US Open Men's Day 3 Tips: Van de Zandschulp can give Casper a Ruud awakening

Day three of the US Open sees the second round get underway, with 16 second round clashes on the men's schedule today. Dan Weston returns to preview the action...

Djokovic, Berrettini and Zverev progress

As with day one, most of the heavy favourites made it through without much drama, although Novak Djokovic surprisingly dropped a set to the 18-year-old qualifier, Holger Rune. Although the other three sets were pretty dominantly won by the world number one, you'll hear a lot more about Rune in the next year or two - it won't take long for him to break into the top 100 and he will soon be making a name for himself on the main tour.

The likes of Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev also made it through safely into round two, without dropping a set. Our underdog pick, Lucas Pouille, lost in five sets to Albert Ramos, having failed to convert two match points and was then subsequently broken serving for the match, adequately illustrating something we've discussed many times previously - the variance and fine margins of professional tennis can have a huge influence on individual match results.

Moving on to today's second round matches, there's plenty to discuss, and as we've done this week, I'll start with looking at a few big names.

Big Names:-

Dominik Koepfer 34.00 vs Daniil Medvedev 1.03: The tournament second favourite, Medvedev, shouldn't have much issue with Koepfer, who at 27 years of age has never made inroads into the top 50 in his career. Koepfer's numbers on hard court in the last 12 months are mediocre (around 98% combined service/return points won) suggesting that he's pretty accurately ranked just outside the top 50. There's a huge ability differential between him and Medvedev based on that evidence, and a routine win for the Russian should be anticipated.

Fatigue a question mark around Tsitsipas

Adrian Mannarino 16.00 vs Stefanos Tsitsipas 1.06: Tsitsipas struggled past Andy Murray in a bad-tempered clash in round one, which lasted the full five sets. The effects of that match may not be seen until the later stages, where the problems arising from accumulated fatigue tend to manifest themselves, but coming into this match on the back of a five-setter lasting almost five hours (including toilet breaks!) isn't a positive.

Mannarino, however, also featured in a five-setter, defeating countryman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, albeit a shorter one from a time perspective. Mannarino is a competent hard courter and Tsitsipas does look a bit short-priced here.

Potential Value:-

Casper Ruud 1.10 vs Botic van de Zandschulp 10.00: Ruud has done his best work on clay courts, but is proving to be a pretty solid hard courter as his career develops - albeit a rather serve-orientated one.

However, I'm surprised to see the Norwegian as short as this against a decent Challenger player who has done very well at that level in the last couple of years or so on various surfaces. Clearly, Ruud should be favourite but I have him at 1.33 here, markedly bigger than the market pricing.

With Ruud showing something of a serve-orientated dynamic on hard courts, the match should be pretty tight and game handicap options on van de Zandschulp look viable. The Exchange market is still forming, but based on general market pricing we should be able to get around 1.80 on the Dutchman with a 7.5 game head start, and that looks a decent spot to me.

Evans can retain British interest in the men's singles

Marcos Giron 2.00 vs Dan Evans 1.98: With Andy Murray having been eliminated, British interest in the men's singles is down to Evans, with the man from the Midlands a marginal market favourite at 1.98 for his clash with the home player, Marcos Giron.

Giron performed well in Winston Salem last week, making the quarter-finals, but it's worth remembering that his first two opponents were out and out clay-courters. Even despite a difficult run of late from Evans, which included five defeats in his last six - albeit against strong opposition - Evans should be too good here and he looks a level above. I'd have Evans more at around the 1.65 mark for this.

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