You may recall that I wrote the other day about Kovalik’s 2nd round meeting with Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, and that I wanted to sit out that match to see how Kovalik was able to handle the match-up. Whilst AMM did lead by a set and an early break, I was very impressed with the tennis produced by Kovalik over the last hour, even though the Spaniard took a medical time-out. Kovalik did have some trouble at times finding his first serve, and I would hope to see and increase in that first serve percentage closer to his average.
Whilst I am a big fan of Tallon Griekspoor, and I do believe he does have quite a high ceiling, I don’t feel this is a great match-up for him today. Kovalik is a stronger server than Griekspoor saw in Coppejans in round 2, and Kuznetsov off no competitive tennis in a couple of years was able to generate three times more break point opportunities.
As I mentioned yesterday, odds for game handicaps are a little harder to come by at Challenger level, so I will take the shorter head to head price for Kovalik to win and progress for 1 unit. Whilst it may be a little short, value is value.
1 unit Kovalik to defeat Griekspoor at $1.66 at Bet365 ($1.60+ at all bookmakers at time of writing)
Note: As mentioned above I like Kovalik at the -2.5 game handicap as well.