ATP Tennis Betting: Motivated Sandgren can upset Marterer in Auckland

January 6, 2019

Round one has already begun in Sydney and starts on Monday in Auckland and we have a dozen matches to analyse on day one in a week that finishes early (on Saturday) to allow time for players to head to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

The seven matches at the ASB Classic in Auckland start at 23:00 UK time on Sunday night and the two I like there for value are Cameron Norrie and Tennys Sandgren, with Marius Copil and Joao Sousa possible too.

Maximilian Marterer vs Tennys Sandgren

This 03:00 UK time start in Auckland on Grandstand is a repeat of the Australian Open round three match of a year ago that Sandgren won in straight sets – at a similar price to his odds today.

The American was put in as a 2.37 chance that day in Melbourne and won it in four tight sets, while this time he’s been judged to be a 2.25 shot, which I think is a hint of value.

It’s Marterer that’s started the season in the better form, winning five matches already, but victories over clay exponents such as Arnaboldi, and Trungelliti and the likes of Fabbiano and Masur plus a very rusty Peter Gojowczyk may not amount to much more than match practice.

At main level on outdoor hard Marterer struggles to break serve, managing only 12.9% breaks in the last year, which is not good enough for the level that the German aspires to.

Sandgren has been in poor form for some time now, but he did look highly motivated (for the first two sets at least: both of which he could have won) against John Millman in Brisbane.

The American was scrapping for everything that day, which is something he hasn’t done on numerous occasions that I’ve seen him play lately, and I’m taking that as a sign that he realises he needs points fast in order to avoid a rankings drop.

It’s still Sandgren that has slightly the better hold/break stats on this surface and for me he’s one of those players you have to catch when he’s up for it – hopefully that will be today, as he has a decent draw this week.

Cameron Norrie compiled some very handy stats on outdoor hard last season and he’s started this year well too in Hopman Cup, so I’m chancing him at a big price this week outright.

Therefore I don’t need to double up on him today against Benoit Paire, but for those not on the outright Norrie has a good seven percent lead on Paire in their combined hold/break numbers and the Brit is the more reliable in terms of giving his best effort.

Joao Sousa has an unexpectedly impressive hold/break total of 106.8 in Auckland, where he made the final only two years ago and I wouldn’t count him out of things against Denis Shapovalov.

Again, surprisingly, Sousa is 12-8 against lefties at main level on all hard courts and perhaps he’ll catch the young Canadian off guard in his season-opener.

I said last week that Taylor Fritz was short against Denis Kudla and he looks it again today versus Marius Copil, who beat Fritz on his way to the Basel final at the end of last season.

Copil wasn’t good from the service line last week in Doha, but conditions should suit him here and with neither man breaking serve often enough (Copil just 12.6% and Fritz 16.9%) tight sets seem likely again.

Moving on to Sydney and Malek Jaziri probably won’t relish his round one opponent in Sam Querrey given that Jaziri is 2-16 win/loss on outdoor hard against the big servers on my list.

That said, Querrey’s overall record in Australia is poor, but the American has won three of his last six Down Under now, so I’d still favour him to beat Jaziri here.

Another big-serving American, Reilly Opelka, is likely to get the better of Albert Ramos, but 1.45 is a short price, given that Ramos is actually 6-6 win/loss against my big servers on outdoor hard and 15-16 on all surfaces.

Alex De Minaur, last year’s Sydney finalist, should have the edge over Dusan Lajovic in these conditions, but 1.28 is not sort of price, with the young Aussie playing this swing with pressure on him a bit after last year’s showings.

There’s been money for Matt Ebden to beat Nicolas Jarry, but there were a couple of big drifts on Tomas Berdych last week and he won both matches in straight sets and very often these moves end up being fruitless.

Ebden is 1-4 win/loss in Sydney and he’s only broken serve 14.4% of the time in those five matches, so given that he’s facing Jarry, who is on 13.5% breaks for his last 12 months on this surface there may be a breaker or two in this one.


Best Bet


1 point win Sandgren to beat Marterer at 2.25