ATP Tennis Betting: Young To Make Raonic Work Hard In First Set

The predicted thunderstorms put a bit of a dent into proceedings at the Citi Open in Washington DC on Friday, with one quarter-final still in-play when the rain came.

Vasek Pospisil and Santiago Giraldo were tied at a set each when play was called off and that means that we have only one certain match to focus on today in DC.

Those who took my advice of backing Richard Gasquet yesterday were rewarded with an easy winner as the Frenchman was comfortably too good for an injured Kei Nishikori.

There was frustration in my other advice when the match between Milos Raonic and Steve Johnson began in the expected style, but one lapse from the American in set preceded a collapse that left my overs bet a couple of games short.

Johnson summed it up quite well when he said: “It sucks watching the serve go by you 500 times. You have a bad 30-40 seconds, suddenly it's 6-3 and you don't know what happened.”

It wasn’t quite 500 times, but he was aced 72 times by Raonic, John Isner and Ivo Karlovic in his three matches here this week and he will probably be glad of a rest next week.


Donald Young vs Milos Raonic – Live on Unibet TV

With Gasquet’s opponent as yet unknown, this match is the only show in town as far as betting is concerned and it kicks off at around 20:00 UK time tonight (15:00 local).

Perhaps the intent of Raonic could be brought into question here, with his home Masters 1000 in Toronto starting very soon, but in this first meeting with Young it’s hard to see the American’s temperament holding up here.

Always an emotional character on court – in stark contrast to Raonic – Young is likely to become as frustrated as fellow countryman Johnson as the aces and unreturnable serves fly past him tonight.

In fairness he did well against another big server in Kevin Anderson yesterday to come from a set down to beat the South African and a big part of this match will be decided by The Don’s attitude today.

Will he be able to keep himself in check when the big serves come booming down, as he doesn’t have the best of records against big servers generally.

That win over Anderson was only his second in 14 matches against the big servers on my list and surely his best chance is to start quickly and not allow Milos to settle.

There will probably be some nerves around too with Young, as this will be only his third tour level semi-final and first since Bangkok in 2011 when he beat Gael Monfils.

Raonic has played 14 tour level semi-finals already and has a 8-6 winning record in them, with only one of those six losses coming against a player not ranked in the top-10 at the time of the match.

That was a retirement loss to 15 ranked Fernando Verdasco on clay in Estoril back in 2011 and his last three semi-final losses have come against Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal.

So, it’s a tall order for Young, whose record against players over 6’4” in height and ranked in the top-50 reads 1-5, with the one win being against Anderson last night.

It’s tricky to find a good bet in this one, but with Young likely to become disillusioned in set two if he loses the first the overs doesn’t really appeal, but he should be able to land the overs in set one.

All of Raonic’s opening sets have gone to a tie break this week and his last seven straight in all competitions have gone past the 9.5 total games mark, so that appeals at 1.60.

Against left-handers Raonic hasn’t won an opening set in fewer than 10 games since way back in 2011 on clay against Michael Llodra, which was 24 matches ago, so the 1.60 makes very good statistical sense.


Best Bet

Back over 9.5 games in set one of Raonic/Young at 1.60