ATP Masters Rome – Second Round – Pablo Cuevas vs Roger Federer

The final warm-up tournament for the French Open for many ATP players is taking place in Rome currently, with the Masters event in the Italian capital the second consecutive Masters 1000 event on tour.

Today’s recommendation comes from the final match on the schedule, due to start at around 18:30 UK time, where the Uruguayan clay-courter, Pablo Cuevas, takes on the legend that is Roger Federer.

The two players met in the final of the recent Istanbul event, with Federer coming through 6-3 7-6, despite Cuevas having a set point at 8-7 in the second set tie-break.

Cuevas’ achievement in making this final sums up his superb last 12 months on clay at ATP level, where he has won 23 and lost just 5 in this time period (82%) and he is 12-4 for the 2015 calendar year.

This year, he has held 82.1% on clay, and broken 25.8%, and a combined 107.9% marks him as a very strong player on the surface.  This actually rises to 82.8% and 30.2% respectively (113.0% combined) over the last 12 months and further illustrates his ability on the dirt.

Clay has never been Federer’s favourite surface, with the Swiss player preferring quicker conditions, and he has a lifetime -5% ROI on the surface, which worsens to -11.7% over his last 50 matches on clay (based on Pinnacle closing prices).

My model made Cuevas strong value at 4.62, with Federer short at 1.21, and Federer’s supporters will be further disappointed with his record as a heavy favourite on clay, where he has dropped at least a set in 9/15 best of three encounters priced 1.10 to 1.30 in the last 2 years.

Cuevas has played eight matches on clay in the same time period priced over 3.00, and he’s only lost in straight sets twice – to Federer in the previously mentioned match in Istanbul, and to Milos Raonic in Oeiras last year.

With model value on Cuevas, and historical trends favouring him also, backing him to claim at least a set in this encounter looks to be a superb value prospect.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Pablo Cuevas +1.5 sets at 2.21

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @Tennisratings.

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