Rough, rough day. Managed to get it to 2-3, down a little over $100 but, man, what could have been. AS is typical with grass, there are small margins - Paire lost 67,67… Johnson lost a third set tiebreak…. Ugo was broken at 4*-5 and 5*-6 in the second set. Just tight stuff.
I also continue to not listen to my own previews and instead get seduced by the isolated stats I produce. I mentioned on the podcast that Paire was a straight avoid this week and that I had Ugo coming out of the first quarter because Paire had no reason to be in Turkey. Then I turned around and bet on him yesterday because the stats showed him as the dominant player in the match-up. I never heeded my own warning. A mistake I make frequently - which probably says a whole bunch about my (lack of) discipline.
Jarry and Seppi both died sad deaths. That leaves Dzumhur at 28/1 in Antalya. He is a dog on quarter-final day so, we’ll see what that brings on Thursday. I actually think he has a good shot against Thompson.
Time is still incredibly tight, so I’ll keep these brief. Kecmanovic has only been broken twice this week, has served efficiently, in the high 60’s, in both matches (despite not laying down a ton of aces) and, most notably against Munar, he won 80% of his first serve points. The issue I have is that Kec beat such grass all-stars as Jaume Munar and Ugo Humbert, and now he is not only favored but, taking money? Against Troicki? On grass? Listen, Victor Troicki may be a far cry from the top 20 player he peaked at but, he is still a solid grass player. He has navigated his way through four matches so far this week while only dropping one set and I’m getting a real Tomic in Chengdu, Albot in Delray Beach kind of feel here. There have been upwards of three or four breaks of serve in each of the six matches these two have played this week, so I expect a few twists and turns here and I’ll back the grass vet at plus money.
I love Dzumhur as a dog here. Much like Kecmanovic I question what JT has done to be a favorite here, especially this large a favorite. He certainly wrecked the Challenger tour last year but, s’Hertogenbosch was not only his first final on the ATO tour, it was his first semi-final. There was very little indication this “breakout” was coming. And it feels like he reverted right back. He had to serve a 9-7 first set tiebreak with Bradley fucking Klahn to advance here. Meanwhile, Dzumhur has still yet to lose in Antalya. For +150? Sure.
PCB got his first ever win on grass and it took a 76,74 scoreline against a journeyman German player most readers of this blog have never heard of. Tomic feels like a cheap favorite here, mis-priced due to ranking and recent results. On this surface? Look at the hold/break numbers on grass; look at Tomic’s career winning percentage? Tomic rolls here.
And I’ll pair him wth Mannarino. He apparently loves Antalya and Turkish heat too.
I’ve said on multiple podcasts now, that I think Fritz may turn out to be quite a grass player at some point. He laid down 12 aces against the Brit teenager in round one and 13 more against Pella. He generated a whopping 10 break points against Pella too. I like him to take down Hurkacz here, in a serve fest, it probably goes over the total and there is most likely a tiebreak.
I don’t want to get involved in two hugely popular home town boys playing each other on home turf.
Verdasco and Querrey have completed four matches against each other; two of those went three sets and the other two included a tiebreak and a twelve game set. So far this week Verdasco as played two matches littered with tiebreaks and both went three sets. I’ll take the over.
Troicki ml, +110
Dzumhur ml, +150
Mannarino/Tomic ml, +114
Fritz ml -125
Querrey/Verdasco o23.5, -120