ATP Tennis Betting: Dimitrov good value to finally defeat Del Potro


It’s last-16 day at the 2017 Western & Southern Open on Thursday, with all eight matches set for today in Mason, Ohio.

We made a slight profit on Wednesday, as Nikoloz Basilashvili eased past Christian Harrison to cover the handicap, despite failing to serve out both sets as he so often does.

And the second bet was unlucky, with Frances Tiafoe proving more than capable of taking Alexander Zverev to a tie break, but the American did much more against an exhausted Zverev, beating him in three from a set down.

We lost Sam Querrey on the outrights, as he was beaten again by Adrian Mannarino, while the reason for Roberto Bautista Agut’s lethargic effort became clearer when he pulled out of the doubles with a back injury. 

John Isner goes for us today in what’s a very open bottom half of the draw now, with only Isner and Dimitrov seeded and favourite to make the final is Juan Martin Del Potro, who faces Dimitrov today. 

We’re to expect another hot and humid day on Thursday, with thunderstorms likely to disrupt play from 14:00 local time until late at night, according to the forecast, so play could be delayed today.

 

Grigor Dimitrov vs Juan Martin Del Potro

As much as it pains me to do so, I think we have to go with the value on Dimitrov in this one, despite the negative head-to-head of 0-5 against this opponent. 

The Bulgarian looked focused for a change on Thursday and did his job very well in tough conditions against Feli Lopez and for me the market seems to be basing Delpo’s price on former glories and that career series record over Dimitrov. 

There’s nothing in Del Potro’s recent figures that suggest he still has what it takes to go on and win titles at this level (he’s actually never won a M1000 title) and it’s the Bulgarian that has better numbers on outdoor hard lately.

In the last 12 months on this surface Dimitrov’s hold/break stats are very good at 108.2 (85.3% holds/22.9% breaks), which compares favourably to the 104.8 of Del Potro (82.7% holds/22.1%).

Clearly, Dimitrov needs to improve his game versus Delpo, having only held serve 73.7% of the time against the Argentine, who has held his own deal 91.2% of the time against Dimitrov.

But Delpo’s backhand is rarely any sort of a weapon these days and without the double-hander to call upon generally this contest can easily swing in Dimi’s favour. He’s certainly a hint of value to do so today, but with Dimitrov it can’t be a hugely confident choice.

It looks nailed on for tie breaks in the clash between Nick Kyrgios and Ivo Karlovic, with the Aussie still not able to move well, but he won’t need to in this match-up.  

The pair have held serve against each other 98.1% and 94.4% respectively so far in their three-match career series and Kyrgios has won four of the five tie breaks, so 7-6 to the Aussie in set one seems the obvious wager there. 

 

John Isner vs Frances Tiafoe

Tiafoe was excellent against Zverev by and large, but he does still look rather chokey at key moments and that’ll probably be what decides this clash with Isner, which is set for around 15:00 local time (20:00 UK) on Centre Court.

There was only one point between this pair over five sets at the US Open last summer and Isner won both tie breaks to snatch the win after being two sets down.

Tiafoe has been serving well this week and he’s held serve more often than Del Potro at 83% on outdoor hard over the past year, while Isner’s return game is still poor, with only 10.6% breaks in the same time frame. 

Here in Cincy in his career Isner has held serve 95.2% of the time and surely our outright pick will have the final in his sights with all the seeds barring himself and Dimitrov out of the tournament.

I doubt this will be easy though and over 10.5 games in set one looks the bet at 2.20, with two strong servers and weak returners clashing (Tiafoe is at 17% breaks of serve currently). 

The other interesting one is to chance Adrian Mannarino to beat Dominic Thiem, with the Austrian yet to be tested this week, having faced a sick Fabio Fognini in his only match here so far this week.

Thiem has a 4-0 career series lead over the Frenchman, but all four have come on slow surfaces and conditions are livelier here and that will suit Mannarino more than the slow hard and clay they’ve clashed on in the past. 

The Austrian has only held serve 79.2% of the time over the last 12 months on outdoor hard, which is low for a player of his serving power, and he’ll need to serve at his best to win this one without a bit of a struggle. 

Mannarino has been in good form lately and even in unsuitable conditions he’s taken sets off Thiem, so he’s an outsider with chances, but he’s hardly the most reliable of characters. 

I’d expect Pablo Carreno Busta to be a little too strong for David Ferrer these days, but there’s nothing in this one on their respective hold/break stats over the past 12 months on outdoor hard, so I wouldn’t say PCB was any great value at 1.79.

Jared Donaldson wasn’t overly impressive against the limited Ramkumar Ramanathan on Wednesday and he could well be made to work hard by Basilashvili, who’s beaten the American twice on clay. 

Donaldson is favoured on hard courts, but this pair are both highly susceptible to a failure to close out sets, so tie break played is a possibility in this one, but the price isn’t big enough at 2.20

Instead of facing a rematch of his Wimbledon loss to Gilles Muller, Rafa Nadal gets Albert Ramos as his second opponent of the week after Ramos took down Muller from a set behind on Wednesday.

Nadal hasn’t faced any problems at all against Ramos on clay and I doubt it’ll be any different on hard either, with a quick win likely for the soon-to-be world number one.

Karen Khachanov looks like he’ll be seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open and he’s got a fine chance of cementing that position when he takes on Yuchi Sugita on Thursday.

I said yesterday that Sugita was a good value underdog against Joao Sousa and after a really poor start to that match the Japanese was able to come through in three, easing to the win in the end.

He has a distinct power disadvantage against Khachanov, but the Russian can be very hit and miss and it’s all on his racquet here. A good day could see him win in two comfortable sets, but an error-ridden display will be a big problem for him against the solid Sugita.

Best Bets

1 point win Dimitrov to beat Del Potro at 2.18 

1 point win over 10.5 games in set one of Isner/Tiafoe at 2.20