Another ugly day. Thank the tennis gods for Taylor Fritz. Troicki was obviously a bad call. Dzumhur was an injury retirement, he looked alright until 5-5, when his injured shoulder obviously wore out. HE lost 12 straight points and retired. I got the tiebreak I needed in Verdasco/Querrey but, then Verdasco gave up. Shitty day.
You know you are running bad when your outrights lose… without even losing a match. This marks the THIRD straight week I have had an outright in the quarterfinals pull out of the tournament. That’s kind of remarkable.
Jordan Thompson has yet to be broken in Antalya and he is consistently winning 80% of the points on his first serve. That is pretty amazing. Kecmanovic has only been broken once, while serving for the match against Ugo Humbert, and he broke immediately back to set up another chance to serve for the match, where he held. Kec has also managed to win 80% of the points on his first serve in two of the three matches he has played this week. This should scream ‘over’, right? Well, 19 of the 32 matches Thompson has completed on the tour this year have finished in straight sets and 24 of the 34 matches Kec has completed on tour this year have finished in straight sets. So, I don’t think I’ll be looking for an over. And with serving stats like that I am not sure I can pick a winner. What I will be looking for is a second set handicap though. Thompson generally can fight back and win or win in straights. He is 25, so he has had time to generate some resolve. Kec on the other hand has a pattern that is pretty common amoung teenagers on tour. Lose the first set, lose the match. I can only find two instances of him coming back from a set down at the ATP level and one of them was against a guy I’ve never heard of. So, should Thompson win the first set, I’ll be looking to back the moustachioed Aussie at a juice -1.5 or a plus money -2.5 in the second set. If Kec wins the first all bets are off (although, depending on how JT is playing a live bet on the Aussie or a live bet on the over are probably the plays at that point).
LOL at this match. Coming into Antalya PCB was a former top 10 player, 27 years old, who had never won a grass match. This week he has been gifted wins over tour stalwarts Kevin Krawietz and Bernard Tomic. I guess you could put some mustard on the Tomic win but, he has been so up and down for the past four years I am never sure what to make his wins and losses. He is granted another match today against a guy who doesn’t have a ton of grass experience in Lorenzo Sonego. But, Sonego has looked kind of impressive this week. He’s put away three tour vets and both Mannarino and Gunneswaran are decent on grass. Sonego has only been broken twice this week, both times by Mannarino, who was breaking serve over 30% of the time this year on grass. PCB was only able to break someone like Krawietz one time. Sonego is throwing down between 8-10 aces each match and PCB has a history of struggling on grass. Antalya has been home to two first time tour winners in its two years on tour. I feel the ‘breakthrough’ moment here for Sonego (and a continuation of a hell of a year for Italian tennis). Also, lastly, I feel the line tells you something. Sonego is favored in his first ever tour final, on a surface where he has played eight career matches. I’m on Sonego.
How can not keep riding Taylor Fritz? I said during this weeks pod, and last weeks, that Fritz would one day be a good grass player, and that he maybe just needed some more reps. He is breaking serve 26% of the time this week, on grass. That is a solid number and it means he is not relying on tiebreaks on a surface where many American players do (it doesn’t hurt that, at 21, he also has an impeccable record in tiebreaks). His two losses this year on grass were to RBA and Borna Coric - two top 20 guys with loads of grass experience. Nothing wrong with that. I’ll take plus money on a match I lined as a pick’em.
Querrey should roll and he is priced accordingly (his outright price is +100 and that is probably generous at this point).
Sonego ml, -138
Fritz ml, +130
possible LIVE plays in Kec/JT