ATP Paris – 3rd Round – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Tomas Berdych
Tomas Berdych let us down yesterday, with a recommendation of -4 games against Edouard Roger-Vasselin torn from our grasp with the Czech player 6-3 *4-3 up against the Frenchman, before he ultimately nicked a tight final set.
This performance against Roger-Vasselin has led to severe market favourtism on Tsonga for tonight’s third round match, on court at around 6:30pm UK time.
This is despite the Tsonga’s woeful displays in his last tournament in Vienna where he scraped past Tommy Haas, whose serve resembled something more akin to a WTA player, and then gave up in the final set against Lukas Rosol in his second match.
For today’s match, Berdych opened at 1.92 and is currently available at around 2.30, indicative of the money piling in on Tsonga, who got past Roberto Bautista-Agut in his first match this week. However, it is difficult to read too much into that win with the Spaniard likely to have been extremely fatigued following two consecutive finals.
Berdych has performed well against Tsonga historically, with a 6-2 head to head lead on hard or indoor hard, and based on this, and longer term stats – something I much prefer opposed to a knee-jerk reaction after one match – Berdych looks to be some value this evening.
On Indoor hard in the last two years, Berdych has the better record by a reasonable distance. He’s won 76% of his matches, compared to Tsonga’s 67%, and in these matches Berdych has held serve 87.5% and broken opponents 25.6% (combined 113.1%) whilst Tsonga has done so 88.5% and 20.3% respectively (combined 108.8%).
Looking a little more recently in the last six months on hard or indoor hard, the combined numbers are a little closer, with Berdych at 111.3% and Tsonga 109.3%, but these still provide no evidence as to why Tsonga should be backed in to being favourite today.
Furthermore, Berdych has an excellent record in best of three set matches as a slight 2.00-2.99 underdog on hard or indoor hard, winning 13 of 24 career matches with this filter. The calibre of his opponents since 2012 using this criteria is high – Andy Murray (twice), Roger Federer (twice), Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic (twice), David Ferrer and Marin Cilic. Apart from Cilic, it’s very difficult to put Tsonga at the same level as these other players.
Berdych has taken at least a set in 10/14 matches using this criteria since 2011, and won eight of them. On this basis backing him to win a set seems foolish, with him suffering only two final set defeats.
I more prefer backing him as a long shot, with Berdych having won by at least a three game margin on nine of 23 completed matches. This implies a price of 2.56, with Berdych -2.5 games currently available at 2.85, and this is today’s recommendation.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Berdych -2.5 games at 2.85
Prices correct at time of writing.
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