraneous stuff. Rublev is a talented guy but, Kyrgios is a class above when he wants to be. I’ve written before that it’s hard to make statistical judgements for Kyrgios matches because he plays so many throw away matches that his stats are rather average. So, you almost have to clean the slate with him each week. He’s holding serve at 89% in his two matches so far, which is about right for him (26/29) but, most importantly for Kyrgios, and what you can use to judge his engagement is his break rate. He always serves well. When he loses, a lot of times it’s because he doesn’t try on return and settles for flipping coins in tiebreaks. Other than his blow-up against Edmund his last three losses have involved him dropping middle set tiebreaks. This week he’s only had to play one tiebreak and he hasn’t dropped a set. He’s breaking serve 33% of the time, which is a massive step up from his usual level in the mid-teens. He seems engaged. And he is playing a contemporary #nextgen (if Kyrgios can still be included in that group) and should want to lay the smack down. It’s hard to asses Rublev - he played a Tsitty who threw up almost 90 unforced errors and Simon was obviously compromised. I think this is a bit of a step up and I think Nick rolls. Nick -2.5, -125 looks great.

Neither Berrettini nor Popyrin have much history of success on hard courts at the ATP level, both winning at a less than 40% clip. Of course, that could be due to a small sample size, as Berrettini is 23 but played the majority of his formative years on clay and Popyrin is only 20. Either way, their hard court hold/break stats also don’t show a wide discrepancy with only a 2% difference in 2019. I lean a little to Matteo based on a tougher path to get there (Popyrin has only played a clay centric player in Delbonis and Kukushin, while Berre had to play Gasquet and Thompson) as well as a better ‘go for it’ attitude (Popyrin’s two opponents so far have averaged about half as many winners as unforced errors, while Matteo is pretty close to a 1:1 ratio). I’ll pass just because the line seems kind of high.

Oh, man, I so want to back Monflls here. He is fun to bet on when he is ‘on’. However, while he has a statistical advantage over Shapo on hard courts (and it’s pretty big in some cases, like 2019 break percentage) Shapo is playing some inspired tennis under the new tutelage of Mikael Youzhny. He made the semis in Winston-Salem last week and hasn’t dropped a set here yet, losing only a combined 18!!! games across six sets. It’s incredible. He absolutely smashed fellow Canuck and #nextegenner FAA in round one. I think Monfils is the better player but, sometimes it’s the hotter player that pulls through. The over might be a good look here.

How is Andujar and Bublik a third round match??? Avoid.

I have to keep backing Zverev. It’s true, he struggles mentally in five setters. I heard a ridiculous stat (that I have yet to verify) that Zverev has lost 14 of 19 fourth sets played in his career. That’s ridiculous. He makes every match a struggle. But, he is statistically so far ahead of these opponents that I make the price like -600 or -700 in these matches. So, I’ll keep backing him. I’ll just have to avoid the handicaps and find a parlay partner. Bedene is shit lucky to be in the third round, having been gifted a fourth set from triple match point down ON RETURN. I suspect Zverev might actually win a fourth set on Saturday (or not need one, heaven forbid).

DSS and Sandgren are another statistical mis-match. DSS is better than Tennys in every category, across the board. Better hold/break numbers on hard courts every year, with specifically big advantages in break percentage which is helpful on slower hards; better tiebreak numbers; better career winning percentage on hards; and finally just coming in hotter with a title in Los Cabos and a decent showing in Cincy. I like DSS to win comfortably here.

Cilic owns a warped 8-3 head-to-head here. And I say warped because Cilic won the first five meetings. They are 3-3 in the last three years. And while an over here feels a bit on the nose, four of those last six matches have included a tiebreak and both guys are known for playing a ton of tiebreaks in general. I don’t see a statistical edge here with these guys both having just over 100% hold/break numbers, very similar win percentages on hard courts and very similar tiebreak records. I’ll even pass on the over just because it’s 44.5 which seems high considering, despite all the tiebreaks in their past, three of their last four hard court meetings have finished in straights. Pass.

I would love to back Chung here. In some way shape or form. But, given his health issues lately… and after making an epic comeback to win in five sets… there is a real chance he gets trucked by Nadal. Chung’s weakness is his serve and Nadal breaks serve at an unprecedented level. Like, over 30% of the time on hard courts. Chung could be in for a short outing. The spread is -8.5 and like Djoker on Friday night, I’ll wait and see how the match starts and then probably hit Nadal live in some way.

Kyrgios -2.5, -125
Zverev/DSS ml, -142

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 30 US Open Day 5

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Damn near nailed the correct score for the Wawrinka match. Just missed him grabbing that tiebreak. That kind of read on things make me feel “close” though. Paire served for the match at 40*-0 in the fourth set and somehow got broken and then gave away the match. Again, feels “close”. We’ll see if I can pick up any consistency.

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Bankroll remains disgusting and it will take a monumental effort to fix it but, we’ll see.

Meds, Kyrgios and ADM all survived to round three. Friday should be interesting, at least, or especially, for ADM.

Day Five

I know Djokovic looked vulnerable on Wednesday night and there are injury concerns and maybe motivational issues but, I think this might be a little bit of a ‘get right match’ for the Serbian #1. Kudla is a pretty marginal player at this level. He had won exactly ONE second round Slam match in his career before Wednesday. And it was, maybe not surprisingly, against Alex Zverev, back in 2015. He’s got eight second round Slam losses; they had been by an average of 7.5 games and he had won a total of four sets. So, this is pretty unchartered territory for Kudla. He is also predominantly a faster surface player, winning over 50% of his grass matches but, coming in around 25% on hards and clay. His one deep trip at a Slam, when he beat Zverev was on grass at Wimbledon. When it comes to hards he is better at faster venues there too - his most consistent Slam being the Aussie where he has made the second round in three of the last four years. I think even a Djoker at minimal levels is going to push Kudla around, as he did at Wimbledon this year. If he can dominate Kudla on grass, he should destroy him on slower hards. For all the consternation about Djoker he still hasn’t dropped a set and he’s baked up a bagel against each guy he has played. He’s only 4-5 at covering the -8.5 in the third round of Slams in the last three years but, the five no-covers have some real similarities - all three years at Wimbledon he failed to cover the -8.5 in the third round… quick surface. The fourth and fifth failures to cover were on clay to top 20 talents in RBA and DSS. This is a hard court match, on a slower surface, against a guy who is far from a top 20 talent. Djoker’s won by 9 games in round one and 8 games in round two here this week. I think he can get to 9 against Kudla but, the price of -150 kind of sucks. I’ll look to get in on Djoker live.

Stan opens with the same line as Djoker. What? That either means Djoker is underpriced over Stan is way overpriced… and I lean hard to the former. Now, Stan has kind of owned Lorenzi, 3-0 with no lost sets but, this isn’t really the same Stan is it? And he’ll be playing on back to back days after going four sets in both rounds one and two. The 3-0 hasn’t been a solid bet for him and really, it’s too expensive to even be a parlay piece. I don’t see how Stan loses but, I also don’t see a way to back him. Let’s just hope he doesn’t expend too much energy and can push the shit out of Djoker on Sunday. Pass.

I have no feel for this Koepfer guy. He’s a 25 year old journeymen who plays to moderate success on the Challenger tour and basically just fails at qualifying for Slams every year and never has enough ranking points to enter any ATP tour events (he’s got three main draw matches this year and two of them were from Wimbledon where he got direct entry due to some withdrawals). This is a true case of an out of nowhere run. I mean he didn’t even win his first Challenger title until this past grass season. Anyway, he followed up that Ilkley title with a finals run in Aptos earlier this month and then he has cruised through FIVE rounds here in New York. So, maybe we should have kind of seen this coming? He only dropped one set in Ilkley (in the final) and he only dropped two sets in Aptos (the final). He only dropped one set in qualies, to Nic Mahut, and literally blew Ryan Harrison of the court. In the main draw he has dispatched clay stalwart Jamue Munar and an injured Reilly Opelka, so it’s harder to know what to make of those. You could say he was lucky to win both - he threw up 88!!! unforced errors against Munar and only served 59%, yet somehow won and Opelka was obviously in discomfort throughout their match. I would love to back Basher here but, he isn’t exactly blowing anyone’s doors off. He went five sets with Fucs and four sets with Brooksby. So, I’ll just pass on this one, although the o37.5 looks tempting.

Has Medvedev finally run out of gas? He gets to play the night match, so, he gets just about as much rest time as could be afforded him but, it’s tough to tell if it will help. Medvedev is the straight up better player on hard courts and his hold/break numbers on the surface are nearing elite levels (86+31=117% in 2019 at the moment). He also wins on hard courts about 67% of the time. Medvedev has very limited Grand Slam experience, he is only 13-11 for his career at all Slams but, his best success came at the Aussie this year (another hard court). If he comes out healthy and fit, and manages to not get pulled into a fifth set, he should be fine. Lopez is 37 and in semi-retirement; he hasn’t been past the third round of a Slam since the US Open four years ago. He’s gone four sets in both rounds this week and won’t be overly fresh either. I like Meds to win here.

I’m not touching Federer here. His price is massively depressed, he has dropped the first set each match this week, and he is playing bright and early at 11am. I can’t remember the last time that was the case. I can’t imagine Dan Evans actually wins but, like Wawrinka, I don’t see a way to bet Federer here. There is real comparable for a 38 year old playing elite level tennis at the final Slam of a season with 37 matches under his belt. It’s not last year but, it is supposed to approach 30 degrees Celsius tomorrow and it’ll be right at the noon hour. Fed has dropped surprising matches at each of the last two US Opens and I just don’t like this match. I will look to back Evans at +2.5 in the third set if he is down two sets to love. That should be around -150.

I feel better about things when I don’t go near Goffin matches. Goffin and PCB are within 2% in hard court hold/break stats in the last two years and I just don’t see an edge here. They are both coming off relatively successful tourney appearances in Winston-Salem and Cincy and they both looked solid on Wednesday (PCB struggled to start but, finished 62,60). This is an easy pass.

So, I’m getting on the Dimitrov train. He has better stats than Maj in every category I look at. I know he is not the same Dimitrov, necessarily, that put those stats together but, he won a solid round one match and he got to spend two days practicing in New York. Maj had never beaten a top 100 player in an ATP match and he just went through a gruelling five set match on Thursday. I think the Pole might be the one guy in play effected by the weather delay and I think Dimitrov can pounce. One other weird thing in Dimitrov’s favour is Maj’s height. Maj is generously listed at 6 feet exactly. Dimitrov has only lost to two people 6 feet tall or under in the last two years (despite all his terrible results), Kei Nishikori and Dusan Lajovic.

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150/1. I knew this roadblock would be here and I capped it at about a pick’em. Nishikori has opened as a -200 favorite and will probably take money over night. I put most of that down to name recognition. Look at the stats - ignoring 2017 when DeMinaur was a teenager. ADM has equal or better hold/break numbers on hard courts the last two years, he already has a 62% winning percentage on hard courts at 20 years old (incredible) and he has a positive tiebreak record (also incredible at his age). In fact, ignore the totals in the tiebreaks (simply because Kei is almost a decade older) and look at percentages - they both are winning exactly 59% of their tiebreaks. They even had similar 2018’s on this surface. Kei was pushed to four sets, out of nowhere on Wednesday, by Bradley Klahn and ADM cruised. ADM has only dropped one set, a tiebreak to PHH, and I like him to really push Nishikori. I’ll hold off on hedging for now and maybe look to hit Nishikori if ADM gets up big. Let’s go DeMinaur.

Dimitrov/Medvedev ml, -134

Good luck



ATP Tennis 2019 August 29 US Open Day 4

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Man, did I read Fed wrong. Slow starts seems to be a common thing for him at the US Open, regardless of opponent. And Djoker doesn’t seem particularly healthy, so, fingers crossed someone a little better than Londero, like, say, Stan Wawrinka or Daniil Medvedev can really push him in the coming rounds.

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Three futures remain… well, because there was barely any tennis on Wednesday. I like all the options I still have on the board though.

Thursday, despite all the matches looks like one of the least appealing set of lines I have seen in a while. I’ll re-cap the postponed matches first.

Day Four

Neither Kudla nor Lajovic are guys who inspire me on hard courts. Kudla is best on grass and has a career winning percentage of 0.277 on hard courts. Kudla has never been past the first round of the US Open before, had a lame, retiring opponent in Tipsarevic to gift him a win on Monday and hasn’t been past the second round of a tournament since Stuttgart in June (9 straight events). So, I know I’m down to fade the American. The question is, can I get behind Lajovic? He has been super hot and cold this year, going to the finals in Monte Carlo and winning Umag but, basically exiting in the first round of every other tournament. Being that the US Open is one of the slower hard courts on tour, Lajovic usually does ok here, as he does in Indian Wells and Miami (9-8 career in IW, 8-7 in Miami and he went to the third round here last year). The courts have apparently been sped up a bit this year (43 tiebreaks in 64 first round matches) . It’s not enough of an edge for me to get involved but, I suspect Lajovic wins ( I have this closed to Lajovic -125/-130).

Lots of options interest me here with Stan. He predictably dropped a set to Sinner, as he is wont to do early in Slams but, that’s just him warming up. The stats comparison with Chardy doesn’t do Stan any favours either, as their hard court hold/break stats are within 6% of each other every year. But, I’ve written this about Stan numerous times, he outplays his stats. He’s 5-0 against Chardy in their career (only dropping one set in a tiebreak), he has a much, much better tiebreak record (54% v 47%), especially in Slams (the one tiebreak loss was in Tokyo, 59% tiebreak record in Slams). Chardy probably shouldn’t have gotten past Hurkacz and I expect Stan to slam him. The 3-0 pays +125 and I like that. The -5.5 pays costs -110 and I am ok with that. And the tiebreak equals yes costs -188 and I am ok with that. Lets’ see Stan win 76,63,64.

Kecmanovic is obviously on the rise and I was on him 3-0 in round one. While Lorenzi is obviously on the downswing and somehow got pushed to five sets by a teenager I’ve never heard of. But, the 3-0 actually costs juice now and the spread is -7.5. That means you need 63,63,64 to cover. Kec would have to serve first twice, get the break in the first seven games twice and/or find a set where he gets a double break. Lorenzi is not complete garbage - clay is his preferred surface and this is a slow hard court; not to mention he did get through qualifying last week. This seems a little steep for me and I’ll pass.

I must be a sucker a punishment (well, fuck, that’s pretty obvious). I’ve bet against this Brooksby kid three straight times now and he’s cost me money every time. Consider this ‘going to the well’. He can’t keep this up. Basil is a clay guy, predominantly, and has done well here in the past (7-5 record, 4th rd last year) on the slower hards. He usually takes care of who is supposed to take care of, going 18-4 in the last two years against guys outside the top 100. The four losses were mostly to guys just outside and usually involved a tiebreak or two (Daniel Brands 107, Kudla 109, and Vesely 103… Andreozzi 167). I expect he’ll end the Cinderella run here and with nothing appealing to parlay it with I’ll take the -5.5.

I don’t really see an edge between Lopez and Nishioka. I didn’t expect Lopez to be here and their hard court stats are very similar. In 2018 and 2017 their hold/break numbers were almost identical, they are both just over 0.500 in tiebreaks and both are just over 0.500 on hard courts in their career. There is very little between them and I think I’ll just pass.

It’s ridiculous that Dellien got through the first round. Kwon had to retire and based on the first two sets, he was probably never right to begin with. This is a complete mismatch on paper and the price reflects that. But, -10.5 is a massive, massive number, especially for anyone not of the Big Three. Meds has only ever covered that number twice - at the Aussie versus Lloyd Harris and on Monday, just barely, against Gunneswaran. I suspect he’ll get close but, eleven games is just huge. The 3-0 is juiced to -450 so that is out too. Pass. Like Djoker, this is a situation where the 3rd set handicap may come into play if the second set is tight.

I don’t see an edge with Evans and Pouille. It’s always bizarre to me that two guys in their late 20’s or early 30’s who have both spent the vast majority of their career in the top 100 have never played but, here we are. Evans’ numbers on hards are great and if anything, I could see this going over the total. It’s also listed at only 38.5. I’ll pass just because I suck at totals but, I expect at least four sets (four sets exactly pays +162 if you are interested).

I’m all over PCB here. He rolls. A nice parlay piece, especially considering he always apt to drop a set.

I am not comfortable betting Goffin and haven’t been for sometime. The moneyline and spread are huge and the only play I see here is if Barrere somehow steals a set. If he takes the first or second set, a live bet on Goffin 3-1 should be a slammer.

I have no read on who will win Cuevas vs Maj. Cuevas is a serving machine who got lucky that he played an out-form/out-of-shape/out-of-tennis Sock in round one. While Maj survived three tiebreaks against Jarry, who has somehow not transitioned to hard courts at all. I suspect this will go over and the tiebreak yes is only -150, which will be my angle here.

DeMinaur should roll. Garin is a predominantly clay player and he was lucky to survive five sets in the first round. This is an easy parlay piece to put with PCB. On hard courts ADM owns 20+ percentage advantages in the hold/break categories and he career winning rate on hards is not even in the same area code as Garin. ADM is also good in tiebreaks at a super young age and as stated above, there is an increased number of tiebreaks this year.

I don't bet Gilles Simon matches. He is the most unpredictable player in my database. He is pretty much a bet as a dog, fade as a favorite guy which makes me leery of getting on Rublev here. If healthy and rested, Rublev is the better player but, neither guy here is well known for holding leads. I suspect you could probably bet Simon pre-match and find a way to trade out green on Rublev sometime before the end of the second set. Also, with a total of only 37.5 I expect an over but, again, with these two dudes, I could also see some 62 sets leading to a four set under. In short, avoid this match.

Hoang doesn’t have a deep history against the top 50. His one win and his one close loss came against Verdasco and Gilles Simon, not surprisingly two of the most unpredictable players on tour. When he plays cream of the crop guys like Monfils, at Roland Garros, he was crushed. I’m not sure Kyrgios covers the -6.5, as I could see some tiebreaks here (Kyrgios finds a way to play them all the time) but, Kyrgios is also amazing in tiebreaks (especially for a 24 year old. I’ll take the Kyrgios 3-0.

I expected big things from Berrettini this summer but, it’s been hard to tell when he has been healthy (he’s played one match since Wimbledon). I’m not sure he can back up that win in round one and maybe it is best to wait for some slower hard courts on the fall Asian swing to back this kid. Thompson is also a guy I have a hard time reading (see: the grass season). The results are all over the board with this guy, success on grass but, terrible on fast hards? Neither guy has a track record on hards and neither guy has done anything on this North American summer hard court swing. I’ll just pass on this.

Kukushkin is not really a consistent top 50 player but, he is one now. And Popyrin three wins agains the top 50 this year, an injured Thiem, who retired mid-match, #39 PHH, who was at the beginning of a massive losing streak, and #50 PCB, maybe his best win of the year, at Wimbledon in straight sets. That is not a deep history that bodes well for him on Thursday. Kukushkin is 17-9 in his career at the US Open and in opposition to Popyrin, the only loss Kukushkin has to someone outside the top 80 this year, despite being having 19 losses, was too a recovering Krajinovic. Kraj was #113 at the time and is now properly back to #53, so even that loss by Kukushkin may not be that bad. I think Kukushkin, despite his mid-card status will be a little too much for Popyrin. This is also Popyrin’s sixth straight week in action - not something that inspires me, especially when week six forces him to play five sets instead of three. Neither player plays an exorbitant number of tiebreaks and so, I’ll take Kuku -2.5.

Monfils should roll. I backed him on the spread in round one and I’m riding that train again. He is a complete mis-match for a big-server who isn’t even on the level of someone like Isner (Monfils is 7-4 against Isner and 4-0 in the last five years) and with the match being played on a slower surface.

Shapo has been pretty inconsistent in 2019 and this is a potential letdown spot for him after winning in a smokeshow against fellow countryman (and potential usurper of Canadian media attention) FAA on Monday. Shapo is a far better player than Laak, especially considering Laak went five sets and three tiebreaks deep in his match. But, all that looks factored into the line, with Shapo at -1000 and -7.5. Pass.

Sonego and Andujar played earlier this year on clay, at altitude, which should approximate the cool, slower hard court conditions in New York (clay is slower than slow hards but, played a little faster at altitude). And Sonego really trucked him. Sonego seems to be at this best on clay (Kitzbuhel and Monte Carlo) and while Flushing Meadows may be playing faster than last year it is still by no means a quick hard court. Since his breakout in Marrakech he hasn’t really had any bad losses other than the two immediately following his title in Antayla. He’s on a pretty solid upswing. Andujar, for all his 33 years, has been to Flushing Meadows six times. I think Sonego gets this done, continuing his hot streak, after he straight setted Granollers. He served 64%, threw up 10 aces, and generated 10 break points. If he comes close to that again, he’ll put Andujar away in three or four sets.

How is Bublik/Fabbiano a second round match? Pass.

I don’t know how Zverev will get this done. But, I’m pretty confident he will. He makes the easy look brutally hard, as he dropped two sets from a two set lead AGAIN on Tuesday… he has done this so many times (see Chardy at the Aussie, Millman at the French, Lajovic at the French) and yet it’s a new thing too because last year he was splitting first and second sets in every Slam match. Importantly, Zverev has handled Tiafoe three times and each time he beats him, he doesn’t need tiebreaks to do it; he breaks the American plenty. I imagine this match will see four or five sets but, the spread is low enough that Zverev will still cover.

I’m a sucker for a motivated Paire. It’s hard to tell if he ever is but, given that he didn’t WIN on Saturday I’m guessing we get one more decent match out of him. He trucked Schnur on Tuesday, generating FOURTEEN break points in fourteen return games, and he’s beaten Bedene three straight times on multiple surfaces. Importantly, he beat Bedene on quick courts in Australia and slow courts in Morocco. Tuesday’s win for Bedene was his first on hard courts at the ATP level in 2019 and it was against a Challenger level clay courter. This is a big step up and I think Paire gets it done, ugly.

DSS rolled on Tuesday and he should roll here. Gerasimov is a bit of a one trick pony who usually excels on indoor hards. He got a gift of a first round match and for a guy who runs about 50% in tiebreaks he got kind of lucky to win two of them to get through that match. DSS has improved rapidly on hards and has expressed his love for hard courts recently (see Los Cabos, where he was a successful 8/1 future for this tennis bettor). Gerasimov is simply a Challenger level guy who has never won a Slam match before Tuesday. I expect the stage will be a tad big and DSS should break him pretty often. I like the spread and the straight sets.

I don’t have an opinion on Sandgren and Pospisil. I didn’t see either one of them winning in round one and I don’t see an edge here. Neither guy has anything other than average stats on hard courts and if anything, I lean to Sandgren just because he has accomplished a few things in the past two years (Aussie Open, Houston, Auckland). Pass.

Isner has owned Struff in the past, 3-0. But, Struff is improving pretty rapidly while Isner is headed straight downhill, Newport production notwithstanding. Their hard court stats are almost exactly the same in the past two years and this feels like an easy avoid. Especially with a total of 43.5 that requires them to split sets at some point. Pass.

Isner and Nadal should both roll but, the price seems right on both. They’ll be hard pressed to cover their spreads but, yet should win comfortably. Neither 3-0 bets are within range for a bet either. So, easy passes there.

I so want to bet Chung here. But, his up and down health just makes it too hard, especially with him as a favorite. He lost early and pulled out of his last two Challenger events before the Open and while he cruised through qualies, he didn’t play anyone. Verdasco will be by far his best opponent in his comeback and I am pretty surprised Verdasco is a dog. I feel like this is Verdasco or pass.

Wawrinka 3-0, +125
Wawrinka -5.5, -110
Wawrinka tb yes, -188
Opelka 3-1, +300 x0.5
Opelka/ADM/PCB +125
Basilashvili -5.5, -125
Cuevas tb yes -150
Kyrgios 3-0, -138
Kukushkin -2.5, -120
Monfils -6.5, -110
Sonego ml/Paire ml, -116
Zverev -3.5, -110
DSS 3-0, +100




ATP Tennis 2019 August 28 US Open Day 3

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Watching Leo Mayer lose was a like a complete repeat of Hurkacz… win the third set tiebreak and then, literally, have nothing left. Sad times.
Also, I tweeted about Gasquet yesterday too. I get that I am having a terrible year but, it is almost time for me to go back through my losses and see how many times I have lost when the player I bet on goes 3/14 on break points like Gasquet did. Just ridiculous that he lost that first set. Kind of the story of my whole year.

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Three of my six futures, including the main one I was hopeful for, went down in flames. Turns out Thiem was never healthy and never really had a chance. Go figure.

As for KK and Tsitty, it is just further proof that the Big Three may remain the Big Three for quite a while. Not a great showing by the next gen in general - all hope lies with Meds and Kyrgios now. And boy is Kyrgios’ quarter WIDE OPEN now. I got him at 80/1 but only for a quarter unit. We’ll see where this goes. Basically no excuse for him not to be seeing Nadal in the semis next Friday (other than his own head).

Day Three

Djokovic predictably did not cover the -10.5 spread in round one. He gets another, even more one dimensional, clay courter in round two. Londero, before this season, had never played a main draw match at aa Slam. He did well at Roland Garros, going four rounds deep on his beloved clay. But, it doesn’t seem likely he can come anywhere close to Djokovic on hard courts. Despite the fact that the moneyline is half the price of the first round, the spread is the same, at -10.5. The difference now though, is the price is +110 as opposed to -150. Djokovic has covered the -10.5 games in a second round match eight times in the last five years, which is double the amount he has done it in the first round. More importantly, he has gotten into double digits his last three US Open second rounds. I think he smokes Londero.

Neither Kudla nor Lajovic are guys who inspire me on hard courts. Kudla is best on grass and has a career winning percentage of 0.277 on hard courts. Kudla has never been past the first round of the US Open before, had a lame, retiring opponent in Tipsarevic to gift him a win on Monday and hasn’t been past the second round of a tournament since Stuttgart in June (9 straight events). So, I know I’m down to fade the American. The question is, can I get behind Lajovic? He has been super hot and cold this year, going to the finals in Monte Carlo and winning Umag but, basically exiting in the first round of every other tournament. Being that the US Open is one of the slower hard courts on tour, Lajovic usually does ok here, as he does in Indian Wells and Miami (9-8 career in IW, 8-7 in Miami and he went to the third round here last year). The courts have apparently been sped up a bit this year (43 tiebreaks in 64 first round matches) . It’s not enough of an edge for me to get involved but, I suspect Lajovic wins ( I have this closed to Lajovic -125/-130).

Lots of options interest me here with Stn. He predictably dropped a set to Sinner, as he is wont to do early in Slams but, that’s just him warming up. The stats comparison with Chardy doesn’t do Stan any favours either, as their hard court hold/break stats are within 6% of each other every year. But, I’ve written this about Stan numerous times, he outplays his stats. He’s 5-0 against Chardy in their career (only dropping one set in a tiebreak), he has a much, much better tiebreak record (54% v 47%), especially in Slams (the one tiebreak loss was in Tokyo, 59% tiebreak record in Slams). Chardy probably shouldn’t have gotten past Hurkacz and I expect Stan to slam him. The 3-0 pays +125 and I like that. The -5.5 pays costs -110 and I am ok with that. And the tiebreak equals yes costs -188 and I am ok with that. Lets’ see Stan win 76,63,64.

Kecmanovic is obviously on the rise and I was on him 3-0 in round one. While Lorenzi is obviously on the downswing and somehow got pushed to five sets by a teenager I’ve never heard of. But, the 3-0 actually costs juice now and the spread is -7.5. That means you need 63,63,64 to cover. Kec would have to serve first twice, get the break in the first seven games twice and/or find a set where he gets a double break. Lorenzi is not complete garbage - clay is his preferred surface and this is a slow hard court; not to mention he did get through qualifying last week. This seems a little steep for me and I’ll pass.

I missed out on Opelka in the first round and I’m still a little pissed about it. Opelka owns a magical 3-0 record against Koepfer and they are all within the last 18 months. Very impressive. Especially considering the way Koepfer is playing right now. The issue I have with Opelka here is in those three wins he is 4-0 in tiebreaks. That record belies a career tiebreak record that is still, weirdly, below 0.500 (he lost one against Fog too). I expect Opelka gets this done but, I’m not sure he covers the spread and I am guessing he drops a set, probably in a tiebreak (tiebreak yes is -800!!!). An Opelka 3-1 bet pays +300 and is probably worth $50.

I must be a sucker a punishment (well, fuck, that’s pretty obvious). I’ve bet against this Brooksby kid three straight times now and he’s cost me money every time. Consider this ‘going to the well’. He can’t keep this up. Basil is a clay guy, predominantly, and has done well here in the past (7-5 record, 4th rd last year) on the slower hards. He usually takes care of who is supposed to take care of, going 18-4 in the last two years against guys outside the top 100. The four losses were mostly to guys just outside and usually involved a tiebreak or two (Daniel Brands 107, Kudla 109, and Vesely 103… Andreozzi 167). I expect he’ll end the Cinderella run here and with nothing appealing to parlay it with I’ll take the -5.5.

I don’t really see an edge between Lopez and Nishioka. I didn’t expect Lopez to be here and their hard court stats are very similar. In 2018 and 2017 their hold/break numbers were almost identical, they are both just over 0.500 in tiebreaks and both are just over 0.500 on hard courts in their career. There is very little between them and I think I’ll just pass.

It’s ridiculous that Dellien got through the first round. Kwon had to retire and based on the first two sets, he was probably never right to begin with. This is a complete mismatch on paper and the price reflects that. But, -10.5 is a massive, massive number, especially for anyone not of the Big Three. Meds has only ever covered that number twice - at the Aussie versus Lloyd Harris and on Monday, just barely, against Gunneswaran. I suspect he’ll get close but, eleven games is just huge. The 3-0 is juiced to -450 so that is out too. Pass. Like Djoker, this is a situation where the 3rd set handicap may come into play if the second set is tight.

Federer has funnily enough only played Dzumhur twice, both at Slams. He has never dropped more than four games in a set. Much like Wimbledon, Fed dropped his opening set, then cruised. He crushed Jay Clarke in round two at Wimbledon and I expect something akin to that today. Dzumhur has been in rough shape all summer. He drops opening sets almost every match and has to fight back (I won this kind of a bet against Hoang and got greedy with Benchetrit +4.5 instead of first set ). I’ll parlay Fed 3-0 and play Fed 1st set 63 and Fed 62 for half units.

I don’t see an edge with Evans and Pouille. It’s always bizarre to me that two guys in their 30’s who have both spent the vast majority of their career in the top 100 have never played but, here we are. Evans’ numbers on hards are great and if anything, I could see this going over the total. It’s also listed at only 38.5. I’ll pass just because I suck at totals but, I expect at least four sets (four sets exactly pays +162 if you are interested).

I’m all over PCB here. He rolls. A nice parlay piece, especially considering he always apt to drop a set.

I am not comfortable betting Goffin and haven’t been for sometime. The moneyline and spread are huge and the only play I see here is if Barrere somehow steals a set. If he takes the first or second set, a live bet on Goffin 3-1 should be a slammer.

I have no idea what to do with Coric here. I really feel like he wins just based on Dimitrov’s rough form this summer. Of course, Coric hasnt been much better, having a real down 2019 spring/summer. He has only won back to back matches four times since Miami (last hard court swing in March). I think Coric is going to be much more likely to handle two matches in a row than Dimitrov though; Dimitrov has only won back to back matches three times since the Aussie Open! Yet, Dimitrov is the one taking money this morning. I think I’ll wait and see how they start. If Coric looks ok but, goes down a break early (or even if Dimitrov starts on serve and no one breaks) I should be able to get Coric as a dog in the first set live.

I have no read on who will win Cuevas vs Maj. Cuevas is a serving machine who got lucky that he played an out-form/out-of-shape/out-of-tennis Sock in round one. While Maj survived three tiebreaks against Jarry, who has somehow not transitioned to hard courts at all. I suspect this will go over and the tiebreak yes is only -150, which will be my angle here.

DeMinaur should roll. Garin is a predominantly clay player and he was lucky to survive five sets in the first round. This is an easy parlay piece to put with PCB. On hard courts ADM owns 20+ percentage advantages in the hold/break categories and he career winning rate on hards is not even in the same area code as Garin. ADM is also good in tiebreaks at a super young age and as stated above, there is an increased number of tiebreaks this year.

Nishikori obviously looked dominant against Trung but, with the retirement it is hard to tell if that was due to injury on Trung’s part. Looking at Meds price, Fed’s price, Djoker’s price, etc. Nishikori should be ALOT higher than -600. My guess is this due to Nishikori’s habit of dropping sets in Slams. Much like Goffin, I would love to see Nishikori drop a set or two and bet him 3-1 or live in the fifth set.

Djokovic -10.5, +110
Wawrinka 3-0, +125
Wawrinka -5.5, -110
Wawrinka tb yes, -188
Opelka 3-1, +300 x0.5
Basilashvili -5.5, -125
Fed 3-0/PCB ml/ADM ml, +106
Fed 6-3 1st set, +225 x0.5
Fed 6-2, 1st set, +400 x0.5
Cuevas tb yes -150

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 27 US Open Day 2

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Collapses all around. Again. Querrey and Berdych were just bad handicapping, I can admit that. Hurkacz being up 2-1 to a 32 year old mid-carder and Norrie not being able to serve out the match TWICE however, are just shitty luck.

Anyway, on to Day 2.

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A 3-8 day, down $238. Rough stuff.

Unfortunately, last night I had to work, so today will be without much analysis.

Day Two

Leo Mayer/Lorenzo Sonego ml, +153
Richard Gasquet -2.5, -110
Gael Monfils -5.5, -138
Henri Laaksonen ml, +137
Hyeon Chung -5.5, -138
Thannasi Kokkinakis ml, -125
Rafa Nadal -9.5, -120

Good Luck, sorry for the lack of analysis.

ATP Tennis 2019 August 26 US Open Day 1

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It’s been a whole, full, three weeks since I wrote anything (other than the weekly previews). And it feels refreshing. It’s been a grind in 2019 And let’s be honest, I was way too busy and distracted for this. I probably should have quit betting/posting altogether this summer. I am down almost $3,000 since Wimbledon and am down a full $2000 just in August. It’s been a shitshow. Wedding, multiple vacations, and a some career transition. Too much.

Anyway, back to normal. Eleven weeks to make back somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5000. This should be fun.

Here’s a full recap of the summer:

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The preview article is up at BangTheBook for the US Open. It’s huge; most I’ve ever written. Give it a read if you haven’t already, even if you don’t bet what’s in it. It’s a solid history lesson, if nothing else.

The podcast is up as well, at BallBoyzTennis. Give it a listen.

Day One

Djokovic should cruise in his first match. He is, without doubt, the greatest hard court player of all time and he is super comfortable at the US Open. But, -10.5 is a massive line. In first round matches at Slams Djoker has only covered that line four times in the last five years. RCB, on the other hand, has only ever won a single five set match on a hard court; last year at the US Open. But, it was against the #304 player in the world. Djoker should truck Baena on a hard court but, this line feels just about right. You’d be looking for 63,62,62 to get it there. I’ll pass, there has to be better value on the board, especially considering the -10.5 is priced at -150 for me. A better bet maybe the third set handicap, which is something I’ve been tackling in 2019 at Slams. I’m probably not going to share every opportunity but, in this case if Djoker takes the first two sets, be on the look-out for the third set handicap. If your name is not Hurkacz or Tsonga or Thiem or Roger you’re not getting more than three games off Djoker in a final set. If the third set is Djoker -2.5 and less than -200 juice, you should hit it.

Querrey is 8-4 in the first round at the US Open in his career and he has covered a -5.5 line in six of those eight wins. Funnily enough, all four of his losses were to guys outside the top 50, like Londero. However, in this case, Querrey feels safe. Londero is much more of a clay court player than any previous Querrey US opponents. Londero is 3-5 on hard courts so far in 2019 - those three wins were over 35 year old Tommy Robredo in qualies, an injured Berrettini and fellow clay court specialists Cristian Garin. The last piece of the puzzle for me is the spread in relation to the moneyline. Querrey is -500 yet has a spread of -5.5. Other players with a -500 moneyline, like Wawrinka and Kecmanovic have a spread of -6.5. I’ll bite on Querrey.

There is not a lot of statistical difference between Tipsarevic and Kudla when it comes to hold/break numbers on hard courts. Of course, when it comes to career accomplishments on the surface, Tipsy blows Kudla away but, we are not dealing with peak (or even post-peak) Tipsy… we’re dealing with a retiring Tipsy. The Serb announced this would be his last tournament earlier this week (not to be cynical, and I have no way to verify this buuuuut, I would not be surprised if this was also the last protected ranking slot Tipsy had available). I’d take Tipsy here as a dog purely on past pedigree and because he should put in a solid effort, this being his last kick at the can. Which means, I’m a little surprised that he is the dog. Kudla is nothing special on hard courts. Another interesting tidbit here, the over/under is lined at 37.5. This is the ONLY match on the board where the favorite is less than -200 and the total is less than 38.5 (usually the bigger the favorite, the lower the total and vice versa). Anyway, if I had to bet this, I would take the over. I’ll pass though.

Steve Darcis hasn’t played a hard court match since February and he hasn’t won an ATP hard court match since New Years. Lajovic has played some hard court matches but, to almost no avail. I mean, he might as well be Spanish or South American given his preference for clay. Lajovic is a 0.507 player on clay and is well below 0.500 on the other surfaces. He has 1351 ranking points and 1011 of them come from clay (one of the largest percentages on tour). I suspect Lajovic will win this just based on talent (and match fitness) alone but, it’s about the twice the price I would line it. Pass.

Since coming back from injury at the beginning of 2018 Stan hasn’t been covering -6.5 spreads against too many people. He beat Dimitrov handily here last year and he destroyed Kovalik and Garin at the French this year but, clay is, of course, his favoured surface. I suspect Stan will be far too much for Sinner, in his first main draw slam match but, I am unsure how close it will be. Stan is a solid parlay piece if you need one, although at -500 he doesn’t bring much value to the table (basically, if you are parlaying two guys around -300 to -350, then Stan will get you into plus money, but, that’s about it). Pass.

I’m not one to be scared off a guy coming off a title win. One, the match was Saturday, so Hurkacz has had a day to get to New York and get situated. Two, it’s a Slam, Hurkacz should be focused. Three, he’s 22 and already had three Challenger titles to his name. Four, there is no tennis after the US Open, he can go party then. I expect full effort here. This is a kid who’s Slam results are pretty skewed given that his last two Slams he has run into Djokovic early. And he actullay improved. After getting thumped at the French, he took a set off the Serb at Wimbledon and really went toe-to-toe for the first two sets before the wheels came off. These two guys have super similar hard court hold/break numbers but, Chardy is treading water while Hurkacz is on the dramatic up-swing. Additionally, Chardy withdrew from Winston-Salem with a foot injury so, he may not be 100% and he hasn’t been past the second round of a Slam since the 2016 French Open more than three years ago. So, while this price seems a little steep, I’ll look to parlay this.

Djere is very similar to Lajovic - a guy ranked inside the top 40 who is there almost entirely due to clay. Djere has 1200 ranking points as of today and 1034 of them come from clay. He’s 1-6 on hard courts this year and carries a career 0.217 winning percentage on the surface. In his six losses he has won… one set. Kecmanovic beat Djere at Indian Wells in straight sets, including a tiebreak and I expect a similar result here. You can get the -6.5 at -110 or go for a 3-0 victory at plus money. I’ll take the 3-0 and look to hit a third set handicap on Kec if it’s -2.5 close to plus money or a juicy -1.5.

I don’t know anything about Zachary Svajda. Let’s follow that with, Paolo Lorenzi should not be -1600 to anyone on a hard court. I’ll pass on this.

Oh man, do I want to bet Opelka here. Fog has had plenty of success against big men but, all the wins have come on clay. The only two wins I can find against the giants of the game, on hard courts, are a tired Delpo in Los Cabos last year and Sam Querrey at the Aussie Open in 2014. Opelka’s true strength lies on indoor hards and faster courts (I could see him having some success at the Aussie in January after an off-season of training) so, in the end I am going to pass on this. Like the Kudla/Tipsy match, I do see an over though. Opelka should get this to a tiebreak or two. What is concerning is the fact that it is the highest total on board at 40.5. There will have to be a splitting of sets and that worries me if Opelka drops whatever tiebreaks they get into.

I’m a big Munar fan but, he hasn’t had much success on hard courts yet. He’s nails in a tiebreak and his hard court numbers are on the up-swing. I like him as a dog but, the concern is that Koepfer is a bit hot. He’s travelled a bunch, from California to Vancouver, British Columbia, to New York however he’s doing a whole lot of winning. He made the final in Aptos, the third round in Vancouver and he swept through qualies last week only dropping one set. My suggestion is Munar plus games over the over. Pass.

I’m a sucker for Berdych. I wish to fuck he’d have had more success at the bigger moments in his career. Want to know something fun though? Berdych has covered -5.5 in every first round hard court Slam match he has played since 2010. I have said this more times than I care to count, Berdych usually beats who he is supposed to beat. I have zero idea how Brooksby qualified. I don’t think he should have won either of his last two matches. I’m on Berdych to crush this kid.

It impresses me that Fucs is a dog here. He is 5-2 against Basilashvili in his career and is a more accomplished hard court player. Neither player has had much US Open success other than Basil’s 4th rd run here last year and their hard court stats are actually pretty similar the last two years. I don’t see an edge here and suspect this clears the total of 38.5. I have a terrible record with over/under’s this year though , so pass.

Lopez has never been a hard court star, at least not on slower hard courts. His combined hold/break numbers have dwindled from 100 to 97 to 95 to a current 93. He pulled out of Winston-Salem with fatigue and he only has four main draw hard court wins in 2019 - clay courters Dusan Lajovic and Pablo Andujar, an injured Berdych and an indifferent Benoit Paire. Fritz is coming in off back-to-back losses but, they were on the heels of back-to-back finals and Goffin and Hurkacz are nothing to be ashamed of. This line opened as low as -350 at some books but, once it made it to a wider audience it was sitting at -500. I believe Fritz wins but, I expect a tiebreak or two and I’ll just pass on this one.

Nishioka is a guy I don’t usually have a good read on. He has a decent, if small, history at the US Open and he had a decent run in Cincy. He’s a better than 0.500 player on hard courts and he is solid in tiebreaks. Giron is a classic quad A player, doing well in Challengers and qualifying but, losing in main draws. I’ll look to pair Nishioka with someone, as I am sure he’ll drop a set here to make me nervous.

Kwon should roll Dellien, as Dellien is a classic clay court specialist. But, this line is crazy high. Like the Lorenzi match, I’m pretty sure who the winner will be but, don’t see any value.

Medvedev should roll here. -9.5 is a crazy high line though. This will be something I watch early and see if Meds is in a groove. I’ve written about Meds a lot; when he is on hard courts, and he gets rolling, especially on outdoor courts, he stays uber hot. If he breaks Gunneswaran early, this could get ugly. If Meds wins a set 62 (or 63 with a double break) then you should hit Meds handicap in the following set. Pass on the pre-match line though because if he starts slow and/never gets rolling rolling then it could be tight all the way.

I’ve been betting against Fed live, in-play in Slams for a year now but, this particular match may be a bit different. Nagal really doesn’t have much business being here. Prior to these qualies he had only ever played one main draw ATP hard court match (which he lost) and in 2019 he only had two hard courts wins in total (both at the Challenger level). Fed is definitely on cruise control in these kinds of matches and I’m not sure he blows Nagal out but, he is interestingly a full game cheaper than Djokovic. I’m just going to pass.

Dzumhur has really been struggling. He is dropping sets to almost everyone. The only match Dzumhur has won in straights in the last five weeks has been over the 1530th ranked player in a Challenger match. Benchetrit got through qualifying nicely and he should be good to keep it close if not steal a set. This is a pure Dzumhur fade.

Pella has been showing well lately, especially in big matches. But, PCB is better than the Argentine in every hard court stat I care about. he may have folded to Paire but, a Paire who cares can be a tough out. PCB has had decent success at this venue and I suspect him to be rested and ready to roll after the disaster that was Winston-Salem’s schedule.

I’m out of time. Again. 32 matches is a ton to write about.

Querrey -5.5, -138
Hurkacz ml/DeMinaur ml, -125
Kecmanovic 3-0, +110
Berdych -5.5, -120
Nishioka ml/Coric ml/Norrie ml, +106
PCB ml, -125
Benchetrit +4.5, -125

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 6

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Another shitty day, capped off by Tsonga blowing up my outrights. I just can’t get on a roll and I simply put it down to shitty handicapping. Bad effort. All around.

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Only Tsitty remains. The two longshots made meek exits in round one. Let’s hope the Greek freak can carry my flag.

Day Two

Both ADM and Evans had shocking first round losses in Washington and both have the same travel schedule coming from Atlanta before Washington. They have almost identical combined hold/break stats in 2019 on hard courts and both play a similar movement over power kind of game. I don’t have an opinion on who wins this match as it seems a dead heat; if anything, ADM looks a little steep in price. I would suggest an over based on their similar styles and the fact that their one and only meeting went 76,75 on a quick grass surface. But, I have been terrible on totals all year and I’ll just pass on this match.

I’m going to break a “rule” because, well, fuck, I’m down 36 units, why not. I usually never bet on Gilles Simon matches. You can just throw stats out the window with this guy, he’s a disaster to handicap. But, here’e the thing; I pointed out on the podcast, one angle to watch was travel from Mexico. It’s like an 8-9 hour flight, any North American will tell you West to East travel is not easy on the body clock, and well, Los Cabos is resort city and Montreal is, well, Montreal. It’s not a beach town. There were three Washington vs Los Cabos matches on Monday. Dogs, favorites, pick’ems, did’t matter, the three players in this situation from Los Cabos never won a set. Simon is coming from Washington where he went out in the first round, he’s plenty rested and he’s at least been to Canada on nine different occasions. Albot is coming from Mexico, he went to the semi-finals there, and he has never played in Canada. Add to that the fact that Simon is 2-0 against Albot and has never dropped a set to him… and you have a play on Simon; as much as I hate to do it.

Go back and re-read that last paragraph and replace Albot with Pella and Simon with Goffin. It’s the exact same scenario, almost to a tee. The only difference is Goffin is 3-0 against Pella, not 2-0. Going to whiten my knuckles and take Goffin.

Coric should skate past Gojo pretty easily. But, the Croat has been relatively unhealthy lately and I don’t know what his fitness level is. Gojo went on a rampage in Washington, upsetting in order, Rublev, DeMinaur, Raonic and Edmund before losing to Medvedev. It was an impressive run and I really have no idea if that kind of form can carry over when it is produced out of no where. Gojo was out in qualifying or the first round of 12 of his last 14 tournaments. The two where he made it past the the first round… well, he lost in round two. That run last week literally came out of no where. I’ll pass on this match.

Here’s another scenario where you have a Los Cabos player vs a Washington player. And the Washington player is favored. And travel is probably factored in. Has to be. Because I don’t see any other reason why Hurkacz would be favored over Taylor Fritz. Hurkacz just had a pretty poor showing against Isner in Washington and Fritz is coming off back to back finals, albeit in 250’s, against lackluster competition and on separate coasts. In fact, Fritz has an incredibly poor travel schedule coming into Montreal. Fritz is better in every category I look; three years of combined hold/break numbers, hard court career, tiebreak success, head-to-head… only travel is a draw back. I would make Fritz the favorite here and this line is enough to scare me off this match.

If you want the statistical breakdown, Edmund is about on par with Kyrgios. A little bit better this year, a little bit worse last year. In reality, on the court, stats don’t matter. When NK cares, greatly, he wins. He proved that last week. All signs would point to him not caring this week. That’s his m.o. He won Acapulco this year and proceeded to go on a pretty decent run of dropping out early. It would seem, historically, though that Edmund usually comes up lacking in big spots. And make no mistake, despite this being a first round match, it’s a big spot. Spotlight lights on now. NK beat two contemporary players who have already established top 10 credentials. Kyrgios spent about a year in the teens but, could never crack the top 10. I would say most of the tennis fans who pay attention day-to-day outside of Slams will be more than eager to see if Kyrgios is going to back up Washington. He’s somehow a dog in this match. I’ll bite.

Isner does not have a sexy record in Canada and I think his matches are to be avoided here. He usually is pressured or feels the need to play Newport and Atlanta based on his playing style and he’s racked up great success at those two events. But, the way the schedule works, especially when he chooses to also attend Washington, means that he goes from Wimbledon, to Newport, to Atlanta, to Washington, to Toronto, to Cincinnati, to Winston-Salem, to Flushing Meadows. I’m no rocket scientist… but maybe he needs to start skipping Newport and Atlanta once in a while. Or even Washington. Is it any co-incidence that when he won Atlanta and went to the finals in Washington in 2015… he had gone out on day one at Newport? He did complete the tri-fecta in 2011, winning Newport and making the finals in Atlanta before losing in the semis in Washington - that’s three good runs. But, that was in 2011. Eight years ago. He’s usually burnt out, again, by Canada, only making the semis here one time in his career. He has also only had two good runs in Cincy, making the finals once and the semis one other time. All this culminates in him having a shitty record at his “home” Slam, where he has only made the quarters twice in 12 years.

Cilic has had a bad year, no doubt. But, he showed signs of life in Washington and Klahn is playing the Isner schedule. I’m all over Cilic here. I even think he may be able to make a little run here, given his quarter. I though PHH may be able to take advantage of Thiem but, maybe it will be Cilic in the quarters. I’ll take him 2-0.

I have no line for Millman/Lopez but, that is not a match that interest me anyway, with Lopez not having played singles since Wimbledon and Millman coming from Los Cabos.

Goffin/Simon ml, +120
Kyrgios ml, +100
Cilic 2-0, -125

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 5

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Winner, winner. Fun to finally hit another decent sized future and fun to finally be back on hard courts where I feel most comfortable capping tennis. The vast majority of the, like, 13 outrights I’ve hit in 2019 are on hard courts.

The Canadian Open is pretty stacked and there are numerous matches every day, so let’s jump right in.

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I have three outrights this week with varying unit sizes; check out BallBoyz tennis for the podcast and BangTheBook for the written preview.

Day One

Tsonga is better than Struff in every statistical category on hard courts. He has a better combined hold/break number in each of the past three years and most importantly, this year, has a better break percentage on hard courts. Tsonga is a winning tiebreak player, Struff is not, and Tsonga wins on hard courts almost 70% of the time while Struff is under 0.500 on this surface. Struff has never been to Canada for a match before and Tsonga has a strong history here. I like Tsonga to get the win here.

I’m not sure there is an edge to be found in Djere/Garin. Two pretty classic clay players who win about 20% of the time on hards. Please, avoid this match.

An injured Raonic? A disinterested Pouille? Raonic pulled up lame against Gojowczyk last week and has never really been able to string together multiple strong showings in a row due to health. Pouille Other than winning a Challenger event in France, Pouille has literally done nothing since the Aussie Open. Raonic is a pretty massive favorite here and given his track record in Canada, I feel like that is a tad too high. I’ll pass on this.

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Check out those stats. Every category. These two dudes are almost identical. One is travelling from Mexico and one is travelling from Austria. This feels like an easy match to avoid.

Basilashvili and Lajovic are two guys travelling from Europe who prefer clay to hards. Basher has the better hard court stats , both in hold/break numbers and career winning percentage and took last week off, while Lajovic played in Kitzbuhel. Basher has a 3-1 h2h advantage and is a winning tiebreak player. I’ll back him just like Tsonga.

I don’t have enough data on two largely Challenger level players in Schnur and Tommy Paul. I’ll pass on this.

Mannarino is 4-0 against Kukushkin and Kuku is travelling from Mexico, while Mannarino is only coming from Washington. I missed the best number here, with Mannarino sitting at plus money as late as last night. I’ll take Mannarino on the moneyline.

Stan and Grigor apparently play all the time in opening rounds now. This is the fourth meeting at a big event in the first round in the last year. In all they have played nine times and four of those, including three of the last five, have gone over the total. Wawrinka rarely blows people away, being plenty comfortable to win in tiebreaks. A 64,76 type of match is entirely realistic and the total of 22.5 may come down to whether Stan serves first in the opening set. I’ll risk it on a low total.

I don’t know enough about Kwon to make an educated move here. He seems like a quickly improving player, especially on hard courts. But, Ivashka is a dude with a decent serve and he could cause problems for the young Korean if he gets hot. I would risk it on Kwon if the price was a little lower but, -225 seems absurd.

Gasquet obviously looks to be still less than 100%. But, Paire is as flaky as they come and he is somehow only 1-6 against Gasquet. This seems like an easy match to avoid.

Shapo has lost five matches in a row and has only won two matches since March. He is statistically better than PHH in every category but, only just. Maybe the home crowd is enough to motivate him to end the losing streak but, more often than not the spotlight in Canada ruins home town players. One of my outright picks is counting on Shapo to struggle. So, that is enough of an investment here.

Tsonga -1.5, -125
Basilashvili - 2.5, -110
Mannarino ml, -120
Wawrinka/Dimitrov o22.5, -120

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 2

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Can anyone count how many third set tiebreaks I have lost? How about just in the last two weeks? Nope, still too high of a number.

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Tell me this; did Milos Raonic really lose to Peter Gojowczyk? That can’t have happened. I’m going to pretend Milos is still in the tournament.

Kitzbuhel

Thiem into the semis in Kitzbuhel. He’s made it twice in seven trips to the Austrian mountains, going 1-1. He is a massive -600 favorite, which, much like yesterday against Andujar, I feel is too much. Thiem, in semi-finals in his career is 9-23 at covering a -4.5 spread. If you include semis and finals Thiem is 15-38 in covering the -4.5 line. Sonego continues to defeat me at every turn. My guess is Sonego loses 75,64 or so. I have no interest in betting this match, in case Thiem somehow doesn’t get nervous.

Can superman ARV keep going? I don’t see why not. ARV has comfortably won six straight sets. He has only dropped one set in his last eight matches and it was in an 8-6 tiebreak in his first match coming off a title. Ruud, though, is creating a crazy amount of break points at elevation - 10 in each of his first two matches and 3 against the serve heavy Cuevas. ARV is not Cuevas but, he is a better server than Bachinger. His ability to hold serve on clay is actually pretty similar to PCB who Ruud broke four times. I still lean heavily to ARV here based on his experience and just how hot he is in the last month. The lack of tiebreaks these two play also leads me to not be worried about the hook when considering the spread. ARV has covered the -1.5 in all but won of his fourteen recent wins in July.

Washington


Mexico

ARV -1.5, -125

Good luck

ATP Tennis 2019 August 1

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The sweatiest 4-1 day ever. Every match but Ruud’s went three sets and Ruud had to win a tight second set tiebreak. The lone loss comes from the biggest favorite on my board. Fucking Goof. Every time I break a personal rule and bet a guy like Simon or Tiafoe or Goffin, like I know not to, it bites me.

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RCB had an unreal collapse. Right up there with in my long list of bad beats the last few weeks. It’s just incredible that these guys can coast through a match, break their opponent four times… serve for the match…. and just collapse.

Raonic and DSS breezed through their matches, so that’s something.

Kitzbuhel

Thiem rolled through Ofner and really, despite whatever demons he has here, it was to be expected. Ofner barely won his first round match. No double faults, 81% first serves in, broke his fellow Austrian five times. I suspect he’ll roll through Andujar too. But, -600 is still too high. Andujar is playing great tennis. He dispatched a few pretty good clay players in the last two weeks, making the semis in Gstaad last week and now the quarters here. That list includes Taro Daniel, Dusan Lajovic, Kohl, and Leo. I think the only play here is Andujar +4.5 or pass. I’ll pass; just in case Thiem really gets rolling.

If you can’t spot the sucker at the table…. well, fuck, I guess I’m the sucker. The sucker who is going to keep fading Sonego. Sonego’s stats just aren’t great. Verdasco has serious advantages in clay hold/break numbers, he’s much more experienced in tiebreaks and Sonego can’t keep winning tiebreaks at this rate (Sonego is an amazing 4-1 in tiebreaks in six sets in Kitzbuhel). Verdasco has spent years coming here, he’s used to the conditions, he got his work in and didn’t get upset off his bye as many seeded players do in 250’s. I’m on the moneyline.

Ruud is ascending. Man, he is going to be good on clay, too bad he’s not about two inches taller. He runs into a guy with a big serve, a clay pedigree and a good history at altitude. Cuevas and Ruud have very similar hold/break numbers, within 3% in each of the last three years. They both win more than 57% of their clay matches and they are both travelling from Hamburg. I think Ruud wins this but he’s gone from London to Germany to Sweden, back to Germany, now to Austria in the last five weeks. I’ll pass on this.

Is ARV Superman? It’s possible. I’m sure Spain has a dude in red tights in a phone booth. ARV is gunning for his fourth straight semi-final; just incredible. And it’s hard to get a read on this match up. Prior to, say mid-2017, ARV is the far better player on clay. And now again, in 2019, he looks the far better player in clay. There is the weird 18 month period in 2018 and into early 2019 where ARV was just terrible, falling almost out of the top 100. But, he’s just trucking people now. His 2019 stats blow Chardy out of the water. I feel like ARV is going to bust up Chardy’s serve and probably avoid the tiebreaks that have plagued Kitzbuhel.

Washington (just not going to have time for detailed write-ups)

Thompson fits the same mold as Sonego, being someone I just can’t read and someone who consistently outperforms their stats. I feel like JT might be a Brad Gilbert guy, “winning ugly” or “winning gritty” or whatever that book is called. Tsitty didn’t blow away Tommy Paul, having to win the last four games to close out the match from a break down. I’ll avoid this.

Isner is breaking people on hards. Paire is giving me heart-attacks against guys he should truck. Isner probably rolls but, my rudimentary pricing model only makes Isner about -225-ish. This seems high. I’ll pass.

Gombos is on his fourth straight week of North American hard court activity. He won Winnipeg, went deep in Gatineau and to the third round in Granby. But, the only guy in the top 200 he even faced was Schnur and that match as a mess, with five breaks of serve and a tiebreak in two sets. Kec himself had a messy match against PHH but, PHH is a sight better than Gombos. Since losing to Laaksonen in Munich in April, Kec has handled all the 80+ ranked players he has faced. I see a scoreline similar to Kec’s match against Popyrin and I’ll parlay the moneyline to avoid the hook.

Much like I’m a sucker for fading Sonego… I’m a sucker for backing Kyrgios. Night match, centre court, coming off a strong win, with some media love from a fun doubles showing… he should truck NIshioka.

Maybe I am biased to Cilic just based on his history. I know he is way off his game and winning 76,76 over Marius Copil isn’t exciting. But, FAA, for all his accomplishments still seems to have lapses in his matches. He drops worrying sets all the time. Think of Wimbledon where dropped sets to Moutet and Pospisil out of the blue, and then yesterday to Opelka. I don’t think Cilic will have the trouble those lesser players will at stealing the momentum if FAA’s level drops. Pass.

I never like to bet Taifoe matches. But, as I proved with Goffin last night, there is nothing more fun (and costly) than breaking your own rules. Have to take Meds here. He gets rolling on outdoor hards and he comfortably got past Fratangelo in round two. He should be in back in the hard-court groove and his numbers on hard courts over the last two years simply blow Tiafoe away. That is not even mentioning Meds record in tiebreaks in comparison to Tiafoe’s (t’s absurdly better). Meds all day.

Raonic should roll. Outright pick on him. No interest in doubling down on him at this price.

Edmund and Tsonga have nearly identical hold/break numbers on hard courts. Tsonga is obviously the more experienced player and has the longer, better track record. Tsonga is also way better in tiebreaks, which he didn’t even need against Khachanov. I think he gets past Edmund here but the over might be a better play, much like in FAA/Cilic.

Los Cabos

DSS surprisingly has better hard court stats than Kuku across the board. Lots of gamblers have been aware of DSS’ hard court prowess for a while now. The little Argentine even talks about it his preference for the surface in interviews. But, it still always surprises me. I’m on him outright for the week and I think he can get past Kukushkin comfortably here. Kukushkin had a great run at Wimbledon and a great two week period in February In Marseilles and Pheonix. But, in between… he was out in the first round pretty much every week. Beating a slumping Dzumhur doesn’t put much wind in the sails and I’m pretty comfortable doubling down here.

Verdasco ml, -138
ARV -2.5, -110
Meds/Kyrgios ml, +100
Kecmanovic/DSS ml, +109

Good luck

Good luck