ATP Tennis Betting: Basilashvili too big for Auger-Aliassime clash in New York

August 22, 2020

We’re back with main level, main draw tennis on Saturday at the Western and Southern Open and we have 12 men’s matches on the card on day one.

It’s set to be a warm and rather humid weekend in New York, with highs of 32C on Saturday and 30C on Sunday and humidity getting up to almost 70%, which creates a ‘real feel’ of around 33C on both days.

You’d think that qualifiers would have a distinct advantage today, given that they’ve already tasted conditions in a competitive environment and that makes Lloyd Harris, Ricardas Berankis, Salvatore Caruso and Cam Norrie of interest on Saturday.

Given Harris’s excellent serving ability and opponent Taylor Fritz’s fairly weak return game and lack of competitive action I like the 4.10 on a set one tie break in their match on Court 10 on Saturday.

Harris and Fritz both hold serve 84% of the time on hard courts (last 12 months at main level) and break around 15% of the time, so serves are likely to be dominant here.

Indeed, there could be a fair few breakers around on Saturday, with the likes of Milos Raonic, Sam Querrey, Reilly Opelka and Kevin Anderson also in action, but there won’t be much value in backing those guys for tie breaks.


Nikoloz Basilashvili vs Felix Auger-Aliassime

This price of around the 1.26 mark on Auger-Aliassime looks very short to me given that this is the first week back after six months off and I’m happy to take a chance on Basil in this 11:00 local time start (16:00 UK) on Court 17.

Basilashvili struggled a bit in 2019 for various reasons after a great latter half of 2018 that saw him land ATP 500 titles in Beijing on the hard courts and on the clay of Hamburg (which he also won in 2019).

Off court issues dogged him and still do by the looks of things, with the Georgian reportedly set to face criminal charges in October this year, having been arrested in May for allegedly assaulting his ex-wife.

That probably explains the price today, given that FAA was only a narrow 1.90 favourite when this pair clashed on these same Laykold hard courts in Miami in 2019.

Indeed, Basil served for the opening set that day, but was hampered by an awful first serve percentage of 39% and combined with eight double faults it was a poor day in what was a largely disappointing season for the Georgian.

Basil also started well when this pair clashed on clay two months later, winning it 6-2 in Lyon and looking at the stats of those two career clashes there’s little in it, with Basil winning a healthy 58.2% of his second serve points compared to FAA’s 47.5%.

Basil has also created many more break chances than FAA in this rivalry (0.63 per game compared to 0.33) and assuming he’s recovered from shoulder issues he had for a while his serve should be more potent again.

It’s obviously a risk, given the off-court issues, but it could be the case that the tennis court is the best place for Basil to be right now and while FAA has played more tennis lately it’s still an exceptionally long lay off from competitive action and 3.30 about Basil winning set one or 2.08 about him winning with a +1.5 sets start seem the bets here.

Going back to the qualifiers now and Ricardas Berankis has a fair shot against Tommy Paul as underdog, given his match time here and he actually won one more point than Paul when this pair clashed on hard in Montreal last year.

Paul has done little in his exhibitions this summer and I’d have to give Berankis a decent chance in this one, while don’t write off Salvatore Caruso against Filip Krajinovic, who has struggled in the past in very hot and humid conditions.

Caruso beat Jannik Sinner and Jordan Thompson to qualify and that was despite barely getting about 50% on first serve, so I wouldn’t be going anywhere near this 1.37 about Krajinovic.

Cam Norrie should be more match-sharp than Reilly Opelka, whose last action was about six weeks ago, and Norrie has won 10 of his last 11 matches at all levels now, so his confidence should be there.

Norrie has lost his last six matches against the big servers in my database and maybe his price isn’t quite big enough.

Norbert Gombos is interesting at the prices against Marton Fucsovics, but Gombos has had two very tough matches in qualifying and had the trainer out in one of them.

He will get a day off on Saturday though and he faces a Fucsovics who was training on clay lately, but the Hungarian came through qualies nicely and he’s yet to lose in six main level matches on outdoor hard when priced between 1.31 and 1.49, which surprised me.

I’m not often convinced about Kyle Edmund in very hot and humid conditions, but he’s been playing well this summer in exhibitions, while opponent Kevin Anderson has spent the hiatus recovering from injury and getting fit.

I still wouldn’t back Edmund at 1.44 and I’ll take the Basilashvili and Fritz tie break bets this weekend in New York, although there are plenty of options for underdog backers in these circumstances.


Best Bets


0.5 points win Basilashvili to win set one at 3.30
0.5 points win over 12.5 games in set one of Harris/Fritz at 4.10