ATP Washington – Quarter-Final – Ricardas Berankis vs John Isner
The US hard court season started this week, and the 500 level event at Washington is the first event in the lead-up to the US Open.
It is in the US capital that we find an excellent handicap betting opportunity at around midnight UK time tonight, with the bookmakers oblivious to both basic projected hold mathematics and court conditions in a match between two players both better on serve than return.
John Isner’s qualities should be known to the vast majority of readers – the big American is one of the most serve orientated players on tour, and on hard court in the past 12 months, the world number 18 has held serve a magnificent 94.5% but broken opponents a mere 10.5%.
Tonights opponent is the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who has given a good account of himself on the main tour in the past three months or so, with a five-set defeat to top-ten player Marin Cilic at Wimbledon, a Challenger Tour final and a quarter-final at ATP Atlanta in recent tournaments. Berankis, who has just turned 25, is starting to realise a little of the potential he displayed at a younger age.
In Atlanta a fortnight ago, Isner got the better of Berankis 7-6 6-4, and there were just three break points in the match, from 22 service games. It is clear that serve dominated the affair, with Berankis’ current 12 month hard court stats also showing he is better on serve than return, holding 84.0% and breaking 19.1% in that time period.
Also worth noting is that the courts in Washington play very fast – faster than at Atlanta. In 2015, ATP Atlanta had 82.7% of service games held, and in 2014 that figure was 78.6%. At Washington, servers are more favoured by the quick conditions, and 84.5% of service games have been held, with that figure falling slightly to 83.3% in 2014.
When I ran these numbers through my projected hold model, this evaluated the percentage chance of no breaks in the first set at 72.4%. Considering the price on there being a first set tiebreak is currently available at 2.75, this is an absolute gift price and is one of the recommendations of 2015.
Recommendation: Back Set 1 Tiebreak at 2.75.
Prices correct at time of writing.
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