ATP Buenos Aires – Quarter Final – Nicolas Almagro vs Tommy Robredo
Viktor Troicki’s facile win over Santiago Giraldo on Wednesday gave us a nice winner on the game handicap at a shade of odds on, and I’m looking to keep the ball rolling with a recommendation today in this all-Spanish clash, held on the clay of Buenos Aires.
Nicolas Almagro has historically had great success over Tommy Robredo, leading the head to head record 6-1. However, when dissecting the head to head matches in more detail, Robredo was ranked outside the top 30 in all but one defeat, and four wins came prior to 2012.
Slightly more relevant is Almagro’s win, a fortnight ago, in Sao Paulo, priced at 1.73. Having said this, a 12 tick reduction in his price seems extreme, with today’s markets making him 1.61.
Since his return to tour in 2015, following a long injury lay-off, Almagro’s stats have been mediocre at best. He’s held 82.0% and broken 18.4%, combining for 100.4%. When you consider his average opponent rank in this sample is 41.9, it’s clear that Almagro is far from his pre-injury best. Whilst Robredo’s 2015 has been unimpressive, his stats (81.1% holds and 27.5% breaks) are much superior.
Longer term, both have very similar service stats in the last 12 months on clay. Robredo has held 82.7% to Almagro’s 82.1%, but has a further slight edge on return, breaking 23.1% to Almagro’s 21.4%. Almagro (12-8) has the slightly better surface win percentage, with Robredo winning 14 of 26 matches on clay.
We can see that both short-term and long-term stats give no reason whatsoever to make Robredo the pre-match underdog, and only the head to head and a close defeat a fortnight ago make a case for Almagro.
Furthermore, Robredo has a very strong 6-9 career record on clay when priced between 2.00 and 2.99, and he’s won six of nine since January 2013 with this filter. On all surfaces in best of three matches, Robredo has won at least a set in 13 from 17 matches in this price range in the same time period.
Almagro has a poor record as slight favourite, winning just four from ten on clay priced between 1.50 and 1.99 since January 2013. He won six matches in straight sets out of 17 in this price range on all surfaces.
With Almagro having issues winning matches in straight sets and Robredo winning a set in the majority of his price range matches, readers may assume that the natural position to take would be to back Robredo +1.5 sets. However, almost all of Almagro’s wins were in straights (he rarely won 2-1) and Robredo lost most of his defeats 2-0 when he did lose. Effectively, if Robredo takes a set, he tends to win the match, and if Almagro loses a set, he tends to lose it.
All but one of Robredo’s price range wins came via a 2 game margin or bigger, and all of Almagro’s price range defeats also did, so instead of a slightly safer line backing Robredo on the set handicap, I like a more aggressive line backing him -1.5 games tonight, at an enticing 2.94.
Recommendation: Back Tommy Robredo -1.5 games at 2.94.
Prices correct at time of writing.
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