Rublev shocked by Paul
Andrey Rublev’s loss to Tommy Paul was the big shock on Monday, with the Russian going down in a tight three-setter, leaving Daniil Medvedev as the clear outright market favourite, and the likes of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas the only other players in single-digit pricing.
Murray needing to roll back the years to test Zverev
Zverev is in action today in arguably the match of the day, as he faces Andy Murray. Let’s start the discussion of today’s key match-ups with that.
Andy Murray 5.309/2 vs Alexander Zverev 1.222/9: It’s Zverev who is the very heavy pre-match favourite to end the run of wild card Murray at the third round stage after he defeated Adrien Mannarino and Carlos Alcaraz Garfia to get to this round. In fairness to Murray, while he’s been a little inconsistent this year, the only surprise loss he’s suffered was against Roman Safiullin in the Rennes Challenger in September. His other eight most recent defeats were as an underdog, and often a heavy pre-match underdog against top-15 opposition.
Unfortunately for Murray, this is what he faces again here against third-seed Zverev, and there’s little doubt that the German has markedly improved since they met in Cincinnati in August last year, when Murray won a three-setter with Zverev the 1.501/2 pre-match favourite. This year on hard court, Zverev has a huge edge on data – he has far higher numbers for both service and return points won percentages – and while it would be fantastic to see Murray roll back the years and continue his progress, we have to be realistic and understand Zverev is a pretty justified pre-match favourite here.
Basilashvili should be too good for Ramos
Albert Ramos 2.3211/8 v Nikoloz Basilashvili 1.748/11: The other two matches I want to discuss feature clay-courters as slight underdogs against players more happy to play on hard court, and the market is clearly being cautious, bearing in mind anticipated slow conditions.
Certainly, the conditions would need to have a marked impact if Ramos is to be justified as a slight underdog against Basilashvili, who while inconstent, has usually shown a much higher level on hard court in recent years than the Spaniard.
De Minaur price difficult to ignore
Christian Garin 2.3411/8 v Alex De Minaur 1.738/11: Garin was clinical in his win over Ernesto Escobedo in his opener, converting four of five break points, while De Minaur’s victory over fellow Australian, the qualifier Aleksandar Vukic, was welcome, snapping a run of four consecutive defeats and seven defeats in his last eight matches, stemming back to Wimbledon.
In recent years, De Minaur has shown much more of a higher level on hard court than Garin, but of course, we have to take into account the lower level shown by the Australian of late, and the conditions.
However, it’s worth noting that in the US Open several years ago – when the duo were ranked almost identically – De Minaur was 1.251/4 to get the win and today’s price is almost 50 ticks bigger, and that’s pretty tough to ignore.
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