ATP Rome Round 1

Kevin Anderson vs Jurgen Melzer

Here we have an intriguing match-up for the 1st round of Rome. This match stood out to me at first look, and digging even deeper has caused me to like it a bit more.

Let’s break down each player individually:

Jurgen Melzer

Melzer has been one of the biggest disappointments on the ATP tour this year in my opinion. His form on clay has been an absolute disgrace for a player of his talent. Let’s break down the 10 claycourt matches Melzer has played so far in 2013, starting with the wins:

·Defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-4 6-2

o   90% of the top 100 ATP players would have beaten Almagro that day. I unfortunately made the mistake of backing Almagro against one of my key rules -> avoiding players backing up after reaching an ATP final the previous week. Almagro was spent, psychologically by giving up a lead to Nadal. Melzer did what any player should have.

·Defeated Jesse Huta Galung 1-6 6-3 6-2

o   Broken 4 times from 6 opportunities conceded. Not ideal when you are playing against the world number 226.

There we have the 2 wins. Now for a brief overview of the 7 losses

·Lost to Kei Nishikori 3-6 2-6

o   Outplayed in every sense of the word. The stats show he was 0/3  on break points he faced. That may not seem overly bad, yet one was at 0/40 and another 15/40. Found himself having a horror service game every 1 in 3. Just major major lapses.

·Lost to Gael Monfils 3-6 3-6

o   Anyone who has followed me on twitter recently knows that I don’t hold the highest opinion of Gael Monfils at the moment. There is a reason why he was ranked 106 when they met a couple of weeks back. You almost always know that Monfils will have a lapse in concentration at some point throughout the match. Melzer didn’t capitalise. In 58 mins he was out the door, only saving 1 of 4 break points. All this with a 1st serve % of 69 too.

·Lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6 0-6

o   Another 58 minute loss for Melzer. Again saved only 1 of 5 break point opportunities against. Never in it. Just destroyed by Tsonga.

·Lost to Tobias Kamke 3-6 3-6

o   Another straight sets loss, this time to the 87th ranked Kamke. The continuing trend? Saved only 1/5 break points. A horrible first serve % of 41.7% didn’t help things either for Jurgen.

·Lost to Joao Sousa 4-6 3-6

o   ANOTHER straight sets loss. Sousa ranked 93rd adds to the poor performance here. Saved 8 break points on serve, but faced 12 all up.

·DAVIS CUP – Lost to Andrey Golubev 6-4 3-6 4-6 2-6

o   Poor loss when playing for your country against the 187th ranked Golubev

·DAVIS CUP – Lost to Evgeny Korolev 6-7 3-6 2-6

o   This time a loss to the 211th ranked Korolev

That 0-2 result vs Kazakhstan is really poor considering the rankings difference.

So to sum up the form of Jurgen Melzer on clay in 2013? Horrible!

Kevin Anderson

I’m not going to go through each match individually, but Anderson has beaten everyone he should. Anderson has gone 6-3 on clay this season, with the losses coming against Berdych (who has the mental edge), Cilic (solid claycourter ranked 12th in the world), and Robredo, who has been playing some brilliant tennis on the clay this year.

He has also taken some noted scalps over the last few weeks, with solid wins over Juan Monaco, Jerzy Janowicz and Martin Klizan, all ranked in the top 30. In these matches, he is having a couple of lapses on his serve, but digging his way out of trouble well with his serve and heavy groundstrokes.

Although he has dropped the occasional set, he has been winning sets 6-2/6-3/6-4, important when betting handicaps. Another highlight is the great conversion percentages across those 9 matches. In 6 of the 9 matches, his BP conversion rate is going at above 50%, a great stat when you match it up with the poor save % of Melzer.

The Final Word

All signs point to Anderson. I can’t refuse the handicap price for Anderson here. The -3 games on offer at Sportingbet at $1.83 is a really nice price. You won’t find much better out there for the -3 handicap, and I think Anderson should win this comfortably.

I would also recommend Anderson 2-0 at around $2, but his tendency to drop the occasional close set is something I would rather not have to worry about. That, combined with Melzer’s ability to be wiped off the court for a set, makes the games handicap an appealing prospect.

Suggested Bet: Kevin Anderson -3 games at $1.83 at Sportingbet
Confidence: 70%

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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Photo By Carine06 from UK (Jürgen Melzer  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Author

mm

Ace

I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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