Just the one 1 unit selection since the last debrief, and it was the longer odds Kasatkina who lost to Aryna Sabalenka. Kasatkina did her best work down a double break, and had a break point to get set 1 on serve, however Sabalenka saved that break point, saved double break point in her first service game in set 2, broke, and held her lead to progress. It was impressive from Sabalenka in all the tight moments in the middle stages of the match.
De Minaur vs Harris
Whilst neither player has set the world on fire on clay of late, this looks to be a far more favourable match-up for Alex De Minaur in the conditions.
Whilst Lloyd Harris did scrape over the line against Grigor Dimitrov, it wasn’t without its poor moments. He was lucky not to fall down a break in the first game of the match, was able to take advantage of Dimitrov going off the boil at 4-3*, gave up a set and break lead, gave up a lead of 5-2* 0/30 in the third set, before scraping over the line in a tiebreak. I don’t rate the medium to long term form of Harris on clay, and although he did lift his overall level on hard I don’t see it transitioning as well as others over to the clay.
For those who have been watching along on Eat Sleep Tennis, you will know that my thoughts and feelings around Jaume Munar have oscillated a touch in recent times. He is a measuring stick of sorts on the clay, and De Minaur will take a lot of confidence from his comeback win. Whilst the altitude and clay conditions in Madrid do suit Harris a little more than we are likely to see in the coming weeks, I also think it is more suited for De Minaur as well.
For those who look at the head to head form of these two players, you will notice that Lloyd Harris got the better of the Australian in 2019 in Tokyo. It was the perfect fatigue fading spot that day for Harris, with De Minaur winning the Zhuhai title a couple of days before. You can tell how fatigued De Minaur was that day both physically and mentally, as he looked well off his best, smashed a racquet, and copped a point penalty in the third set tiebreak.
Given the impressive court coverage of De Minaur, I am anticipating a drop in both first and second serve points won by Harris in these conditions. I am not factoring in the Harris MTO into these ratings, as there wasn’t a noticeable drop on level after his injury break last match. I am happy to side with De Minaur at the game handicap here for 1.5 units. There is -3 available, and I would recommend that if you can grab it, however this will be recorded at -3.5 games.
1.5 units De Minaur -3.5 games at $1.95 at Unibet ($2.09 at Topsport)