ATP 250 Nice – Semi Final – Borna Coric vs Leonardo Mayer

This week’s tournaments reach the semi-final stages today, and as is often the case in the week before a Grand Slam, there’s some surprise names on the schedule at the late stage of events.  This has generated a nice handicap betting opportunity, with a young prospect taking on a more exposed tour regular today.

Borna Coric, at the age of just 18, has reached his third ATP level semi-final, and the Croat will be hoping it is third time lucky, after defeats to David Goffin in Basel and Roger Federer in Dubai.

That Coric has reached three ATP finals with six months to spare before his 19th birthday is some achievement in itself, and illustrates the immense potential that I’ve highlighted many times – only injury can stop this prospect being a top 10 player at the very least.

However, to get to this stage this week, Coric hasn’t had to beat the ‘who’s who’ of the Tennis world.  Having said this, Sam Groth, Gianni Mina and James Duckworth were despatched in straight sets, and it’s worth mentioning Coric’s return has been firing, creating 17 break point chances against the big-serving Groth, and 13 against Duckworth, who is also solid on serve.

Despite his obvious potential generated by his stats, there are many people who do not appear to hugely rate Coric, and prefer the likes of the over-hyped Nick Kyrgios.  This lends itself to some occasional nice prices in the market, which is demonstrated by the 44% ROI that backing him in his last 50 matches would have generated, at Pinnacle closing prices.

Priced as an underdog on clay in best of three set matches, his record is also decent – in nine matches he’s only failed to take a set once, against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the quarter-final of Estoril last month (he lost a second set tiebreak in that).  On all surfaces as an underdog, he’s claimed at least a set in 17/23 matches, which is a highly impressive record, considering this bet is available at 1.70 today.

I feel Mayer’s match win price of around 1.47 is an insult to Coric.  My model made him 1.74, and considering Mayer was a similar 1.46 against Lucas Pouille in the first round (a player with less potential and current ability than Coric), his price today is hard to fathom, and probably an over-reaction to a seemingly straightforward win over Juan Monaco in the last round.

A closer look at the match stats indicates this straight-sets win over Monaco was far less routine than it looks.  Mayer saved all 6 break points he faced, with Monaco saving 5/7, enough for Mayer to break once in each set.  The match was much more even than the scoreline shows.

All things considered, there is no reason to doubt why Coric is not value to register at least a set on the scoreboard today, and this is today’s recommendation.

Recommendation: Back Borna Coric +1.5 sets at 1.70

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @Tennisratings.

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