ATP Tennis 2019 April 18 Day 4

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A nice 1-0 day. That was dampened by some wonderful people who wonderfully pointed out that I could have wonderfully won even more money had I bet all my leans….

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This chap would have swept the board (I was never playing Nishikori). Oh well, can’t be greedy, I’ll settle for being happy my reads were strong.

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Thiem survived and has a decent third round match. Additionally, Djoker looked far from stellar so, the notion to take the Serb on seems a solid one.

Day 4

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This line is massive and makes this match pretty much unbettable. Fritz showed yesterday he is pretty comfortable on clay and while is 2-8 in his career against top 10 talent, he has comported himself well. He’s stolen a set almost every time and the only instances where he’s been blown out were against David Ferrer in Miami when Fritz was 18 and earlier this year against Federer at the Aussie. Now, the stats presented totally dictate that Djokovic is a on different level than Fritz and could destroy him but, I think six games is asking a lot considering what we saw against Kohl. I’ll pass.

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Blockbuster time. I think every tennis fan is intrigued by this. A legit personal beef, in a sport of individuals, between two guys who are actually close in the rankings. It’s one thing if say, Nadal and Stakhovsky didn’t get along as there is no drama there but, here a legit argument can be made for either guy. Meds has won the first three meetings and while head-to-head isn’t everything, and can be thrown out a lot of the time as pure narrative, once it gets to a certain level of lopsided-ness, it can be predictive. Does Medvedev own a little space in Tsitty’s head? It would seem so given yesterday’s second round match:

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LOL, that is amazing if true. Medvedev is certainly rolling through Monte Carlo, beating Sousa 61, 61 and Albot 61,62. Those are dominating, Rafa-like, scorelines. On the flip side, Tsitsipas got rid of Kukushkin, although not in dominant fashion. The clay stats of the two participants here point heavily to Tsistipas. Clay would appear to be his best surface and Medvedev’s worst surface. The line of -125 looks to be a gift for Tsitsipas backers. I’m going to chicken out and stay away. It would not surprise me at all if Medvedev overcame these massive statistical deficiencies and beat the Greek again. Medvedev is a guy I bet on more than anyone else in 2018 and as I pointed out every time he got on a roll, I did so because there were weeks where he broke serve over 40% of the time. On hard courts. And he would sustain that effort and success all the way through the tournaments (he won three in 2018 and another already in 2019). I’m not sure that can translate to clay but he is breaking serve 73% of the time this week.

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Here’s another match that is pretty one-sided in head-to-head history. Thiem has beaten Lajovic all five times they have played and unlike Meds/Tsitty, these five matches have all happened on a relative surface. In fact, Lajovic has only won one set. Lajovic has shown pretty well here this week, serving in the low 60’s against both Jaziri and Goffin and winning his fair share of second serve points on return (42% vs Jaziri and 73% vs Goffin). There’s two things Lajovic has to keep out-performing on to stay competitive here. He needs to keep that first serve percentage up, as 63% is right at his career average. Thiem is no slouch at destroying people’s second serve; while Lajovic, as mentioned above managed to win 73% of the points on Goffin’s second serve, Thiem was able to win at a 63% clip against Klizan. He will kill Lajovic’s second serve. Secondly, Lajovic is going to have to keep out-performing his career numbers on break point. He routinely break serve in the low 20’s on clay. He has broken serve 31% of the time so far this week. Unfortunately, he has only ever broken Thiem twice in their five matches (and they’ve all been on clay). I don’t Lajovic can keep up and I think Thiem gets this done fairly easily. The -4.5 usually spooks me so, I’ll hope to avoid a 75,63 or 76,62 type scoreline and I’ll take the u20.5.

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Consider me on the clay Norrie bandwagon. Norrie’s hold/break stats far out-strip Sonego’s and while Sonego is rising fast, Norrie is the same age and more accomplished. Norrie came into the week on an 0-3 slide but, has easily turned that around beating Mannarino without being broken and over-coming two breaks of serve to get past Fucsovics. There is one concern with Norrie - he is coming from Houston. He would be the first person in my records (the last five years) to make the fourth round of Monte Carlo after such travel. Now, that could be affected by the talent level that is routinely in Houston and it could be affected by the small sample of players that actually make that trek. One thing that may cancel out this potential fatigue and be in Norrie’s favour is that Sonego is playing for the third week in a row. I’ll risk it and count on the stats presented that Norrie is the better clay player and take the dog money.

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Two guys who played well in round two. Two guys who are comfortable on clay. Two guys who have hold/break stats the last two years that show a decided advantage on clay. I liked both Coric and Zverev’s chances to go deep this week and I don’t see either opponent putting a dent in that notion today. Fog has been terrible this year and was lucky to be granted a walkover yesterday versus someone he is 0-5 against head-to-head. And PHH, while he secured a nice win over NIshikori is not on Coric’s level on clay and is now playing for the third straight week. I’ll parlay these two.

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Pella and Cecchinato are too close for comfort here. Their hold/break stats on the surface over the past two years are very similar and they have played four times, both registering wins on clay. Neither looked dominant in round two but both overcame big named opponents, so a letdown could be imminent on either side. All four of their matches have finished in straight sets so, this could merely be a matter of who shows up today. The under is probably the best bet but, I’ll stay away.

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How do you bet a match where the handicap is -7??? Well, a juiced -6.5. Not sure I have seen that too many times in a three set format. I guess with Nadal on clay, anything is possible, as witnessed by his double breadstick against a top 20 opponent yesterday. I’m certainly not paying -138 to figure out if Nadal is going to lose more than five games.

Norrie ml, +137
Thiem/Lajovic u20.5, -110
Zverev/Coric ml, -125

Good luck