Roberto Bautista Agut v Yen-Hsun Lu
There are a few players on the Tour who can regularly play better than their World Ranking would suggest and Yen-Hsun Lu is one of those for me. He might be Number 72 in the World Rankings, but Lu has always enjoyed playing on the hard courts and he has backed up being a favourite in his first three matches in Winston Salem by winning all without dropping a set.
[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=”Hide” trigpos=”below” rel=”star-highlander” ]
The mindset will be a little different in the Quarter Final as Lu is the underdog for the first time, when he takes on a top 20 player in Roberto Bautista Agut. The Spaniard has won their previous two matches but the last one in Chennai in 2015 was a very close match which was decided by a few key points here and there.
It has been a more difficult path through to the Quarter Final for Bautista Agut who has had to come from a set down to win the last couple of matches. Dropping the first set has not stopped Bautista Agut from covering this number in his two wins here and he does look to be in slightly stronger form than Lu.
The latter has reached the Quarter Final twice and the Semi Final once in the last three years in Winston Salem, so Lu will be confident of his chances to win this Quarter Final. However I think Bautista Agut will be a little too solid the longer the match goes on and can win this one 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Roberto Bautista Agut – 3.5 Games @ 1.91 with Pinnacle
Fernando Verdasco v Viktor Troicki
It has been a good tournament already for Viktor Troicki who has beaten Kyle Edmund and Sam Querrey to get into this Quarter Final. He has recovered from a run of five consecutive losses on the Tour which has to have dented some of his confidence and I think Fernando Verdasco can prove too good for him in this match.
Verdasco has beaten one American youngster with a lot of potential to reach the top of the ATP as well as beating the current Number 1 American player. There have been spurts of good form from Verdasco coupled with some disappointing performances from the veteran Spaniard, but he is in better all around form than Troicki coming into this one.
The Troicki losses to Marin Cilic and Andy Murray would have been expected, but defeats to Kevin Anderson and Ryan Harrison were much more disappointing. The Serbian player has been serving well this week though which makes him dangerous, but he doesn’t have the best set of results on the hard courts this season, even though he won the title in Sydney.
I can see Verdasco giving Troicki more trouble in the return games and he has also been serving effectively. Verdasco is not as consistent as he would like to be, but he has had the better all around results on the hard courts than Troicki and I think he can break down his opponent in a three set win while covering this number.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Fernando Verdasco – 1.5 Games @ 1.94 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.