After some mixed success in our selections from the weeks podcast, we return (as promised!) to bring our tips from the second round of the ATP Adelaide and ATP Melbourne events, as well as the ATP Cup!
It is important to consider the value of the early round/fixture results when reviewing the markets value in these ‘warm-up’ events, as they both indicate a players confidence on the fast acryclic courts in Australia, as well as both their motivation and fitness coming into these Australian Open ‘feeder’ events.
Traditionally the Australian hard-court season is one of the most exciting spectacles, as conditions can reach intense levels of dry heat, and when coupled with slick outdoor acrylic hard courts this means conditions are FAST. This naturally should lend itself to those with more compact reliable techniques, and of course the bigger servers and bigger hitters who will get extra purchase from their big strikes.
Below are the best value selections we at Serving Up Clutch could find for this round (played tonight – time of publishing 05/01/2022 11:00AM GMT):
Daniel Evans (GBR) to beat John Isner (USA) at 8/13 (ATP Cup):
This match promises to be a real blockbuster, with both teams fighting tooth and nail for the top spot in their group. Team USA top Group C currently with 2 wins from 2, and Great Britain sit in tied 2nd (with Germany) currently with 1 win and 1 loss. With a win they would be guaranteed to overtake USA, and depending on the Germany vs Canada result would likely top the group; meaning both of these players will have extra motivation to get the win.
Match-up is easy to understand with this one; Isner will look to play front foot tennis serving down numerous aces and striking on the front foot with his forehand and impressive net skills (at 6 foot 11 he has a very large wingspan for net coverage), and Evans will be looking to utilise his one handed backhand to give him extra reach when moving into corners to retrieve balls, and likely will utilise his slice to keep the ball low and prevent the attacks of Isner.
Naturally this match could fall either side of the fence depending on the level of performance from Isner – but given the Evans slice and impressive ability on return, this should act as Kryptonite for the tall Isner and give GB the lead in the tie. At 8/13 this serves to be good value by our reckoning.
Jannik Sinner (ITA) to beat Roman Safiullin (RUS) 2-0 at 1/2 (ATP CUP):
This match, again at the ATP Cup, should be another intriguing affair.
Italy sit at 2nd in their group whilst Russia sit 1st – however again both have the opportunity to top the group with a win tonight. Italy will be favoured to clinch this given the depth in their team with both Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner bringing their impressive skillset to the team tennis arena at the ATP Cup.
With this in mind, again motivation should not be of any issue when considering this match.
Jannik Sinner, simply put, is the better of these two players in nearly every department – possibly only succumbing to Safiullin when comparing their ability to produce depth control off of the back foot.
Safiullin would likely be described by many as a ‘challenger’ level player, however his results this event thus far and ability to counter-punch has been impressive. This said, Sinner will have no trouble using his nuclear firepower off of both wings (forehand and backhand groundstrokes – not so much serve), to get cheap points on the fast surface and this will be enough to carry him comfortably to victory.
Sinner in straight sets is therefore a great option for those needing a solid 1/2 leg for an accumulator.
Tommy Paul (USA) to beat Taro Daniel (JAP) at 1/3 (ATP Adelaide):
Tommy Paul comes in as rightful favourite for this second round match in Adelaide.
The American impressed many with his back-end 2021 form, winning his maiden title in his final event of the year on the indoor hard courts of Stockholm.
Both of these players are tremendous athletes with incredible movement skills – however the far more aggressive of the two is Paul, with undisputedly a much bigger serve and forehand than his opponent.
Daniel, by contrast, tends to play the majority of his matches on the very back foot waiting for errors from his opposition. Given Pauls general ‘stinginess’ when it comes to his unforced error counts during matches (coupled with the fast court pace meaning he won’t have to hit so close to the lines to gain winners and cheap points) will provide the American a huge advantage here – and he rightfully sits at 1/3 favourite.
Reilly Opelka (USA) to beat Maxime Cressy (USA) at 4/7 (ATP Melbourne):
This is a very easy match to analyse, and therefore can be relied upon as part of an accumulator.
Both of these players stand very tall in stature (Opelka 7’0″, Cressy 6’6″) and possess therefore similar gamestyles – big serve followed by big forehand/net approach.
Simply put, the serve of Opelka, altough more vulnerable than it arguably should be, is far superior compared to Cressy and this gives him a huge edge in possible tight moments such as break points, or tiebreaks.
Opelka is also the better from the back of the court, and likely could sit back and rely on consistency to win this match if his serve and immense firepower is not getting the job done.
Cressy by contrast, is a very ‘old school’ tennis player – completing far more net approaches than would be average on the ATP Tour. This typically would be a very wise approach in the modern game with many players court position being exceptionally deep – however in this encounter it would appear unlikely that Opelka will position himself anywhere other than inside the baseline leaving Cressy with very few options other than relying on a lacklustre Opelka serving performance.
At 4/7 this match is great value and should not be overlooked when producing your accumulators.
TOGETHER THESE LEGS COMBINE TO CREATE A 4-FOLD ACCUMULATOR 4.08/1
If you haven’t already listened to our podcast for this weeks events, including discussions on all the above events, then why not give it a listen! The link can be found below.