ATP Queens – Second Round – Kevin Anderson vs Stan Wawrinka
The grass season is into its second week, and today’s handicap betting preview is from Queens, where the tournament has been upgraded to 500 level, despite a reduction to a 32-man field.
Most of the big names are playing either here or the equivalent 500 tournament in Halle, and recent French Open winner Stan Wawrinka got his campaign underway with a straightforward win over young prospect Nick Kyrgios yesterday. That win was hardly franked by Kyrgios’ after-timing admission that he was ill, so it’s difficult to gauge how good it actually was.
Opponent Kevin Anderson had a much tougher passage into the last 16, as he recovered from match-point down to get the better of the declining Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt, eventually breaking Hewitt four times in the latter stages.
Despite his recent French Open triumph confirming his form, grass has never really treated Wawrinka well. As I have mentioned on many previous occasions, quick surfaces in general do not suit the Swiss number two, with his record on medium paced and slow surfaces much better. His career record on grass stands at 22-20, which is very poor for a player ranked in the top 10. These 42 matches have generated ROI of almost -18% based on Pinnacle closing prices. He has never won an ATP grass court tournament.
Anderson’s grass career started in poor fashion and it seemed that despite the obvious benefits a quick surface should bring to his big-serving style, he would struggle to get good results on it. However, last year his results did improve on grass and his only defeats were as a pre-match underdog, and he made the quarter-final at Queens and the last 16 at Wimbledon.
At this point it’s worth mentioning that Anderson does not have the best record against top 10 players, and against Tomas Berdych in particular he has shown a tendency to choke. On this basis, despite my model making these players closer in ability than the current market prices suggest – Wawrinka is 1.37 – I need to look at handicap options as opposed to the outright win market.
In the last two years when priced 3.00-5.99, Anderson has claimed at least a set in 10/17 matches, despite winning just three of those. Of these victories, one was against David Ferrer by way of retirement, and two were against today’s opponent, Wawrinka.
Indeed, Anderson has a 3-3 career record against Wawrinka, and has won their last three meetings. In addition to this, only in their first meeting at Miami in 2010 did Anderson fail to win at least a set.
Based on the historical stats, the South African should be more than capable of achieving this, and a price at a shade of odds-on represents solid value.
Recommendation: Back Kevin Anderson +1.5 sets at 1.83
Prices correct at time of writing.
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