Welcome to my Day 2 preview of the Australian Open for The Profits. Let’s get stuck into it.
MattHias Bachinger vs David Goffin
I am sorry, but I cannot have David Goffin priced at $1.04 like he is a Federer/Murray/Nadal etc in their prime. I know he had a good end of 2017 in terms of the tour finals, but let’s take a bit of a look at just how the end of the year shaped up for David. Let’s start at the US hardcourt swing and work our way through from there.
Canada -> Lost in R32 to Chung 5-7 3-6 (note: big hitter of the ball)
Cincinnati -> Lost in R64 to Kyrgios 2-6 3-6 (note: big hitter of the ball)
US Open -> Lost in 4th round to Rublev 5-7 6-7 3-6 (note: big hitter of the ball)
Metz -> Lost in 1/4 final to Paire 6-7 7-5 6-7
Shenzhen -> WON (beat Donskoy, Young, Laaksonen and Dolgopolov)
Tokyo -> WON (beat Lopez, Ebden, Gasquet, Schwartzman and Mannarino)
Shanghai -> Lost in R32 to Simon 6-7 3-6
Antwerp -> Lost in QF to Stafanos Tsitsipas 6-2 6-7 6-7 (note: big hitter of the ball)
Basel -> Lost in SF to Federer 1-6 2-6
Paris -> Lost in R16 to Benneteau 3-6 3-6
London -> Lost in Tour Final to Dimitrov 5-7 6-4 3-6 (Beat Federer and Nadal, however both under injury clouds).
To me, that isn’t the form that justifies ever starting at $1.04 in any capacity in my opinion, regardless of opponent. Especially, when your opponent is quite a heavy striker of the ball like Bachinger. Goffin is VERY good, but I don’t think he is THAT good.
For those of you who were following last week, I did take Duckworth to defeat Bachinger, and boy did Matthias make me pay for it. Since Stakhovsky served for the match against Bachinger in the first round of qualifying, Bachinger has not dropped serve since which is quite impressive against Duckworth and Gonzalez. Obviously those two players are many many levels below Goffin, who is one of the best returns of serve in the game, however Bachinger is a confidence player, and that will give him confidence going into today’s match.
Bachinger does play his best tennis at the Australian Open, with his top ranked victory of his career here in Melbourne, when he beat Pablo Cuevas in straight sets in 2015. Bachinger does have some solid career wins under his belt, with victories over Busta, Basilashvili, Sandgren, Stepanek, Brown and Gojowczyk over the last couple of years.
Goffin should win yes, but I cannot have him be a price so short. Goffin has a 13/8 record in the first round of Grand Slams, so if there is every a time to oppose him, it is first up. Of his 13 victories, only 6 have come in straight sets, so he isn’t always at his best first up in Grand Slams. I am happy to take a bit of a flier on Bachinger here in a couple of different ways.
I think the value plays on offer today lie around Bachinger winnning, winning the first set, and winning a set. I think these represent more value than Bachinger +8.5 at this stage, so that is the path I will be taking.
2.5 units Bachinger +2.5 sets (or to win a set) at $3.53 at Pinnacle
1.5 units Bachinger 1st set winner at $7.05 at Pinnacle
1 unit Bachinger to defeat Goffin at $17.65
NOTE: I always take value, as I feel in the long run that is the most profitable avenue for myself. That being said, I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (AKA I know I don’t do things like a lot of people). If that is the case, the safer option is to take total games over 28.5 here for those who are interested.
Fernando Verdasco vs Roberto Bautista Agut
We can file this one under #FatigueFader, with Agut coming off a huge 3 set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro in Auckland on Saturday. It was the second Auckland title for Agut, having beaten Sock (via 2nd set retirement) in the Auckland final in 2016. From there, Agut came straight to Melbourne, and found himself locked in a 5 set match (that he probably should have won more easily in hindsight, perhaps fatigue played a role), dropping the 3rd and 4th sets in his match vs Martin Klizan before recovering to get the job done. There are parallels with 2016 here, he has just won Auckland, and he is heading to Melbourne to play a big hitting left hander – this time Fernando Verdasco.
Fernando Verdasco is one of those players who I now tend to avoid in lower level tournaments, but you just know he is going to come out all guns blazing at Grand Slam Level. When you consider he made the semi final in Stockholm (beat Haase and Anderson before falling in a third set tiebreak to Del Potro) and quarter final in Paris (defeated Anderson again, Thiem, and lost to eventual winner Jack Sock in 3 sets), his form isn’t actually that bad at all.
Verdasco has actually been a tad unlucky when it has come to his Grand Slam Draws. If you look back over his last 3 years of Grand Slams (so 12 tournaments), he has been knocked out by a top 10 player in half of those, and only once to someone outside the top 50 (Dudi Sela in the heat at the Aus Open). He does put in some pretty decent performances amongst those, and he is never absolutely blown out of the water (except maybe vs Nishikori last year at Roland Garros, even though Verdasco won the first set 6-0!). What does need to be remembered is in the last two years he has Grand Slam wins over Alex Zverev, Dom Thiem, and who could forget his win over Rafa Nadal In Melbourne in 2016.
Considering the late 2017 form of Verdasco (I will forgive his loss vs De Minaur), I think this is a great spot to have a go at Verdasco. I watched their match early last year in Dubai, and Agut did struggle with the weight of shot at times from Verdasco. Now I understand Agut did just handle Del Potro in the final in Auckland who also hits it hard, however Verdasco’s heavy hitting and serving as a leftie is a completely different look. Once Verdasco knows he can beat someone, he is a more confident player. When you consider Verdasco leads the H2H 3-1 here (1-0 on hardcourt), then I am happy to make a play here on Verdasco to get over the line.
3.5 units Verdasco to defeat Bautista Agut at $2.97 at Pinnacle
0.5 units Bautista-Agut 3-2 set betting at $6 at Bet365
Jared Donaldson vs Albert Ramos
Just a little preview for this one – I am pretty comfortable in taking Donaldson to win the first set against Albert Ramos. However I am not so confident in taking Donaldson to beat Ramos in best of 5 set tennis. Here’s why….
Jared Donaldson has never won a 5 set match, and I feel like I don’t really want to be getting involved in a match against the likes of Ramos over 5 sets when Donaldson doesn’t have a fantastic record (yet) in long matches. That being said, on form Donaldson is certainly the better player in this matchup at present, with solid form around Simon and Medvedev, whereas Ramos hasn’t had the strongest start to 2018, with losses to Pella and Lorenzi to kick off the year. I think this matchup has the makings of Donaldson getting off to a strong start, before Ramos slowly starts to grind him down over the best of 5 set matchup. I am more confident in Donaldson coming out strong more than I am the latter, so I am going to settle on a play for Donaldson to win the first set here.
3.5 units Donaldson first set winner vs Ramos at $1.88 at Pinnacle