ATP Masters Madrid – Second Round – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Jack Sock

We take a trip to the Spanish capital, Madrid, where we are into the second round of the Masters 1000 event – the first of two clay Masters tournaments used in preparation for the French Open.

There are 14 matches on the ATP calendar, with my model highlighting handicap betting value on just one man – Jack Sock.

The up-and-coming American has returned to tour in a positive manner following off-season surgery and finds himself at a career high 36 in the world rankings, which should be even higher given he missed the first two months of the campaign.

Since his return, he’s accumulated an 11-2 record, with defeats only coming against Roger Federer and fellow prospect Dominic Thiem, so he should enter this match against the French veteran, Tsonga, in confident mood.

Tsonga himself has had injury issues to contend with, and also missed the first 8-10 weeks of this season.  His return to action has been much less spectacular, winning four of seven matches, including defeats as a decent favourite against Marcel Granollers and Marin Cilic.

In the last two years on clay at ATP main draw level, it’s actually Sock with the best record, boasting a 12-4 (75%) win-loss count, whilst Tsonga is marginally worse at 18-9 (67%).

Furthermore, in these matches, Sock has held more (85.9%) to Tsonga (85.3%) and broken opponents more as well – 24.3% – compared to 21.8%.  This mediocre return stat highlights quite how much Tsonga’s return has deteriorated in recent times, with it falling from 28.5% on clay in 2012, where he achieved his career-high ranking of fifth in the world.

It is highly likely that with both players strong on serve and strong at retaining break leads that it will be a match decided by sets of one, or no breaks.  Sock has a strong record priced 2.00-2.99, winning 8 of 14 in the last 12 months, including his last five outings in this price range.  Only against Gilles Muller did his victories come by fewer than two games, and I like him to cover the -1.5 game handicap in a tight match today at a very attractive 2.75.

Recommendation: Back Jack Sock -1.5 games at 2.75

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @Tennisratings.

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