TENNIS: Inclement weather has meant some players will be forced to play twice on Friday at the Citi Open which will be tough work especially if the conditions are hot and humid.
Andrey Rublev v Maxime Cressy
This could be an exciting encounter with two up-and-coming players with plenty of game. We all know about Rublev and he’s been a mainstay in the top 10 in the ATP rankings for a number of years now and as top seed in this event he’ll be hoping to add to his 11 career titles, while a win in Washington would be his fourth in 2022.
He looked good in dispatching Jack Draper in the last round and although he hasn’t played Cressy before, the BETDAQ Exchange has him as a strong 1.48 favourite for this one. He hasn’t won a tournament since April and while he’s maintained his position in the top 10 in the world, he’ll be keen to rubberstamp his position as the eighth best player on the circuit in order to make sure he’s part of the season ending ATP Tour Finals.
His opponent Cressy enjoyed his best year to date. The American has vaulted up the world rankings from outside the world’s top 100 to a current ranking of 32. He won his first ATP Tour title in Newport earlier this year as well, so the 25-year-old has to be happy with his accomplishments so far in 2022.
That win in Newport came in the most recent tournament he played and after a slow start against Jack Sock in the round of 32 – his opening match of the tournament – he got into his groove in the final two sets, including taking the last one without dropping a game. The 25-year-old is arguably in the form of his life, so Rublev will need to be careful here and Cressy will certainly have his supporters at 3.0.
These are two big servers who win 75 and 78 percent of points on their first serve, so it’s unlikely they’ll be too many breaks of serve here. As such, there could be a bit of value in over 23.5 games at 1.93, while for win purposes it’s hard to go against Rublev mainly because he’s a slightly better returner and thus should create a few opportunities against the serve.
Holger Rune v J.J. Wolf
As the odds suggest this could be a very close game. Holger Rune impressed many with his run at the French Open progressing all the way to the quarter-finals before losing to beaten finalist Casper Ruud. However, it’s been real doom and gloom since with the Dane playing in five tournaments since and not winning a single match at any of them – hardly the form you want ahead of the US Open! As such, he would have been over the moon to get a first win since May when he beat Benoit Paire in the round of 32 here.
Despite that victory, he heads into this one as the marginal outsider at 2.0, with punters seemingly keen to see if the 19-year-old is truly over his slump.
The American Wolf is slowly progressing up the rankings and finds himself inside the top 100 in the world for the first time. He’s largely been playing on the Challenger Tour, and while he does have some experience on the ATP Tour, this is a big step. He’ll be keen to show he’s got the game for this level, though, and punters like his chances at 1.97.
While Wolf has been progressing nicely recently and Rune certainly has not, there’s a good case to back the Dane here at 2.0 – he’s shown his class before and that win in the opening round will have done him the world of good. Confidence is a fickle thing in sport and he’ll have plenty, so he’s fancied to come out on top in this one.
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