ATP Indian Wells Semi Final Tips: Basilashvili underdog value to make tomorrow's final

It's semi-final day at the Indian Wells Masters on Saturday and following shocks in both of yesterday's semi-finals, Dan Weston returns to discuss several unlikely clashes...

Zverev and Tsitsipas exit to leave tournament wide open

Yesterday's two heavy favourites and previous outright market leaders, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, were stunned by underdogs Taylor Fritz and Nikoloz Basilashvili in their quarter-finals to leave the tournament wide open. The Exchange market for the tournament winner is so tough to call, with Fritz a very, very marginal favourite at 3.45 but all players being priced at 5.20 or below - this promises to be a fascinating end of the tournament.

Action starts a little later tonight, at 2130 UK time, so this evening's semi-finals are one for the European night owls, but they look worth staying up for, for various reasons. Let's have a look at each match individually.

Dimitrov and Norrie priced around even money apiece

Grigor Dimitrov 2.00 vs Cameron Norrie 1.99: The market is finding it impossible to split the duo, with the Brit, Norrie, a paper-thin favourite to make tomorrow's final. My model completely agreed with the market line - it made Norrie 1.96 to get the victory - and there's so much evidence to suggest that the two players are very evenly matched.

Dimitrov has an edge on service hold percentage on hard court this year, with Norrie having a similar advantage on return, and the two players have an almost identical hard court win percentage, set win percentage, game win percentage and points won percentage. The Bulgarian has got through to this stage via a final-set tiebreak against Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-final, and a similarly close match is certainly not out of the question given how closely matched the duo look.

Basilashvili looking like value as an underdog

Taylor Fritz 1.61 vs Nikoloz Basilashvili 2.56: While I agree with the market pricing in the first semi-final, I'm less convinced by it in this second clash. Fritz is a solid favourite on the Exchange yet my numbers actually make Basilashvili a slight favourite instead.

This year on hard court, Fritz has won over 4% more service points but Basilashvili has just in excess of a 5% edge on return, and in these slower conditions as well, Basilashvili - the more return-orientated player - should be happy.

Fritz has won four out of four matches as an underdog to get to this stage, including yesterday's dramatic deciding tiebreak win over Alexander Zverev, so let's see how he fares as favourite for the first time. Numbers-wise though, I think the market is wrong and I'm going with Basilashvili as my pick for today.

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