ATP Sydney, Final – Mikhail Kukushkin vs Viktor Troicki
Many of the statistics given in Wednesday’s preview also apply here, with Troicki here being priced at a similar price by the market (1.81), with my model making him 1.52.
We were slightly unlucky with that 2-0 correct score recommendation with the Serb taking the first set, and gaining seven break points to Simone Bolelli’s two in the second set, despite losing the set.
After the respective runs to the final, Troicki is now 7-2 on hard court since his return to Tour in July, holding 86.5% and breaking 27.8% – these are statistics around the top 10 level. Kukushkin, in the last 12 months, has a 10-10 record, holding 79.5% and breaking 19.5%.
With such superior service hold and opponent break percentages, it’s a surprise that the oddsmakers have offered Troicki as a very marginal favourite – on Wednesday we mentioned how he tend to win matches in dominant fashion when priced 1.50-1.99 and he’s covered the -2.5 game handicap 9/14 times since his return to Tour. Kukushkin has lost all but two of his defeats when priced 2.00-2.99 by this margin, so should Troicki get the win here, he should almost certainly do so by the handicap margin, allowing us to take slightly bigger odds than 1.81 for the outright win.
Recommendation: Back Viktor Troicki -2.5 games at 2.25
ATP Auckland, Final – Adrian Mannarino vs Jiri Vesely
It’s very surprising that the market has made Vesely favourite for this match, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Czech has come through qualifying and has now played six matches since last weekend. This accumulated fatigue should ensure that Mannarino, with no need to qualify, is the fresher player for the final, and historically, qualifiers tend to have very poor records in the latter stages of ATP events.
In addition to this, whilst both players have made great strides in the last six months, Mannarino has the statistical edge, with a 106.0% combined hold/break percentage on hard court in the last 12 months. Vesely’s percentage is 102.7%, and this calculated a 1.77 model price on Mannarino – indicating value on the 2.37 current market price.
Finally, both players had a lot of activity on the Challenger Tour last year. On hard/indoor hard, Mannarino’s record was significantly stronger, winning 26/29 matches to Vesely’s 10-5 record. In these matches, Mannarino held his serve more frequently and broke opponents significantly more.
Vesely should find it difficult to win sets by a dominant margin – he’s lost a break lead 46.5% in the last 12 months, well above the ATP average of around 30%. Since July, he’s played 63 sets and won just 7 by 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 margin.
With Mannarino winning all his matches in the last 12 months when priced 2.00-2.99 by 2 games or more, and Vesely doing the same when losing priced 1.50-1.99, we can take the slightly bigger -1.5 games price on Mannarino, safe in the knowledge that even if he wins a deciding set, Vesely is unlikely to win his set in a dominant manner.
Recommendation: Back Adrian Mannarino -1.5 games at 2.62
Prices correct at the time of writing.
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