ATP Barcelona – Second Round – Santiago Giraldo vs Joao Sousa
Friday’s recommendation of Rafael Nadal on the game handicap against countryman David Ferrer was a stressful but successful one for all concerned, with Nadal throwing away a set and double break lead before easing to a final set victory and providing us with a winner.
We take a trip to Nadal’s home country today for the ATP 500 event in Barcelona, where last year’s runner up, Santiago Giraldo, takes on Joao Sousa.
Sousa is frequently very over-rated by the markets with his fitness and mental strength helping him to get through matches, as opposed to his overall ability. He’s also wrongly pegged as a clay courter, due to being Portuguese – which is as ridiculous as it sounds! He performs best on fast surfaces, with a preference for Indoor Hard.
Giraldo clearly has strong motivation to defend the runner-up points from last year, and has a significant edge over Sousa on clay in the last 12 months, winning 62% (16-10) of his ATP main draw matches on the dirt in this time period, with Sousa getting wins in just 6 of 17 matches (35%).
In these matches, Giraldo’s serve is strong (80.8% hold) whilst Sousa’s is very weak, with the Portuguese player holding just 67.4%. Giraldo also has a slight edge on return, breaking 24.3% compared to 22.0%. Sousa’s combined 89.4% illustrates he’s a very low level player on this surface.
These statistics led to a model price of 1.25 about the Colombian, far shorter than the available 1.50 in the markets, making Giraldo very strong value indeed.
Priced between 1.25 and 1.75 on clay, only one of Giraldo’s wins since July 2013 has come via less than a four game margin (a 3 game win over young prospect Kimmer Coppejans in Sao Paulo), so he tends to win matches comfortably when he is expected to do so.
Considering the difference between the 1.50 on the match win and 2.42 giving up -4 games, it seems highly logical to take this bigger price, and this is today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Santiago Giraldo -4 games at 2.42
Prices correct at time of writing.
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