ATP Winston Salem – Quarter-Final – Thomaz Bellucci vs Malek Jazir
Action resumes at Winston Salem this evening, and the final ATP hard court event before the US Open is now at the quarter-final stage. After yesterday’s successful handicap betting recommendation on Malek Jaziri, I’m looking for the Tunisian to bag us a double tonight as he takes on Thomaz Bellucci, not before 130am UK time very early on Friday morning.
Yet again I’m highly surprised at the contempt shown by the oddsmakers towards Jaziri, a solid hard court player who has won almost 50% of his matches on the surface at ATP main draw level. As with yesterday’s match against Teymuraz Gabashvili, Jaziri takes on a player who has a strong preference for clay courts over hard courts, albeit one who has had some reasonable results on the surface of late.
Also as with yesterday, Jaziri’s stats eclipse his opponent, with him now having a 10-10 record on hard court in the last 12 months in ATP main draw action. In these matches he has held serve 77.6% and broken opponents 22.0% (combined 99.6%), which is significantly better than Bellucci’s 7-9 record, in which he has held 78.7% and broken 16.5% (combined 95.2%)
Looking at all-time stats, Bellucci’s 44% win rate on hard court over the last 12 months drops to 38%, where he has held 76.4% and broken 18.3% (combined 94.7%), so I see no reason why he is so highly rated by the market in this match – it is clear he is mediocre at best both in the last 12 months and in his career on the surface. Jaziri’s 44% career win percentage is better on hard court, where he has held the same figure (76.4%) and broken 18.9% (combined 95.3%).
These statistics make it apparent that there is very little to split these two opponents, and if there is any player with an edge, it is Jaziri. His incredible statistics for gaining at least a set as a heavy underdog were boosted further by yesterday’s straight set defeat of Gabashvili, whilst Bellucci has an atrocious record for winning in straight sets priced between 1.20 and 1.49 on hard court – he has won a mere one of eight matches in the last 12 months by a 2-0 margin in this price range, against Joao Souza in the opening round this week.
The other seven matches featured at least one set dropped against Guilherme Clezar, Yasutaka Uchiyama, Denys Molchanov, Mikhail Ledovskikh, Fabrice Martin, Marco Chiudinelli and Chase Buchanan – all Challenger Tour journeymen at best. Jaziri is much better than these players, so should be easily capable of managing the same feat at least.
Almost identical to yesterday is the price, 1.78 on Jaziri to claim at least a set tonight, and bearing in mind both the historical trends and the hold/break statistics, this is a very strong play.
Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Malek Jaziri +1.5 sets at 1.78
Price correct at time of writing.
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