Dzumhur vs Sugita (Approx 06:30pm AEDT)
Whilst I have stepped away from getting involved in Damir Dzumhur matches in tournament qualifying, I have been impressed with his efforts over the last four sets on his way to the main draw in Nur-Sultan.
Regardless of what Reilly Opelka or other top players may suggest, there is an exceptional amount of value in playing this tournament beyond the financial incentives. Up to 250 ranking points are on offer, and it could be the difference between players reaching future main draws, including the Australian Open main draw in January. Yuichi Sugita and Damir Dzumhur are both ranked just outside the Top 100, so there is a lot on the line in the next couple of weeks for both players.
I was able to watch the qualifying match between Dzumhur and Nedovyesov, and the first set from Nedovyesov was one of the cleanest ball striking I can recall in recent memory. Whilst Dzumhur was incredibly frustrated with the tennis that was coming from the other end of the court, his ability to turn the tables from a set and break down, and go on and not only win that match in three sets, but then back up and defeat Yannick Hanfmann on his way to winning 6-4 6-4 in 84 minutes.
I see this match following a similar pathway to Sugita’s loss to Salvatore Caruso. Marc Polmans pushed Sugita to a third set tiebreak, in what was a back-and-forth affair. I do not think Sugita is playing at a level close to his best at present, and Dzumhur presents a more challenging opposition for Sugita, given he is more comfortable at taking the ball a little earlier than Polmans has shown recently.
Just a one unit selection here, however if Dzumhur can maintain the level I have seen from him over the last four sets in the conditions, the -3.5 game handicap looks to be very favourable. He has found a rhythm with his serve and looks to be the better form playing in this match-up in the conditions.
1 unit Dzumhur -3.5 games vs Sugita at $1.85 at Unibet
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