French Open Day Three Men's Tips: Brooksby undervalued by the market for Karatsev clash
Day three of the French Open sees the first round conclude in the men's singles, and after a second consecutive winner on Monday, Dan Weston attempts to go for the hat-trick...
Zapata Miralles covers to give us our second French Open winner
Bernabe Zapata Miralles managed to cover the game handicap against his countryman Carlos Alcaraz Garfia yesterday in his four-set loss to give us our second straight winner in this year's French Open after Laslo Djere got the better of Corentin Moutet on Sunday.
There were also wins on Monday for the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner - just about - Roger Federer and our outright pick for the third quarter, Casper Ruud. David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were two of the bigger names to head for an early exit after losses on day two.
Karatsev slightly flattered by season win percentage
One player who has burst onto the tour this year is Aslan Karatsev, but as some regular readers might have noticed, I'm unconvinced that his stunning run of results is totally sustainable. Don't get me wrong, he's evidently an above-average player but I'm not sure he's quite top 10 to top 15 level, which the market seems to be pricing him at.
The Russian has done superbly this season, winning over 70% of matches but his service and return data suggests that he's fortunate to have such a win percentage.
Brooksby a young player of high potential
Today, Karatsev has a fascinating meeting against the young American qualifier, Jenson Brooskby, who is 20 years of age and is making his way on the Challenger Tour. Brooksby needed to save three match points in qualifying against Evan Furness, but his wins over Marc-Andrea Huesler and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the earlier rounds of qualifying were more impressive.
Not only this, but Brooksby comes into the tournament on a 13-match unbeaten run after winning back to back Challengers in April, on clay in Tallahassee and on hard court in Orlando and his numbers at the lower level make him a real player to watch - it wouldn't surprise me at all if he had a pretty swift rise up the rankings in the not too distant future.
Despite this, Karatsev is just 1.13 to get the win and I think the market has been slightly complacent here. Yes, Karatsev should be favourite but this price looks absurd in my view against a talented young player with a ton of upside. Brooksby +7.5 games on the game handicap is 4/5 with the Sportsbook, and I like this line.
Nadal and Djokovic with virtual byes
On the subject of short-priced favourites, I also think that Salvatore Caruso is over-rated by the market at 1.25 against the Australian, James Duckworth, although Duckworth probably would prefer quicker conditions, and has only played one tournament in the last couple of months.
In other matches, there are plenty of big names in action as both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic get their tournaments underway in the later matches this evening, and both players have a virtual bye, according to the market and my model, against Alexei Popyrin and Tennys Sandgren, respectively. Nadal has lost one match here in the last decade, so it would be a huge shock if Popyrin got a massive-priced victory.
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