French Open Day Eight Men's Tips: Garin capable of performing better than market expectations
Dan Weston looks for best bets from the men's singles tournament with four matches on today's schedule...
Market siding with reputation over clay ability
After a week where the men's matches have started at 10:00 UK time, there's a later start time today at 13:00 and what a match there is in prospect for the opener - Christian Garin versus Daniil Medvedev.
Today is a day where the market has clearly valued reputation in a big way, which will be a theme of this preview, and I'm not sure whether this should be the case.
In this opener, the market is clearly siding with Medvedev, who as the world number two, has a far bigger reputation than the Chilean clay-courter, Garin.
Big price differential from recent Madrid meeting
Medvedev is 1.44 to get the job done, which is markedly shorter than the 1.70 which he started at when he lost 4-6 7-6 1-6 to Garin in quicker conditions in Madrid a month ago. While this stands out as strange, it's even more so when you consider the quicker conditions in Madrid should have suited Medvedev more than the natural clay-courter, Garin, who would be likely to prefer the court speed to be slower.
Basically, I think the market is of the mindset that after three wins as a strong favourite here, Medvedev has instantly cracked playing on clay following a few years of struggling on the surface. It might be a cross between that and Garin playing 13 sets so far in the event to Medvedev's 10, but simply based on evidence-based clay ability, Garin looks a decent spot at 3.4. There are obvious caveats, but I don't see enough to suggest that there should be such a price differential from that Madrid meeting.
Zverev will be hoping to defeat Nishikori before a fifth set
Both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are heavy favourites below the 1.20 mark for their matches against Pablo Carreno-Busta and Kei Nishikori, and I'm also sceptical about the market's pricing on these matches. Again, it seems like current reputation is counting for plenty here against two decent players on the surface, and Zverev will want to get the job done quickly against Nishikori, who has an incredible fifth-set record, winning almost 80% of his career fifth sets including two to get to this stage against Alessandro Giannessi and Karen Khachanov.
In-form Delbonis justified favourite over Davidovich Fokina
In the remaining match on the card, Federico Delbonis is a slight 1.79 favourite to continue his progress at the expense of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Delbonis has been in pretty solid form of late, winning 14 of his last 17 matches across four tournaments, all on clay, and my model agrees with the market. I priced the Argentine up at 1.77, so there's basically no difference between that and the market pricing for what the market thinks will be the only competitive match in the men's singles today.
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