ATP Indian Wells – 4th Round – Andy Murray vs Adrian Mannarino
Regular readers of this column will have noted that I’ve been very impressed with Adrian Mannarino in the last six months, and have recommended him successfully this season in previews already.
After appointing fellow Frenchman Eric Prodon as coach, Mannarino has risen to 38 in the world rankings, and he’s set for a further rise this week, having been knocked out in the first round last year. With rankings around this level this rise is key, as Mannarino will be around the seeded level (top 32) for the French Open in his home country in May.
Mannarino’s hold/break statistics are indicative of his progress, which has taken in a final in Auckland and a semi-final in Delray Beach already this year, and his return statistics have been elevated to elite level, breaking opponents 32.4% in the last 12 months on hard court at ATP main draw level. To put this into context, Murray, ranked 4th in the world and strong on return, boasts just a slightly better 33.3% breaks in the same time period on hard court.
Murray’s serve isn’t a strength of his, and he’s held 82.8% in these hard court matches, 3.7% better than Mannarino’s 79.1%. Certainly both players are likely to be broken more than average, with both having projected holds in the 60%’s for this match.
Whilst this 4.6% combined difference doesn’t sound much, and may surprise readers, it’s worth noting that many of Mannarino’s matches have been played at the low 250 level, whereas many of Murray’s are in Grand Slams and Masters events, and an adjustment must be made for this.
Given this adjustment, Murray’s model price was calculated at 1.32, much bigger than the 1.13 available, so there’s some value at odds of around 8.70 available on Mannarino.
Historically, Murray has a tendency to win dominant sets but lose sets against worse players, so on a handicap basis either backing him to win 2-1 or backing Mannarino +1.5 sets looks an attractive option as opposed to the game handicap.
A look at Murray’s record when priced below 1.20 in best of three set matches gives weight to this assertion. The Scotsman has won 19 out of 32 in straight sets, nine by a 2-1 scoreline and had four defeats since January 2014, and has dropped sets to the likes of clay courters Pablo Andujar and Juan Monaco on hard court, Lukas Rosol, Jiri Vesely and Matt Ebden amongst others, as well as losing to Florian Mayer, Radek Stepanek (on Murray’s favoured grass) and infamously, Borna Coric recently in Dubai.
Whilst 19 straight sets wins out of 32 may, at first glance, sound impressive, it’s worth noting that the price for Murray winning by this scoreline would be around 1.45, which is the price for him to win by a 2-0 scoreline today. The historical price range stats since January 2014 indicate this should be implied odds of 1.68, so there is clearly no value on Murray to win 2-0.
As Murray has lost at least one set 13/32 times (40.6% of matches) in this time period, this would reflect implied odds of 2.46. However market odds on Mannarino +1.5 sets are much bigger at 3.10, and represents around 8% implied value.
An alternative bet to this would be Murray to win 2-1, which he’s managed 28.1% in this time period (implied odds of 3.56) at odds of 5.00, and this also offers around 8% in implied value.
However, it would be extremely frustrating to have calculated that there was value on Mannarino, and then back Murray to win 2-1, to then see Mannarino win in straight sets, so today’s recommendation is just for Mannarino to take at least one set at 3.10.
Recommendation: Back Adrian Mannarino +1.5 sets at 3.10.
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