ATP Wimbledon Day Seven Tips: Big-serving Van Rijthoven to keep Djokovic honest
The men's singles fourth round gets underway at Wimbledon on Sunday with four matches from the top half of the draw on the schedule. Dan Weston returns with his thoughts...
Van Rijthoven's serve likely to test Djokovic
Novak Djokovic headlines the day seven action in the men's singles with the top seed facing the wild card, and grass court sensation, Tim Van Rijthoven.
Djokovic, with the exception of his opener against Soonwoo Kwon, has eased into round four and now faces the big-serving threat of Van Rijthoven, who is now eight unbeaten on grass having picked up five underdog wins at Hertogenbosch, and two wins over top 30 opposition so far at SW19.
That in itself should make Djokovic take Van Rijthoven seriously.
If it doesn't then Van Rijthoven's grass court data in those eight unbeaten main tour matches should do so - he's won 76% of service points and 33% of return points. Whether those numbers are sustainable is another debate entirely, but they are what they are and Van Rijthoven holding serve 93% of the time on grass this season points to Djokovic having an awkward challenge to pressurise on return.
Djokovic is 1.06 to progress, but Van Rijthoven +7.5 games is a market-leading 11/10 with the Sportsbook, which looks decent value to me. I'm not sure that price will be available by the time the match starts.
Alcaraz looking short-priced against Sinner
Moving on through the card, Carlos Alcaraz is the next shortest-priced favourite at 1.41 for his clash with Jannik Sinner.
It's really tough to get a handle on both players ability on grass given their lack of exposure on the surface, although Sinner has marginally better data from the matches here so far to get to this stage. Alcaraz looks short-priced to me, but there's not enough data to be hugely confident.
The market is finding it difficult to split David Goffin and Frances Tiafoe, with both players priced around the even money mark, but if I had to lean to one player it would be Goffin, who got past Ugo Humbert in the last round after the Frenchman impressed me in the previous round.
This season's limited grass court data hints that Goffin should be favourite, and I think the 1.70 which the Belgian was priced against Tiafoe on clay at Roland Garros about six weeks ago looks about right to me.
Norrie favourite to continue British interest
Finally, British hopes in the men's singles are likely to be solely on Cameron Norrie by the time he faces Tommy Paul on Sunday, and Norrie is favourite at 1.59 to get to the quarter-finals - and he should be favourite against either Goffin or Tiafoe if he gets to that stage too.
However, Paul is yet to drop a set in the tournament so far, and clearly won't be a pushover simply on that basis. In addition, the American also reached the quarter-final at Queens and Eastbourne, and losses in those events to Matteo Berrettini and Alex De Minaur is no disgrace whatsoever.
Having said that, Norrie has an advantage on both service and return points won this year on grass and it's difficult to dispute the current market line for this match.
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