Raonic vs Evans (Approx 01:00am AEST)
Although it is so soon into the return to the tour, I am happy to make a play on Evans here with the +2 game handicap.
Dan Evans had one of the wins of the day yesterday, defeating Andrey Rublev 7-5 3-6 6-2 in just over 2hrs30. It was made more impressive by the -10% first serve differential, only able to put 49% of first serves into play for the match. What impressed me was the high-IQ tennis that he was able to produce, utilising his backhand slice to great advantage. Rublev struggles to generate winners off his backhand wing when he needs to generate a lot of pace himself, and Evans was able to use that to his advantage. Not only is it a shot that is able to neutralise power and assist in his ability in regaining position in a rally, it also keeps the ball incredibly low, which keeps it out of the hitting zones of a player like Raonic.
I was a little worried for the Canadian early in his match with Sam Querrey the other day. After digging his way out of a couple of break points at *2-3 in a long service game, Raonic was able to break instantly and run away with the first set 6-4. It was a case of Groundhog Day in set 2, with Raonic saving his only break point faced and converting his only chance. In matches with players such as Raonic, conversion is key, with Raonic 2/2 and Querrey 0/3.
I think the +2 game handicap here is a solid option for Evans. If he is able to look after his serve, it sets up a couple of possiblities. A win should cover (barring a 7-6 0-6 7-6 type result that I wouldn’t expect against a player like Raonic), the possibility of covering in a 3-set match is quite high, and a 6-7 6-7 loss would result in money back. Whilst I think Evans can snatch the win here, this looks the best value play.
1.5 units Evans +2 game handicap vs Raonic at $1.84 at Topsport (note if handicaps have moved, these are sometimes found in alternate handicaps)
Please note: I also like the +1.5 game handicap for 1 unit if that is all that is available.
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