Steve’s ATP Nur Sultan Challenger Preview: Purcell vs Hsu

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With a further focus on singles tennis this year, we are starting to see some much improved tennis from Australian Max Purcell.

It was a gritty win in the second round from Purcell, coming from a set and break down to defeat Wu. Twice now Purcell has come from a set down, and although the slow starts have been a concern, he can build into his matches quite well. For the negatives that are associated with being a little passive at times on the return positioning, he does show he has the fitness and problem solving to figure out what is coming his way. You cast an eye over the players that have beaten him in singles, and you see the names Sonego (3 sets), Ivashka (3 sets), Vukic (via retirement), Gombos (via retirement), Khachanov and Karatsev. The focus on the singles game got a shot in the arm the week before Wimbledon, with Purcell reaching the semi final in Eastbourne, leading to a ranking of 234. With confidence building, he comes into this match as an underdog against Yu Hsiou Hsu in the first quarter final of the day.

Now to explain why backing Purcell as an underdog is only a 1 unit bet. Whilst Purcell has been playing between the ATP and Challenger tours, Hsu has largely been playing ITF level, meaning it can be a little trickier to marry up the form of both players. Prior to this week, Hsu was 0-4 at Challenger level, having not played at the level since 2019. There has been some significant development in his game, however I think the ITF runner-up result here in Nur Sultan last week, as well as the demolition of Karlovskiy in round 2 (after losing to him in the final last week). I’m just not sure the stats and numbers quite justify favouritism in this particular match up with a better opponent at the other end of the court.

Happy to back in Purcell here for 1 unit at the moneyline.

Suggested Bet

1 unit Purcell to defeat Hsu at $2.15 at Topsport

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