Another win, three in a row. All three futures got through, again. Feelin’ it. Probably left money on the table with Nadal spread and Khachanov but, I can’t complain at this point. Edmund/Fed was one of those bets where I wish I was still betting multi-units per bet. Felt like a no-doubter.
Man, am I disappointed. The looming presence of Federer and Nadal has suppressed all the futures cash- out values. Hurkacz was 300/1… he is in the fourth round and the cash out is less than the original stake. Isner was 100/1… he is in the fourth round and the cash out value is less than the original stake. Damn. Time to think about hedging.
The Fed ‘Man on a Mission’ narrative seems like it is still holding course. That outright looks promising.
Can Kohl back it up? No. No, he can’t. Much has been made of Kohl’s inability to beat top tier talent. Well, his ability to back up those few wins is even worse. Last year at the US Open Kohl beat #4 Alex Zverev… he was straight setted by Nishikori the next match. Kohl beat #14 Jack Sock in Rome and lost to Nishikori 1 and 2 the next day. He beat RBA in Madrid and then was routined by Kevin Anderson. Now, he did beat #3 Marin Cilic last year in Indian Wells and then followed it up by beating PHH before losing to Del Potro. But, PHH was ranked #93, not a top 20 or top 30 player at the time. On top of that need to back up a big win Kohl has to overcome a massive head-to-head disadvantage. Monfils owns Kohlschreiber, 13-2, including winning the last five straight and all nine that have been played on hard courts. In fact, in those nine hard court matches Kohl has won two total sets, and none since 2013. Monfils is in peak-Monfils mode and let me ask you, how relieved and motivated does Monfils feel that Djokovic is out of his way? Man, what a weight off the shoulders. Monfils’ head-to-head record with Djokovic is one of the worst in ATP history. Now, he must see an open path to the finals of a Master’s event (somewhere he’s been three times unsuccessfully). Lastly, Monfils has a decent advantage in hold/break stats on hard courts over Kohl. I’ll look to parlay this in case Kohl is still running hot early.
Serve versus return. Can Karlovic over power Thiem? I think the thing about Thiem is, he also has an above average serve. On clay, or slow hards (his US Open success seems to be forgotten all the time) Thiem is the total package. It’s too bad he was in Djokovic’s quarter because I totally overlooked him in the outright market… and he was 66/1. I think he puts an end to Karlovic’s run today, probably in straight sets, maybe with a tiebreak. Seems like a parlay piece to avoid the danger of the tiebreaks.
Raonic is a stay away for me for the immediate future. He has puzzling losses this year, including one last week to Struff. A quick re-match like this usually means the other guy wins but I don’t want to risk it. Their hold/break numbers are shockingly similar, although Raonic is slightly better each of the past three years. What concerns me, on top of Raonic’s losses in 2019, is that he struggles even within his wins - see yesterday vs Giron. I’ll pass.
I have no feel for Nishioka/Kecmanovic either. Nishioka is great on clay and seems to be enjoying Indian Wells. He is coming off a very emotional three set win though and I’m uncertain of how he’ll respond. Their hold/break stats have flipped over the course of the last two years and that leaves me with little confidence. Kecmanovic has rolled through his two matches here after receiving the lucky loser bye and if anything is playing care-free tennis. Other than a second set tiebreak with Djere, Kec hasn’t been challenged at all in the main draw. If anything, I like the dog price on Kecmanovic but, I’ll stay away.
The futures section of the draw. Not often you try to avoid a half of the draw because of a dominant player and then all your futures make headway and you are in danger of them all playing each other. I think I’ll avoid that fate here though. Shapo is playing inspired tennis and I think he do some damage to Hurkacz today. I will warn you before you read on… I had this EXACT scenario at the Aussie Open in 2018. 200/1 on Hyeon Chung, hedged with Zverev (massive hedge), Chung won, and then beat Djoker and when he got to Federer there was no way to hedge because of Fed’s price. I took a decent sized cashout but, man, what could have been. If Hurkacz wins today he will face the same fate - Federer tomorrow. Probably unhedgable there. So, I’m putting my eggs in Shapo’s basket. Am I making the same mistake twice? @jmazzjd would probably say so.
Shapo has a distinct advantage in hold/break numbers on hard courts, as of last year. The advantage is smaller in 2019 but it is still there. Hurkacz rolled over Donald Young but dropped a set to both Lucas Pouille and Nishikori. He is also into unchartered territory, career-wise. This is his first foray this deep into a major tournament. He showed some nerves late, against both Pouille and Nishikori. Shapo has been here, done that before (US Open, Canadian Masters). Shapo is also dominating his opponents right now. He has faced only four break points so far this week and saved all four. He managed to break Johnson and Cilic at least twice each. Cilic and Johnson, it could be argued, are both better servers than Hurkacz. It could also be argued they are both better, or at least similar, on return to Hurkacz. Shapo has seen this before and won with ease. I think Hurkacz is going to be great (that’s why I took the outright) but I’ll be happy if his run ends today, I got what I needed out of it. Shapo on the spread for enough to cover a bunch of the lottery tickets from this week.
Fed is going to run over Edmund. Simple. The handicap is too expensive and Edmund is running sufficiently hot that I am happy to sit this out. I do like the under 21.5 at even money though. Might be a better option than the handicap. If Fed covers -4 or -3.5, he’ll most likely hit the under (76,63 is of course the deadly scoreline there). Pass.
Khachanov has beaten Isner all three times they have played and it’s been on all sorts of varied surfaces so you can’t argue Isner hasn’t had his chances. Clay, outdoor hards, indoor hards. Lots of tiebreaks and lots of them went Khachanov’s way. Khachanov’s 2018 hard courts stats are far better than Isner’s and this week has shown maybe Khachanov is rounding back into that form. I don’t think either guy has had a particularly hard path so, this should be a big step up for both. Isner hasn’t even faced a break point yet and hasn’t been pushed close to a tiebreak. I think Khachanov should do both. With Khachanov as a dog here this is a much easier hedge than with Hurkacz. If I didn’t have an Isner future this would be a match I would totally avoid given Khachanov’s form coming into the week and both guy’s easy path’s to the fourth round.
Nadal keeps trucking guys. I keep saying, man, I’d like to bet this crazy 5.5 spread, I keep not doing it and he keeps blowing guys out. Nadal is averaging about 1.5 games lost per set. That is pretty incredible. I don’t see what is different about Krajinovic. Statistically he is almost identical to Donaldson and he is just a bit worse off than Schwartzman. Nadal should roll. Big.
Monfils/Thiem ml, -114
Shapo -2.5, -138, x2 (hedge of Hurkacz)
Khachanov ml, +137 (hedge of Isner)
Nadal -5.5, -138