Although the longer term clay form of both players leaves a lot to be desired, I do feel Mirza Basic is a little on the short side in this match-up today.
Julian Lenz has been able to make his way through to the quarter finals on the back two very impressive victories as an underdog this week. After coming from a set down against Mochizuki, he defeated Roman Safiullin as a $3.25 underdog. There are a couple of reasons that made this win a little more impressive than the scoreline suggests. First of all, Lenz gave up a *4-1 lead in the first set, losing it 5-7. Instead of falling away like many underdogs would in this situation, Lenz responded by taking the second set 6-4, before dominating the decider 6-2, not facing a break point whilst winning 50% of return points. What added to the impressive nature of the result was the fact Lenz was only able to put 48% of first serves into play, compared to 75% from Safiullin (and Lenz able to earn 17 break point opportunities). Whilst the lead in form is up and down, these results against the grain of stats and momentum suggest a step in the right direction.
Basic isn’t the strongest player on clay, which leads me to question how short he is today. The first round saw Basic get a little lucky, with Pablo Andjuar not winning another game from 7-5 5-3 up, fading out and pulling out of Winston Salem next week as well. He got through round 2 relatively comfortably over Tristan Lamasine, winning as a favourite in straight sets. He has shown some improved results on the clay this year compared to pre-pandemic, however not enough to justify a price below $1.30.
Just a 1 unit selection here, however Lenz looks to be value here at $3.75 in my opinion.
1 unit Lenz to defeat Basic at $3.75 at Topsport
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