This is a slightly speculative pick. Thunderstorms are forecast for this evening in Paris, and there is every chance that John Isner may end up with a roof over his head on centre court.
I placed a small 1 unit selection on Isner to defeat Tsitsipas in Acapulco earlier this year, and it was one of the most one-sided matches in Isner’s history. He looked incredibly disinterested for the majority of the match, and looked a little bit like a giraffe on ice skates when coming into the net. I am happy to forgive Isner on that occasion, as it was a level well, well, well below his best.
On the other hand, Isner has looked the best we have seen from him since the tour was suspended due to COVID, with straight set wins over Sam Querrey and Filip Krajinovic over the course of the first two rounds. He hasn’t dropped serve through six sets, saving all five break points he faced across the matches. Whilst clay isn’t necessarily his strong suit, if he serves big and adopts the attitude of being aggressive, he is the type of player that could cause some genuine concern for Tsitsipas today.
There remains occasions where Tsitsipas can become frustrated against bigger serves if he is unable to take advantage of opportunities. He has looked great in his first two rounds, however still leaves me with some question marks over his decision making on the clay over the best of 5 format. The pressure is entirely on him tonight, as he is the great shining hope to reach the final against one of Djokovic/Nadal. Alas, with those expectations come added pressure. Martinez earned 15 break point against the Greek, so he is certainly vulnerable to giving up opportunties.
There are likely periods where Tsitsipas doesn’t drop points on serve for a game or three, however if he digs a little 0/15 or 0/30 hole and Isner goes the all-out attack mode on the return, I think the American will have some chances. Between that and the potential for tiebreaks, I like the chances of John to cause an upset in the night session, potentially under the roof, in front of absolutely nobody.
Happy to back Isner here for 1.5 units.
1.5 units Isner to defeat Tsitsipas at $5.60 at Topsport
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