ATP Shenzhen – Quarter Final – Hyeon Chung vs Marin Cilic
This week’s ATP events are now at the quarter-final stage and I have particular interest in the last two matches on court with the immense Korean prospect Hyeon Chung taking on 2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic, and two inconsistent types as Adrian Mannarino faces Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
In these matches, I like the chances of both underdogs – Chung and Mannarino – but I’ve sided with Chung from a handicap betting perspective.
Many readers may not have seen much of Chung but I identified him in several young prospects articles a couple of years ago as being a player of very decent potential. He’s actually usurped my expectations further and at 19 years of age is ranked at 73 in the world. He starts today at around 2.80 against his more experienced and illustrious opponent.
The Korean talent has quite incredible statistics – in 17 matches he has held serve 80.8% and broken opponents 30.0% (combined 110.8%) in the last 12 months at ATP level – and these are further improved on his best surface, hard court. At ATP main draw level on hard court, Chung is 7-5 in the last 12 months, holding 82.1% and breaking 36.3% – combined 118.4%.
Whilst it’s unrealistic to think that he can maintain these stats in the immediate future (it would make him top five level already) it does show his vast potential and even with a bigger sample these stats are likely to be around the 105%-110% combined mark.
That’s the level that opponent Marin Cilic currently finds himself at, with the Croatian frequently over-rated by the markets based on hold/break stats. He’s held 83.7% and broken 18.7% (combined 102.4%) on hard court in the same time period, albeit against a better calibre of opponent.
I’ve seen mention of fatigue being an issue for Chung but personally I don’t see it. He claimed the Kaohsiung Challenger title last week without dropping a set in what were little more than training exercises – only another reasonable prospect, Yuki Bhambri, pushed him in the final – and he’s lost just three games in two matches this week, with yesterday’s 6-2 6-0 demolition of Aljaz Bedene particularly impressive. He should also be more acclimatised to the heat and humidity than an Eastern European in Cilic, particularly with Cilic requiring a tough three set match to see off John Millman yesterday.
Priced between 2.00 and 2.99, Chung has taken at least a set in 10/13 matches, and given the value on him, this seems a very strong position to take. A slight tendency to lose deciding sets puts me off a more ambitious position, but this could be the day that yet another massive teenage ATP prospect gets his name in the headlines.
Recommendation: Back Hyeon Chung +1.5 sets at 1.65
Prices correct at time of writing.
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