A nice little 2-0 day with a weird 1-1 plus money move live. I’d take that every day,I guess. Struff rolled. Coric came back from down a set and Raonic pulled through in a third set tiebreak. Lovely stuff.
The Medvedev outright joins Ebden in the trash can. Meds did not like the conditions in Stuttgart on Tuesday, if any of the gifs I saw, painted a picture.
DeMinaur and Raonic moved on though and both their draws have broken nicely. The seeded player in Raonic’s quarter went out in the first match, as I predicted on the pod - it’s nice when that works out; I’ve correctly predicted a bad seed like 15 times over the past two years but, man, so many times the outright loses before they can take advantage. As for ADM, the big threat in his quarter, personal bankroll buster Frances Tiafoe, crashed out, so things look good.
It is always tempting to try and fit Zverev into a bet when his line is this low. I would suggest this line is so low for numerous reason - the first being rest. As mentioned on the podcast, Zverev is now playing his tenth week in a row and, like, fourteen in the last fifteen. It’s a bizarre schedule. Maybe he feels fresh and rolls but, man, it can’t be good long term. Also, this was never a planned stop, Zverev accepted a really late wild card to come here (much like he did in Geneva, where he titled, go figure). Zverev has really solid grass stats, with a combined hold/break number at 107% last year and 115% the year before, while winning 67% of his career grass matches. The rest factor is just hard to ignore. I’d say he gets by Dustin Brown but, it probably won’t be easy. Brown, as mentioned on Tuesday, has a combined hold/break number of 100% from 2018 (all in qualies matches), which isn’t that far off Zverev’s 107%. Brown served down 16 aces against Millman in round one and was only broken one time - Zverev and Millman have very similar grass court return stats. Again, I’m sure Zverev is safe in a parlay but, I’ll pass.
I don’t bet Gilles Simon matches. One interesting fact though - FAA has taken some serioussss steam. I saw him open at -125 (at some books it was as low as -118) and he is -200 as I write this. He had never played an ATP grass match before Monday. Fascinating.
Monfils has a tough task here. Kudla is no push over on grass and his skills on the surface belies his #81 ranking. The hold/break numbers are awfully close across each of the past three years (in fact, Kudla was actually higher in 2016). I think it’s just hard to get past Kudla’s record against top talent, on any surface. Much of his grass success is from Challengers and early rounds at ATP Tournaments. He went 10-5 last year but, only beat one top 50 guy, a 19 year old Stefanos Tsitsipas. Across any surface, over his whole career Kudla is only 5-13 against top 50 guys and 1-6 against top 20 guys. The only win on that list against a guy over the age of 21 is Pouille and he got that in a ‘revenge’ match, beating Pouille two weeks after he had lost to him at WImbledon. So, a top 20 guy, mature in his game, and good on grass? I suspect Monfils will get this done. In addition to backing Monfils, I’ll be looking to back him in-play if he gets behind. Kudla has won the first set in all five grass matches he has played in 2019 (he lost in three to Troicki in Surbiton). Last year he went 9-6 in first sets on grass. Monfils is not above dropping a set - he dropped one to Johnson in round one, albeit the second set, and he has dropped the first set eight times in 2019 already. I could easily see Kudla winning the first set and giving away the match. I can also see Monfils getting down IN A set and coming back. He dropped an early break in all three sets against Johnson on Tuesday and recovered each time. If Monfils gets broken early in a set, I’ll not only back him live to win the match, I’ll back him live to win the set.
Berrettini and Khachanov are both young players on the rise. They both have limited experience on grass, although Khachanov has a little more. Berrettini’s win over Kyrgios is a little telling, regardless of the effort level the Aussie put out. Generating three break points and converting two, against Kyrgios on grass is pretty good. The stats all point to Khachanov but, Berrettini’s sample size is small enough, and the skill level is high enough, that I can disregard that. These two actually played earlier this year - on an indoor hard court (so, not as fast as grass but, as close as you can get) and Berrettini won. I’ll pass on this. If the o/u had been set a tad lower, I would have bit. But, 24.5 basically means 12 game sets or three sets and I don’t want to count on that. Pass.
Tsitsipas is good on every surface. He is fine on grass despite any concerns you made read about on social media - fourth round of Wimbledon last year and multiple successes on indoor hards. He’s done fine against big servers on tour, beating both Kevin Anderson and Zverev on hards in Toronto. He is a full week removed from his epic against Stan and he had the week before the French off. His grass court stats outweigh Jarry’s and Tsitty is a winning tiebreak player already. I’ll parlay this.
Kukushkin’s grass court stats are a perfect example of small sample size. He is a career 37% winner on grass but, last year caught lightning in a bottle and ran through Eastborne, beating a mis-mash of tour players from rookie Alex DeMinaur to retiring vet David Ferrer. That run bolstered his combined hold/break number to unseen numbers. It’s not sustainable. Gasquet routinely keeps his combined hold/break numbers on grass around 105%, he is a winning tiebreak player, he wins almost 70% of the time on the surface and he has beaten Kuku both times they have played. I can never get away from Gasquet.
I am happy to tackle Goffin here. He is 13-13 on the year coming into today and he has a laundry list of bad losses. In Doha he was -275 to Berankis; lost. In Montpellier has was -275 to Krajinovic; lost. At Indian Wells he lost to Krajinovic again, as a -225 favorite. In Miami he lost to Tiafoe as a -175 favorite. He lost to Struff as a -188 favorite in Barcelona… I mean, you get the idea. In Marseille he did beat Simon and Paire as a -188 and -250 favorite, so there is that. I think he is beatable as a favorite in this price range. His grass stats are unimpressive and PHH is actually improving rapidly (on every surface). I have been a big PHH backer through the last two years and I like him here. He slammed down 13 aces against Ebden in round one and generated a whopping eleven break points. On grass. Against someone who is good on grass. This price seems absurd.
Verdasco and Mannarino have very similar grass stats and Mannarino actually beat Verdasco here two years ago. I don’t see an edge in this match and will gladly avoid it.
Monfils -2.5, -120
Tsitsipas/Gasquet ml, -120
PHH ml, +175