Thiem’s Seven Exhibition, 8th July 2020

There were some decent matches yesterday. Let’s see if we get more of the same today.

Hopefully we’ll get some decent players in the WTA Exhibitions soon.


Berrettini (2.44) v Bautista Agut (1.68)

Due to start at 12:00

Berrettini leads their previous matches 3-1. He won their last 2 meetings which included a win on clay in Munich in April 2019. He won in straight sets. He also won their only other clay match in the Gstaad final in July 2018. Bautista Agut’s win was on a hard court in Doha in January 2019.

Overall results in the last 12 months favour Bautista Agut. He has also been better in 2020 with 12 wins from 15 matches. Berrettini has won 8 from 13.

They both have good records on clay and have both won 7 of their last 10 on this surface.

Berrettini had not played on clay since the French Open in May last year. He could have been forgiven for taking a little time to adjust to playing on clay when all his matches during Covid-19 have been on hard courts. His match with Dennis Novak was very tight. Berrettini took the first break of serve but wasn’t able to hold on to the lead. He took the set in a tie break. An early break at the start of the second set was enough to give him the match.

Bautista Agut had lost both his previous clay matches against Khachanov. In their match yesterday a single break in each set was enough for him to change that trend. He has won all 3 of his clay matches during the lockdown and has won them in straight sets.

We can expect very tight sets today and a third set is likely.

We have some value on Berrettini as underdog. However I am giving Bautista Agut a slight edge to win. Lay Bautista Agut around 1.50 and remove some liability around 1.90. Back him around 2.20. Lay the set 1 winner.

Khachanov (1.42) v Novak (2.98)

Due to start at 1:30 pm

Khachanov won both their previous matches. The most recent was in Dubai in February. He won in straight sets on a hard court. The other was indoors in 2018, also in straight sets.

Overall results in the last 12 months are stronger for Novak. His best results were mainly in Challenger tournaments. He has played a lot more matches on clay in the last year.

Khachanov’s last match on clay before this week was a quarter final at the French Open in May 2019. In his first match of this exhibition he lost in straight sets to Bautista Agut.

Both players performed well in their last matches. I don’t expect many breaks of serve. Khachanov really should take the match but there might be a few price swings. I would rather wait for a better price on Khachanov. However if he hits 1.25 in the early games it is worth a small lay on him and remove liability around 1.50. I would take 1.80 on Khachanov.

Struff (1.73) v Ruud (2.24)

Due to start at 3 pm

Struff has won both their previous matches. They last met at the US Open in August last year on a hard court. He won in straight sets. Their other match was on clay in Monte Carlo in April 2017. He also won that match in 2 sets.

Ruud’s win percentages are a little better in the last 12 months and also in 2020. His clay results have also been stronger.

Ruud’s match against Thiem yesterday was his first during the pandemic. He played well and was only broken once in the first set. In set 2 he took the first break of serve but wasn’t able to hold on to the lead. Thiem took the set in a tie break.

Struff played an excellent match against Rublev yesterday. He took the opening set and only a later break for Rublev took them into the tie break third set. Struff had 2 match points but Rublev saved them and took the match. Struff was only broken twice in the match but his serve stats weren’t amazing. He had to work hard for some of his service holds. Rublev fought hard but had problems with his first serve. Less than half of them found the court.

Ruud’s serve should be more solid that Rublev’s was so Struff will get fewer chances. This will be another tight one. It’s a tough one to call but the value is on Ruud. I would lay whoever breaks first in the opening set. Lay the set 1 winner.

Thiem (1.40) v Rublev (3.15)

Due to start at 7:15 pm

Thiem leads their previous matches 2-1. Their last 2 matches were on clay with the most recent being in Hamburg in July last year. Rublev won in 2 tie breaks. Thiem’s win on clay was in Monte Carlo in April 2018. He won 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.

Their overall win percentages in the last 12 months and in 2020 are fairly even. Thiem has better clay results.

Rublev will need to improve on his serving performance against Struff yesterday. In a lot of ways he got away with a poor serving day. He isn’t likely to get the win over Thiem if he serves as poorly.

Thiem didn’t dominate his first match of the week but looked more solid. Rublev will be more focused today and it should be a great match.

Lay Thiem around 1.25 and remove the liability around 1.50. Back Thiem if he goes a break behind or if he loses set 1.

Very good chance of 3 sets.

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