Friday Tennis Best Bets: Quarterfinal Picks, Featuring Andy Murray vs. Hubert Hurkacz (Sept. 24)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Andy Murray celebrates a point at the 2021 US Open.
The ATP nears the weekend as quarterfinal matches get underway Friday, plus the first day of the Laver Cup is on the schedule as well. On the main tour front, here are some value opportunities I really like with some betting value.
Match times are subject to change.
Soon-Woo Kwon (-290) vs. Laslo Djere (+215)
7:30 a.m. ET, Astana Open
This strikes me as a matchup where a player is having results weigh more highly than they should in his odds. In Soon-Woo Kwon’s case, that means beating Evgeny Donskoy and Dusan Lajovic. There’s nothing wrong with those wins, but Kwon didn’t look stunning in either of them and neither opponent is a solid hard court competitor on tour.
Laslo Djere is a player that is still being underrated on the other side of the equation, as this is his first hard court quarterfinal on tour and his wins come against players that prefer clay. Nonetheless, wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Daniel Elahi Galan are just as impressive as the ones Kwon earned, but they’re not getting the same respect.
On the year, Kwon has an 11-2 record on indoor hard courts, though the record is skewed towards Davis Cup and Challenger Tour events. Djere is 2-0, with botch matches coming in Nur-Sultan. There isn’t much to separate the level of either player, as neither has a defining weapon that can dictate the match.
Each player’s game features consistent groundstrokes and serving that won’t overpower an opponent, but are incredibly difficult to deal with. Kwon is rightly favored due to his hard court history, but it’s impossible not to like the value you’re getting with Djere at this number when placing the match into context.
Pick: Laslo Djere +215 via PointsBet
Hubert Hurkacz (-160) vs. Andy Murray (+125)
9:20 a.m. ET, Moselle Open
Ah, yes. Andy Murray making a push deep into an ATP tour event. It’s not 2015, and it feels like this may be a reality on tour for the coming months and hopefully years. His renaissance summer period is not by coincidence, as he’s been slowly improving his game and fitness level week after week.
It’s been a difficult but rewarding process for the former world number one, who has shown that he’s capable of competing with some of the best players in the world. Consistent results in the summer hard court swing include pushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets at the US Open, a victory over Ugo Humbert and a tight loss to his next opponent, Hubert Hurkacz.
The Polish player, who’s a tough player to beat on this surface, has had an up-and-down 2021 season. He won the Miami Open and has a lost in the Wimbledon quarterfinal round, but has a 1-4 clay season and suffered a shocking second-round US Open loss. When playing with confidence, Hurkacz should be able to get to his spots really well on serve and attack short returns on both wings.
However, Murray has shown that his trademark defense is making a comeback and that will be incredibly useful against the powerful Hurkacz. He enjoys the slower hard court that is being used in Metz, and with good reason. It has allowed Murray to stay in more points, find more passing shots and refrain from being rushed.
If Hurkacz is able to get off to a fast start and get quick control of the match, it could be a fast one. However, if Murray is able to hang around and seize opportunities when they come, he poses a big threat to the 13th-ranked player in the world.
The opportunity is there to take a chance on Sir Andy and see if he can amend his loss to Hurkacz in Cincinnati.
Pick: Murray (+125) via DraftKings