Whilst the best of 5 set format certainly suits Aslan Karatsev far, far, far more than Philipp Kohlschreiber, the odds for the match have perhaps popped up a little bit of value on the first set markets.
Kohlschreiber’s body and endurance at this stage just isn’t at the level of 10 years ago, and he was lucky that he managed to score an underdone Fernando Verdasco in the first round. Kohlschreiber kept the ball in play consistently, limited his unforced errors to an average of 7 per set, and utilised his backhand slice exceptionally well in a defensive sense, winning in 4 sets. He can be a tricky player to adjust to, as his style isn’t conventional to many others at the top of the ATP. What he has lost in speed, he maintains in defensive ability and general craft, and he presents a difficult task for Karatsev…well for the first set anyway.
Karatsev is the clear favourite and that is incredibly justified, however his first set record doesn’t quite replicate his full match record. With the advantage heavily in his favour as it progresses, I am happy to settle for a 0.75 unit selection on Kohlschreiber to win the first set. I like him to challenge Karatsev early, before the Russian runs away with it over the best of 5.
0.75 units Kohlschreiber 1st set winner versus Karatsev at $5 at Bet365