Saturday ATP Semifinal Tennis Picks: Hurkacz, Bublik on Upset Alert (Sept. 25)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Soon-Woo Kwon.
As we enter the weekend, the ATP Tour has two 250-level events and the Laver Cup to be completed.
With a copious amount of tennis on the docket, let’s take a look at which matches have value on the individual tournament side.
Match times are subject to change.
Alexander Bublik (-215) vs. Soon-Woo Kwon (+170)
5:30 a.m. ET, Astana Open
This is a true battle of dueling styles, with Alexander Bublik preferring to shorten points and win them with a big serve or a 1-2 combination, and Soon-Woo Kwon liking extended rallies from the baseline. The South Korean will look to force the Kazakh playing on home soil to win points on the ground, getting as many balls into play as possible.
Nur-Sultan’s indoor hard courts haven’t played particularly fast or slow, so both players will have the chance to engage in their typical styles, and it will become a matter of who executes better.
In 2021, Bublik is 18-16 on indoor hard courts, highlighted by a run to the final in Singapore at the start of the year. More importantly, he’s been able to get through players with different styles to advance to the semifinals.
Against Miomir Kecmanovic, he was forced to contend with a player that’s aggressive with his groundstrokes, while Carlos Taberner is a clay courter that likes to be patient. Bublik can struggle with adjusting his game at times, so the two matches will give him some needed confidence.
Kwon has elevated his game thus far in the week, particularly in a third set against Laslo Djere. He dominated the Serbian who had been playing some of the best hard-court tennis of his career. Kwon has a 64% winning percentage on indoor hard courts this year, as he’s crafted points all season by taking advantage of the clean bounces that hard courts provide and added time indoor courts allow.
The key will be Kwon’s return game. As points get longer, the balance shifts toward him, but if he can’t get into points he won’t have a chance to display his ground offense.
I like taking a chance on the former happening with the world No. 82 player. Anything above +140 would’ve been a good price, so I’m thrilled to get him at +170 odds as my top pick.
Pick: Soon-Woo Kwon (+170) via PointsBet
Hubert Hurkacz (-320) vs. Peter Gojowczyk (+245)
8:00 a.m. ET, Moselle Open
Time and time again, Peter Gojowczyk remains one of the most underpriced players on tour. The German is a very streaky player, and when he is hot he can compete with anyone. When he is cold, he can lose to anyone. You’ll typically know what type of tournament you’ll get from Gojowczyk at the start of it, and the same can be said in Metz.
Gojowczyk’s last six tournaments have gone like this: zero wins, three wins, zero wins, four wins, six wins, five wins (and counting). He also has his only tournament win at this event, defeating Benoit Paire in 2017. Every indicator tells you that Gojowczyk is a dangerous player, but doesn’t get treated as such.
His opponent, Hubert Hurkacz, is playing solid tennis, getting by Andy Murray in impressive fashion in his last match. However, he’s at serious risk of being troubled by Gojowczyk. Unlike Murray, the US Open standout will look to take the initiative in points, putting the match on his own racquet. When that happens, form and confidence can play a big role.
Hurkacz isn’t in terrible form, but he’s only won two matches in Metz thus far after a disappointing loss to Andreas Seppi at the US Open. He isn’t in the state that Gojowczyk is in, and that will pay massive dividends in the semifinal.
Pick: Peter Gojowczyk (+245) via FanDuel