Tennis

ATP Tennis Betting: Shapovalov looks a short price against Tiafoe in testing Miami conditions

March 28, 2019

John Isner was in supreme form on serve on Wednesday, which meant a loss for our half point wager on Roberto Bautista Agut on day eight, as the defending champion went through in two tie breaks.

Then Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated a dismal Borna Coric to progress to the semis as a qualifier, which made the losses of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Nick Kyrgios even more annoying in that part of the draw.

FAA is now looking to be the first qualifier to make the Miami final since Guillermo Canas in 2007, having already become the youngest ever Miami quarter and now semi finalist.

That’s for tomorrow though and on Thursday we’re expecting very windy conditions – particularly during the day session – with the opening match of the day likely to be played in 32kph gusts.
 

Denis Shapovalov vs Frances Tiafoe

Even ignoring for a moment the very tough conditions that this match is likely to be played in I can’t see any value at all in Shapovalov in this third career clash with Tiafoe.

Shapo has struggled badly at the latter stages of tournaments so far in his career and while that won’t continue forever he’s yet to prove that he’s able to handle big matches.

The Canadian is 2-8 win/loss in main level quarter finals and semi finals and his quarter finals have been played against opposition ranked 22-85 in the world, so he’s not been facing the elite in them.

One of his semi final losses came against Tiafoe when Shapovalov was a 1.70 favourite in very similar conditions to here in Delray Beach last season, so you’d have to conclude that the American handled the situation and the similarly windy conditions better that day.

Tiafoe also leads most of the stats in their two-match career series, winning an impressive 62.7% of second serve points (Shapovalov 50%) and holding serve more often (82.1% against 75%).

Tiafoe has also created more break chances (0.50 per game against 0.36) with Shapo leading only in first serve points won (78.8% versus 73.1), but in very windy conditions this match probably won’t be won on first serves alone.

The American has only played two career semis at this level, but he’s won them both in straight sets, so in a big match like this I’m leaning towards Tiafoe having the better big match temperament.

As a former Delray Beach champion he’s proven in the conditions and I’m not sure why Shapovalov is as short as 1.49 given also his lack of consistency (this is only the second time he’s won three straight matches at a tournament since Madrid last year).

The conditions (assuming the forecast is correct) make this perhaps not one to go big on, but I’m happy in what’s been a successful tournament so far on the daily bets to have half a point on Tiafoe at these odds.

The wind is forecast to drop to around 26kph by the time that Kevin Anderson and Roger Federer take to the court at (not before) 19:00 local time (23:00 UK), but that’s still a tough day for serving, which puts me off Anderson a bit.

The slow conditions won’t favour either man, but as well as the windy conditions in which Federer excels in, I’m also not convinced that Anderson has had enough matches in his comeback to be beating Federer this time.

When he beat Federer at Wimbledon last year he’d played 37 matches already that season, while so far this campaign he’s played only nine and also in slow conditions, with the balls not getting through the court I’m not feeling an upset in the making here.

Federer was very good against Daniil Medvedev and a repeat of that level should see the Swiss veteran progress to the semi finals.

 

Best Bet

 

0.5 points win Tiafoe to beat Shapovalov at 2.65