Our podcast team came out in full force yesterday to put together some thoughts as to the upcoming events in the run up to the Australian Open (This week remaining in Adelaide for a second 250 event, running contemporaneously with a 250 in Sydney; both played on the fast outdoor acrylic hard-courts). Unfortunately, many of the early matches this week have been fairly unpredictable, and subsequently our initial accumulators have largely ‘bitten-the-dust’.
Not to fear! We are back with a fresh set of selections to consider, and these can be found below:
Lloyd Harris (RSA) to beat Soon-Woo Kwon (KOR) at 4/7 (Adelaide 2):
This match is one of the few remaining from the podcast accumulators created yesterday, and it feels as though justifiably therefore this will remain in our accumulator for tonight.
This match puts forth a ‘cat-and-mouse’ affair between a very large server and ball-striker in Harris against a more traditional counter-puncher in Kwon.
Typically, these matches do favour the bigger servers as hold percentage will remain high when serving well even against the worlds very best returners – especially when the pedigree of player is fairly similar (such as in this scenario).
It is also worth noting that many have tipped Lloyd Harris to be one of the ‘stand-out’ names of 2022 – following his breakthrough season last year. Kwon, despite having a good year overall, did not deliver the same caliber of results.
Harris’ incredible penetration off the forehand wing, coupled with ability to clutch-serve and deliver ‘one-two’ punch patterns of play will be greatly suited to the fast acrylic courts in Adelaide, and therefore at odds of 4/7 he becomes great value and the first name on our bet-slips.
Brandon Nakashima (USA) to beat Jiri Vesely (CZE) AT 1/2 (Sydney):
Brandon Nakashima is a name who many will recognise as being a big prospect for the future of American tennis. He has produced a great selection of big results in the past 12 months, and has broken through playing in his first finals on the ATP tour in Los Cabos and Atlanta – both on hard courts.
Despite succumbing to these two losses in finals, it is a substantial achievement for the 20 year old American, and it is this quality that means he must be respected even by the very best heading into the Australian Open this year.
This match entails a big serving left-hander in Jiri Vesely looking to exploit the court speed to good effect and not allow the court craft of Nakashima to be put in play. The factor which will inhibit Vesely’s capability in this match however, will likely be his lack of penetration from the ground. Despite his large stature and powerful serve, Vesely often opts for a heavier spin on his ground-strokes which favours him to a ‘clay-court’ scenario. Nakashima may well be able to gain a solid footing in the rallies therefore, and once at neutral in rallies the American would be made favourite.
At 1/2 therefore Nakashima is rightfully the bookies pick for this match and is good value in our eyes.
Maxime Cressy (USA) to beat Adrian Mannarino (FRA) at 4/7 (Sydney):
Maxime Cressy impressed every tennis fan world-wide last week with his impressive run in Melbourne – beating Dimitrov and having set-points against Rafael Nadal in the final.
The American has a very ‘old-school’ brand of tennis, opting to serve-volley every point on his own delivery, and slash-and-dash on return games hoping for cheap winners and to get to the net as soon as possible. At 6″6′ Cressy holds an impressive wingspan and impeccable feel around the net, making him tough to pass – as even Rafael Nadal found in the final of Melbourne!
His opposition by contrast is a left-hander more commonly known for his ability to dig deep in rallies and for his quality on return. Due to the lack of pace on the serve, and Cressy’s extreme aggression on return, it would seem likely that the American will breakthrough at some point during the match. The same however cannot be said for Mannarino (providing Cressy produces serving quality similar to last week).
The fast court-pace will favour the hyper-aggressive style of Cressy, and at 4/7 this is a great value selection.
Andy Murray (GBR) to beat Viktor Durasovic (NOR) 2-0 at 2/5:
Andy Murray had a disappointing outing last week losing to Facundo Bagnis, however this should not put off punters from viewing him as value this week against Durasovic.
Durasovic highlighted his quality during the ATP Cup last week, however the level of his performances were still only good enough to take one set across all three matches (vs Tabilo). His game-style is fairly balanced, and he looks to attack off the front foot on the forehand wing where possible.
Andy Murray by contrast needs no explanation – his immense quality of point construction and ability to play both off the front foot and back foot when required should be enough to navigate through this match in straight sets.
It is difficult to envision points during this match where Murray won’t feel like he is in control – and because of this a straight sets win over Viktor Durasovic appear the likely result.
Four-Fold Accumulator at 4.19/1
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