I am looking for Lloyd Harris to get off to a strong start here against Casper Ruud, with the Norwegian switching to the indoor hardcourts after a couple of weeks off.
These two played an incredibly toughly-fought match-up a couple of wees ago in the US, in a match-up that very easily could have gone the other way. Ruud got the win 6-7 6-4 6-4 in just under 3 hours. It was a strong finish to the match from Ruud, as he didn’t face a break point for the entirety of the decider. It certainly wasn’t a match where things went entirely the Norwegian’s way. He faced more break points across the entirety of the match (8 to 5) across more individual service games (5 to 3). Across the first two sets, that differential was 4 service games to 0. The rigours of the full tennis season have looked to impact Harris at times late in matches of late, and that is part of the reason I find the South African taking the first set here as the value play in this match-up.
Casper has put together a phenomenal year of tennis across all surfaces, and it looked as though he *finally* ran out of gas at Indian Wells a couple of weeks back. He is well and truly in the Race to Turin and is currently in pole position, and with Hurkacz already out of play this week he is in a commanding position to make the Final 8. Indoor hards is not his area of strongest familiarity, with recent play coming only in Laver and Davis Cups, as well as the Next Gen Finals a couple of years ago. It will be interesting to see if his form translates to the indoor hards, however first up at this price whilst adjusting is a little hard to take in my opinion.
Whilst you could make a case for Ruud figuring out Harris in a similar way to Harris dropping his physical and emotional level early in the third (after leading by a set and failing to convert 4 break points), I do feel there is an edge here in taking Harris in the first set. In conditions that are far more favourable for Harris compared to a couple of weeks ago, I am comfortable taking him for 1 unit – with this selection as value down to $1.90.
1 unit Harris 1st set winner vs Ruud at $2.08 at Unibet
Over 18s Only (21+ in some jurisdictions). 1 unit = 1% of bankroll. These are my bets that I am making. Please enjoy your betting responsibly. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and do not chase a loss.