2019 US Open ATP Friday Betting Preview: Will Feliciano Lopez Test Daniil Medvedev?

2019 US Open ATP Friday Betting Preview: Will Feliciano Lopez Test Daniil Medvedev? article feature image
Credit:

Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Feliciano Lopez

  • Sean Zerillo previews Friday's slate at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

Thursday was a special day of tennis, with seven ATP matches going the distance – including both matchups that I featured on Thursday.

Kamil Majchrzak took down Pablo Cuevas after trailing 1-2 on sets, and Chung Hyeon defeated Fernando Verdasco in a final-set decider after crawling out of an 0-2 hole where he won just three games; fighting off a match point at 5-6, 30-40 to reach the tiebreak.

Hopefully’s Friday’s bets won’t be quite as sweaty.

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Friday ATP Bets

Daniil Medvedev (-230) vs. Feliciano Lopez | O/U: 39.5

  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: Louis Armstrong Stadium
  • H2H: Lopez leads 1-0

In 2019, over all surfaces, Medvedev has a combined hold/break number of 112.9 – an increase of 7.7 points over 2018. He’s winning games 56.8% of the time and sets 70.1% of the time; an increase of 4.2% and 9.4%, respectively, compared with last season.

The young Russian has ascended to the ranking of World No. 5, thanks to his dominant play during the recent hard court swing – making three straight finals appearances and defeating Novak Djokovic en route to his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati.

The stats for Feliciano Lopez began to trail off in 2017 – and he has won fewer than 50% of his total points played for three straight years.

Lopez ranks fourth all-time with 659 career tiebreaks played, and he has a healthy 55% win rate in those deciders. But he is 12-14 in tiebreaks this year, the first time he is below 50% since 2006; and Medvedev is 15-6 in hard court tiebreaks in 2019.

The Russian has rarely run into trouble of late, and it’s interesting to see the panic that he caused in dropping a set to Hugo Dellien on Thursday. But Medvedev earned 26 break points against the Bolivian – as even when his serve is off he’s always a nuisance on the defensive end.

Lopez has had prior success at the US Open, with a 26-17 record and a Quarterfinals appearance in 2015 – but that was also his most recent trip past the third round at a major.

I think Medvedev’s counterpunching will be too much for him here. I played the Russian both on the game spread (-4) and set spread (-1.5), and feel that his moneyline should be substantially higher too.

Tennis Abstract projects him as a 90.8% favorite, equivalent to fair odds of -987. Even if you think Medvedev is a 75% favorite (fair odds of -300) there’s considerable value in backing him.

Other Matches to Watch

Roger Federer will hope to avoid his third straight sloppy start in this US Open as he faces Daniel Evans. Roger has a 2-0 career record against the Englishman, defeating him in straight sets at both Wimbledon 2016 and the 2019 Australian Open, though they went to a pair of tiebreakers.

Novak Djokovic struggled with his ball toss as a result of a shoulder ailment in his last match. He should smash Dennis Kudla, but there’s also a chance that either or both of Djokovic and Federer drop a set in their third-round matches; as neither has looked close to their best as of yet.

Grigor Dimitrov benefited from a walkover against Borna Coric. He’ll come into his match against Kamil Majchrzak well-rested while the Pole should have heavy legs following a grueling five-set win against Pablo Cuevas. Dimitrov or pass here; so pass.

I like David Goffin to get past Pablo Carreno Busta despite a small gap in their combined hold/break stats. Goffin’s ball-striking has been top-notch of late, but the line and the spread are a bit high. I would lay -4 games or -1.5 sets with less vig.

Dominik Koepfer was fired up throughout his match against Reilly Opelka on Wednesday. The big American looked flustered throughout the night and was unable to find a consistent serve. Koepfer will have extra rest against Nikoloz Basilashvili; likely his biggest advantage against the powerful Georgian. Basilashvili’s form is oftentimes inconsistent, and the quality of his performance tends to dictate match results, but I think the market is too high on Koepfer and will play Basilashvili.

The most intriguing matchup of the day kicks off the slate, with Alex de Minaur facing Kei Nishikori. The Japanese owns a slight advantage in hold/break numbers, and he is typically dominant in the five-set format (97-41, 70.3%).

I have a ticket on de Minaur to win his quarter, so I won’t personally be backing the Australian to win –  but this looks like a classic five-set Nishikori Slam match, and I might look to bet the over on games.

Bets (So Far) for August 30

Odds, especially live odds, swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for Tuesday, August 28. 

  • Daniil Medvedev, -4 Games (-110)
  • Daniil Medvedev, -1.5 Sets (-150)
  • Nikoloz Basilashvili (-146)

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