Challenger Le Gosier – Quarter Final – Ruben Bemelmans vs Andre Ghem

There are just two matches this evening in the Miami Masters, with Andy Murray taking on Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic facing the threat of the big-serving John Isner.

With both matches featuring match-ups that have played a number of times historically, and all four players being regulars at, or towards, the top of the rankings, it’s frequently difficult to get value when very exposed players play each other.

This is indeed the case tonight, which leaves us having to drop down to the Challenger Tour to find a recommendation to build on Wednesday’s winner Simona Halep’s facile handicap win over Sloane Stephens.

Two Challenger events take place tonight and both are at the quarter-final stage, and the exotic stage of Le Gosier, Guadaloupe, gives us a value proposition.

Andre Ghem is traditionally a clay-courter, but the Brazilian veteran, almost 33, has achieved some strong success on hard courts this year, reaching the final in a high-level Shenzhen event a fortnight ago. He has also got the better of strong Challenger players Alexandre Kudryavtsev and Maximo Gonzalez in recent weeks, so he’s clearly a decent player on hard court at this level.

Ghem’s career hard court stats illustrate this and may surprise some readers – he’s also relatively strong on the surface, winning 18/30 in the last 3 years in Challenger main draw matches, holding 79.5% and breaking 27.6%.

His opponent tonight is Ruben Bemelmans, who is a player I find frequently over-rated at this level. No doubt the Belgian, at 133 in the world, is a solid but unspectacular player at this level, and his 12-month hold/break stats indicate this. He’s held 80.8% and broken 23.2% in this period on hard court showing that his profile is one of a relative ‘big-server’. Further delving into his history also illustrates that his opponents are a very low quality – he’s only been underdog on five occasions in this time period, out of 23 matches.

Based on these factors, it’s incredibly difficult to make a case for Bemelmans, given that the biggest market price on him is 1.44, and my model priced this much closer to evens.

In addition to this, Bemelmans has won in straight sets just 10 of these 23 matches, and priced between 1.30 and 1.60 since January 2014 he has won in straight sets just five out of 13 matches (38.5%). Therefore his opponents have won at least a set 61.5% in this price range.

With this also taken into account, the market price of Ghem to take at least a set in the match of 1.84 offers implied odds of 54.3%, with Bemelmans’ price history showing around 7% value.

All things considered, this position on Ghem appears one with very strong expected value, and this is tonight’s recommendation.

Recommendation: Back Andre Ghem +1.5 sets at 1.84.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @Tennisratings.

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