ATP Tennis Betting: Montreal crowd can push Shapovalov to a tie break against Zverev

We’ve reached the semi final stage of the 2017 Coupe Rogers, with Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev battling it out for places in the final on Saturday in Montreal.

We had to take the risky play of tie breaks for the Roger Federer match on Friday and it was going fine until Roberto Bautista Agut handed Federer the only break of set one at 4-4 with a double fault.

The Spaniard had chances in set two as well, but needed to take two break points to level at 3-3 to stay competitive, which he failed to do and that was that.

This Montreal run of the Swiss’ has to go down as one the easiest of saunters to a Masters 1000 final of his long career, with Robin Haase his upcoming semi final opponent, and likely to be rolled over comfortably.

The weather may present a challenge again though, with thunderstorms and showers forecast for much of the day in Montreal on Saturday.

Robin Haase vs Roger Federer

There’s a big feeling of anti-climax about this year’s Coupe Rogers now and if Haase makes the final here by some miracle the levels of seethe at this desk will be off the charts.

Haase let us down by blowing four match points in the semi final a few weeks ago in Gstaad against the mighty Yannick Hanfmann when we had him at 33-1 outright and if he were to go on and make a Masters 1000 final at 250-1 that would be tough to take, yet quite typical of this peculiar season.

It does seem highly unlikely unless there’s something wrong with Federer on Saturday, with the Dutchman not known for his speed and agility around the court, and surely an attacking Federer will be much too strong.

Federer didn’t even serve well against RBA on Friday, but the first break points the Spaniard faced in the match saw him crack disappointingly.

This is new territory for Haase, who’s into his first semi final at this level and only now after beating Diego Schwartzman in three sets on Friday has his hold/break mark on outdoor hard at main level over the past year reached 100.

That still puts him down in 32nd spot among the entrants to this tournament (that had a record) and his 0-11 record versus top-five ranked opponents highlights his limitations.

He’s only taken a set in two of those 11 matches – against Rafa Nadal on grass in 2010 and when he took a two-set lead against Andy Murray in the 2011 US Open.

All of his last five opening sets versus top-five opposition have ended in under 9.5 games, which is a 1.65 chance today, and all 11 have featured either/or a 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 set loss for Haase.

He’s only met Federer once, which was on clay in Davis Cup in 2012, and that was a routine win for Federer, who hasn’t faced a player ranked as low as Haase’s 52 in the semis of a M1000 since Mardy Fish (98) beat him at Indian Wells in 2008.

Fish was a 12.5 chance that day, which is exactly the same price Haase is today, but Fish had 10 top-five wins in his career and surely Haase will be brushed aside here.

Denis Shapovalov vs Alexander Zverev

At the start of the tournament I said that no player has done the Washington DC/Canada Masters double since Andre Agassi first shaved his hair off in 1995 and Zverev has that record in his sights now.

The German’s rich run of form has seen him win 36 of his 45 best-of-three set matches this season and with one M1000 title under his belt already Zverev will surely be in another such final come Sunday.

If I’d said at the start of the week that Haase would make the semis and Shapovalov would save four match points for a 0-2 loss in his opening match and then go on to beat Nadal, Del Potro and make the last four I’d have probably been quietly ushered into retirement.

There’s no doubt that Shapovalov has some game and spirit and he’s been egged on by the home crowd, but he’s got to be running a little low on energy by now after some long matches this week.

He’s ridden his luck too, with the Dutra Silva comeback and a rain delay helping last night when he came back from 2-6 down to beat Adrian Mannarino, who, in typical Mannarino style said: “The interruption because of the rain was a bit difficult because I got cold.”

Bless. The beating heart of the warrior that is Mannarino evidenced in full effect right there.

One thing that could give us a bit of a betting option here is Zverev’s questionable record on hard courts at main level versus lefties, with the German having a 4-3 record and he’s played tie breaks in six of those matches (the other was 7-5, 6-4 versus Mannarino).

The opponents include Facundo Bagnis, Michael Berrer and Yoshihito Nishioka as well as Nadal, so with that in mind and Shapovalov’s low 11.5% break of serve mark at main level too (and the will of the crowd) tie break played might be value at 2.60.

As I said earlier in the week, Shapovalov plays a lot of tie breaks at this level, with strong hold of serve numbers (85.5%) and that weak break of serve mark – in fact Shapovalov holds serve marginally more often than Zverev (85.2%).

So, on a day where both of the heavy favourites look likely to win value is thin on the ground and the best wager for me if you’re having a bet today is to chance a breaker in this one.

Best Bet
1 point win tie break played in Shapovalov/Zverev at 2.60