There is no football of interest today as we await the Internationals.
The tennis does see the elite players out and about but the time zone means a large majority of the matches are played pre-noon.
The China Open matches look as if they continue into the early afternoon so I will research a few tennis matches. As ever with tennis, times are fluid.
ATP CHINA OPEN - hard court
Rafael Nadal v Lucas Pouille - 1.14 Nadal
- 1st v 23rd.
- A 5 set Pouille win in the US Open on hard in 2016 makes this an interesting match.
- BUT Nadal won the US Open this year.
- I would not be surprised if Pouille offered some resistance and would be happy to back Nadal at odds of 1.5 or higher if Pouille offers said resistance.
- Be careful with this. Probably appearance fee for Nadal so he may not be fully wound up.
- 4 recent hard court finals suggests Nadal loves this surface nearly as much as clay.
Andrea Petkovic v Karolina Pliskova - 1.26 Pliskova
- Pliskova is 4th in the world.
- Petkovic had to go through qualifiers to get here so has already played 3 matches.
- In Wuhan, Pliskova dropped a set twice in 3 matches. Certainly if Petkovic wins the first set, I would be keen on backing Pliskova.
- 4 quartler finals and a semi final on hard suggests Pliskova favours this surface.
Christina McHale v Sorana Cirstea - 1.83 McHale
- 79th v 46th.
- 2-0 McHale in head to heads in 2014 and 2015.
- McHale went through qualifiers and 2 3 set matches.
- No ultra strong angles. 1.83 favourites usually suggests a 3 setter so laying the first set winner.
Jack Sock v Andrey Rublev - 1.6 Sock
- 21st v 37th.
- No head to heads.
- The last tournament for Sock was the US Open, out in the first round. Rublev reached the semi finals.
- Based on US open form, Rublev could be very competitive today. Sock looks too short for me and I hope Sock wins the first set as he is layable at shorter odds.
Tomas Berdych v Jared Donaldson - 1.51 Berdych
- 19th v 58th. Berdych used to be perennial top 10 so his ranking signals the slow decline.
- No head to heads.
- Berdych last tournament was US Open, out in the round of 64. He looks far more accomplished on grass.
- 2 hard court quarter finals in 3 tournaments for Jared suggests he is warming to hard court tennis. Eyecatching wins v Agut and Edmund on the way.
- Possible lay of Berdych if Berdych wins the first set. For me the niggle is that Tomas tends to lose to big players (Dolgopolov the exception).
Shuai Zhang v Agnieszka Radwanska - 1.84 Aggy
- 26th v 13th.
- Zhang is a Chinese in China so added incentive.
- 2-0 though for Aggy on hard in China.
- Karolina Pliskova has beaten Zhang in 2 of her last 3 defeats. Not bad, world number 4. And on both occasions, Zhang took a set.
- Won in Guangzhou on hard.
- The market expects 3 sets so lay the first set winner.
Di Wu v Karen Khachanov - 1.23 Karen
- 159th v 32nd.
- Di Wu is Chinese so may be given a boost on home soil.
- A hint that hard may not be Karen's optimum surface.
- 3 consecutive defeats. 3 tournaments too on hard where he did not even get past the first round.
- The only consolation for Karen is that Di Wu is a Challenger tour player.
- Prepare for possible Di Wu resistance as Karen is not as good on hard as he is on, say, grass.
- I would like to back Karen at higher odds should that arise.
Kyle Edmund v Alexander Zverev - 1.46 Zverev
- 46th v 4th. What a jump in the rankings for Zverev since the summer when I last got involved in tennis.
- Head to heads inconclusive as Edmund retired in 2016.
- Semi finalist at Winston Salem, Kyle had to retire in US Open round of 32. He has played 2 matches since, a win and a loss.
- Winner in Washington and Canada on hard, Zverev can do it when he wants to.
- Out to Coric in US Open.only 2 rounds in Shenzen. A slight suspicion he may be here for the appearance fee.
- He lost to 40th ranked played in 2 sets in Shenzen.
- I think Zverev's odds are too short here. I would like him to win the first set so I can lay him at lower odds. Or you can lay him now at 1.46 and hope Kyle is up for it from the start.
Matches begin at 2am. A pity as there are some marquee players there.
Steve Johnson v Dominic Thiem - 1.39 Thiem
- 45th v 7th.
- 2 3 setters Thiem wins in head to heads on clay.
- Poor hard court form for Johnson this season. Out in the first round in 3 consecutive tournaments.
- And lost to Kyle Edmund in his last 2 tournaments.
- Quarters at Cincinnati, round of 16 US Open, and lost first round Chengdu to 72nd ranked player.
- both players for me are not 100% on hard. Thiem does tend to throw in the odd poor match, remember Antalya? I would lay Thiem if Thiem wins the first set.