Dimitrov vs Nishioka (Approx 11:30pm AEST)
I write a lot about the impact of fatigue and scheduling for players, and the direct impact it can have on players.
What I don’t write about as much, and want to make a note of in this preview, is the carry-over impact this has on form and weighing up match-ups for players that have played against fatigued players.
I will have a big question mark next to Yoshihito Nishioka’s win over Miomir Kecmanovic for the rest of the clay season. Why? Well as well as Kecmanovic played in taking the title in Kitzbuhel last week, it was an incredibly tough ask for him to back up here in Rome off the US Open and Kitzbuhel. It managed to take its toll on Kecmanovic, who faded significantly in set 2 to lose to Nishioka 4-6 1-6 in 77 minutes. Given Nishioka was poor in his loss to Pella in Kitzbuhel, winning only 3 games, and the formlines around Pella have also been poor, it is hard to make a case for Nishioka keeping this one close.
Grigor Dimitrov was incredibly solid in his first round against Gianluca Mager, winning 7-5 6-1 in 74 minutes. Dimitrov did well to save a break point serving at 5-5 in the first set, and off the back of some brilliant shot-making was able to take the first set and run away with the match. His first serve didn’t show up to the first round, making only 49% of first serves, however the rest of his game was more than enough to get the job done.
Dimitrov has looked okay over the last couple of weeks, however did look to struggle late in the best of 5 set match against Fucsovics. The best of 3 set format is far more suited to him on his comeback to the tour (also needs to be acknowledged he tested positive to COVID-19 and was hit harder than most athletes in terms of symptoms), and this looks to be a great spot to take him at the game handicap.
This match on clay is on the racquet of Dimitrov, and the line sitting at -2.5 is value in my opinion. I will be taking it for 2 units.
2 units Dimitrov -2.5 games vs Nishioka at $1.83 at Topsport
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