ATP Hertogenbosch – Quarter Final – Illya Marchenko vs David Goffin
The first week of the grass season reaches the quarter final stage today and I like an unheralded underdog who is comfortable on the surface to push a much higher ranked player today, and claim at least a set on the betting handicap.
The grass season frequently throws up some intriguing clashes with some grass court specialists, such as Nicolas Mahut and Johanna Konta this week, being able to bridge large ranking gaps in victories and get to the latter stages of tournaments.The grass season also sees some higher ranked players struggle with the pace and bounce of the surface, and there are a number of otherwise strong players with very poor career records on grass.
One of those is David Goffin. The Belgian is a very poor 4-9 on grass throughout his career, holding 79.6% and breaking 15.9%, so it is clear his usually strong return game does not flourish on the surface. Whilst he has generally improved immensely of late, his grass record in the last two years is also poor at 2-5, holding 80.9% and breaking 14.8%. Both his career and two year stats show combined hold/break of a touch over 95%, making him very mediocre on the surface indeed.
Despite this, the world number 18 is priced at 1.32 for today’s match and I cannot help but think this price is due to a large ranking difference (Marchenko is currently ranked at 128) and reputation.
Indeed, Marchenko is competent on grass, as witnessed by his straight set wins over Joao Sousa and Mikhail Youzhny. In his four grass matches in the last two years at ATP level, holding 80.4% and breaking 19.6%, and is 6-7 in his ATP main draw career on grass, holding 80.9% and breaking 20.0%. With combined stats of around 100%, it is clear that the value lies with the Ukrainian today.
This is even more the case when we look at Marchenko’s historical grass court stats as an underdog – he has taken at least a set in his last five grass matches as an underdog, and has done so 10 times out of 13 completed career matches on the surface.
With odds a shade over evens on Marchenko achieving this objective today, this is today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Illya Marchenko +1.5 sets at 2.09
Prices correct at time of writing.
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