ATP Tennis Betting: Sugita a lively underdog against struggling Sock

Tuesday at the 2017 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati features 14 men’s singles matches from rounds one and two at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre.

Our week in Mason got off to a good start when Tommy Paul showed good composure to see off a slew of break point chances and beat Donald Young in straight sets as underdog.

And Roger Federer’s unsurprising withdrawal leaves us in a better position on the outrights, with Gael Monfils also exiting that bottom half of the draw through illness.

Kei Nishikori’s latest injury makes the Sam Querrey section a little easier on paper and the draw as a whole looks very open indeed now.

We’re set for some hot and humid weather today, with humidity above 80% when they begin at 11:00 local time (16:00 UK), and that’s when my first bet of the day begins on Court 10.

Kevin Anderson vs Alexandr Dolgopolov

The big South African has been playing some good tennis lately, but he looks very short at 1.35 versus an opponent who almost made the final here two years ago and loves to take on a big server.

Dolgopolov has already overcome the challenge of Reilly Opelka in qualies, with the tall American banging down 30 aces in their three-setter, so it’s fair to assume that Dolgo now has a read on a big serve in these conditions.

The Dog has beaten the likes of Anderson, Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych and Jerzy Janowicz at Masters level on hard courts (the latter pair here in Cincy in 2015) and he’ll be hoping for better luck that when he faced Anderson here 12 months ago.

The Ukrainian retired that day after dropping serve at *5-6 in set one with a back injury and I’d expect a tight encounter again here, with Dolgo having played five sets in qualies already and Anderson coming in cold.

It’s been a poor 12 months for Dolgo on outdoor hard courts, hence today’s prices, but when he’s been injury-free he’s been very good, with a title in Buenos Aires and a final in Bastad on the clay.

Now with a couple of matches under his belt on hard he looks good value at 2.75 to win the opening set or the match outright at 3.20.

Jack Sock vs Yuichi Sugita

Sock looks the favourite worth taking on today, with the American struggling with a knee problem last time out and holding a poor record in Cincy. He’s often not keen on very hot and humid temperatures either.

In Montreal he lost to David Ferrer after injuring his knee in the second set and he had little chance in the decider. After that he went home for an MRI scan, so his condition is certainly questionable for today.

Sock has won only one match in Cincy so far in his career (versus Bjorn Fratangelo) and lost the other four, so there’s also a question mark over him in these skiddier conditions.

He faces an opponent today in Sugita that will make Sock work for the win and Sugita will be up for this in what’s been a great season for him, moving up from outside the top-100 at the start of the season to inside the top-50.

His hold/break stats this season on all surfaces are exactly 100 in total (76.6% holds/23.4% breaks) and he’s beaten the likes of Ferrer, Pablo Carreno Busta and Richard Gasquet in 2017.

A year ago here in Cincy he took down Alexander Zverev then Nicolas Mahut and lost in a deciding set to Milos Raonic, so conditions clearly suit him and there’s enough going for the Japanese here to back him to beat Sock at 2.75.

Others from the shortlist today include siding in some way with Fabio Fognini against the struggling Dominic Thiem, who’s another that I don’t fancy in quickish conditions where the ball skids on to players.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is lacking confidence at the moment and his tie break record shows how un-clutch he’s become of late, with a 5-8 win/loss mark over the last 12 months on outdoor hard.

Given that eight of the 13 sets that Tsonga and Ivo Karlovic have contested have been decided by tie breaks and both are over 90% in service holds on outdoor hard in the past year breakers seems assured and Tsonga’s bottle will be tested again.

Tomas Berdych is a tempting proposition as underdog against Juan Martin Del Potro, who was awful last week in Montreal in defeat to Denis Shapovalov, and the Argentine seems destined to have his career defined by what might have been, due to injuries.

Berdych has the better hold/break stats over the last year on outdoor hard, with a 106.8 total, compared to the 102.9 of Delpo, but the Czech withdrew from Montreal last week with a rib injury so his fitness is also guesswork.

Also classed as ‘doubtful’ in the injury department is Nick Kyrgios, whose hip problem still looks to be bothering him, and that makes his clash with David Goffin a dodgy one to bet on, given that the Belgian seems to need more matches after his own injury problems. No tie breaks is tempting there though at 1.74 or bigger.

Steve Johnson is a possible underdog winner against David Ferrer, but the American is out of form and probably not in the right mental state after the death of his father recently, so he’s overlooked.

Best Bets
1 point win Dolgopolov to win set one at 2.75
1 point win Sugita to beat Sock at 2.85