Bit of a mixture of plays from a couple of different locations over the next 24 hours. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via Twitter (@Ace_TheProfits). I am considering an ITF play for later, so do keep an eye out on Twitter as this may come later on tonight.
ATP Challenger – Newport Beach
Christian Garin vs Darian King
I am not entirely sure where this hardcourt form from Christian Garin has come from this week, but I am all for it continuing for another match here. Garin is 9 sets out of 9 this week (Fratangelo retired down a set and a break) after making his way through qualifying as well as the first two rounds of the main draw. Wins over Sarkissian, Fanselow, Hiltzik, Paul and Fratangelo is pretty solid form, with Garin only dropping serve 4 times across the 5 matches. It is very solid form and form I am happy to side with coming up against Darian King here.
King managed to fight back from a set down to defeat Mmoh in the second round 1-6 6-2 6-1, dropping his serve 4 times and breaking the serve of Mmoh 6 times on his way to the victory. King was also the beneficiary of a retirement mid match retirement, with Ito pulling the pin midway through the third set.
One of the reasons I am happy to continue to back in the form of claycourter Garin is more around King’s lack of big power and shot making. I don’t think King has anything here that will really push Garin off the court. When Garin has the better first serve, as well as the better match-up overall when you bring all the facets of the match together, then I am more than happy to make a substantial play on Garin to get the job done here, and be an unlikely Newport Beach semi finallist. Unless King really improves his game compared to his form of late, I can see this going only one way.
5 units Garin to defeat King at $1.89 at Pinnacle
Miomir Kecmanovic vs Bradley Klahn
Gee…Bradley Klahn would really want to lift his game to be a chance of challenging Kecmanovic here. This match if going to come down to the second serve of Klahn in my opinion. Considering he has won 30% and 41% of points on his second serve in the two matches so far, he is really going to need to be on his game with a high first serve percentage to beat Kecmanovic in the form he is currently in on harcourt. I made the comment the other day that I thought bookmakers had overrated the form of Kecmanovic beating what I thought was a tired Tiafoe in the first round, but he made me look a little silly in how he destroyed Kozlov in the second round. Kozlov did lead 5-0 in that second set, and Kozlov did have a break point to get it back to 5-5, however he was too good for too long and thoroughly deserved the victory.
Kecmanovic has been particularly clutch on break point opps, especially in his match against Tiafoe, where he saved 9/10 break point opportunities on his serve. He is an up and coming player to watch, and I think he has all the tools to beat Klahn on this surface considering the form both players have at present.
Klahn got away with one against Krueger last round, but he won’t be as lucky today. Kecmanovic to win this comfortably for mine.
4 units Kecmanovic to defeat Klahn at $1.83 at Bet365
WTA Newport Beach Challenger
Alja Tomljanovic vs Nicole Gibbs
I am always a teeny tiny bit anxious when I consider Nicole Gibbs as value, but I am generally pretty keen to oppose Tomljanovic later in weeks when she is pretty short from an odds perspective. Tomljanovic has all the shots and tools to be a brilliant tennis player, however she doesn’t quite have the control, or long enough injury free at a time, to have become a massive threat as yet. When you consider these two played last year in early November, it was a very tight knit affair, with Gibbs racing to a 4-1 third set lead before losing the last 5 consecutive games. Yes, she didn’t win, but when you consider they have a history of close matches, and Gibbs was very impressive when it came to consistently breaking the serve of Schmiedlova today, then taking upwards of $2.80 on Gibbs to get the job done here is great value in my opinion. She will need to serve well and run all day, but at the price I am very happy to take the risk on her winning here.
3 units Gibbs to defeat Tomljanovic at $2.88 at Pinnacle