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Musetti looks class above
Nakashima can dominate
Match of the day to go distance
Draper’s title chance
Lorenzo Musetti to beat Chun Hsin-Tseng 3-0 at +110 at BetMGM and bet365
Brandon Nakashima to beat Matteo Arnaldi 3-0 at +175 at bet365
Jack Draper v Dominic Stricker to go five sets at +240 at BetMGM and bet365
Jack Draper to win the Next Gen ATP Finals at +250 at BetMGM
The first round of group matches at the Next Gen ATP Finals - for players aged 21 and under - takes place in Milan on Tuesday.
Passaro is one of three Italians in action but he looks to hold the weakest chance of victory.
He’s gone just 1-3 on the main tour this season and while Lehecka has hardly been pulling up trees, he looks the better player in this match-up.
The Italian has really struggled on return of serve against the better players – he’s broken serve just 14% of the time in those tour-level matches.
He’d much prefer to be playing on slower clay and I don’t see him troubling Lehecka too much.
World number 23 Musetti is the title favorite in Milan following a strong autumn campaign which has brought an ATP title in Naples and semi-final appearances indoors in both Sofia and Florence.
Former Wimbledon junior champion Tseng has been nowhere near that level, winning just three tour-level matches in 2022. In his two matches against top-50 players, he’s failed to win more than four games in either.
The serve and return data are not good for the Taiwanese either. He’s held just 69% of the time in his 11 tour-level matches and broke just 17%. Musetti’s equivalent figures are 79-24 which emphasizes the gap between the two.
A straight-sets win at odds-against (+110) looks fair enough, although it should be noted it’s the Fast4 format in use this week – best-of-five sets with each set decided by best-of-seven games. That reduces the room for error for those getting involved in the set betting.
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The first evening-session match should be won by Nakashima.
The Californian is the class act in the Green Group and his tour-level hold percentage of 85% - the joint-best in the field – could prove crucial in what were pretty speedy conditions last year.
Admittedly, the return side of Nakashima’s game isn’t the greatest – expect him to be involved in a few tie-breaks this week – but his record in breakers is excellent with 25 of 36 won this season.
Given that, I’m happy to back him for a 3-0 victory at +175 against a player who has very limited experience playing against this sort of quality – Arnaldi has played just won a match at the tour level in his career and won just five games in that.
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This has the potential to be the match of the opening day in Milan.
Draper has enjoyed a fine breakthrough year, winning 10 of 19 matches against the top 50 to propel himself inside that elite group and he has to have a good chance of winning the title this week.
Yet Stricker should not be underestimated. He may have only gotten into this field due to the withdrawal of others but he’s shown an ability to rise to the occasion – the world number 111 actually holds a 9-7 win-loss record at the tour level in his short career.
With a big, left-handed serve that has helped him win 85% of games at the tour level, Stricker can cause problems here.
I envisage a serve-dominated match and am tempted by the +240 on offer about it going the full five sets.
It’s not surprising to see Lorenzo Musetti as the favorite given his recent form, but Jack Draper is arguably underrated.
He’s gone 17-12 on the main tour this season, posting victories over the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime, both of whom will be at next week’s ATP Finals in Turin. Wins may have been a fairly short supply of late but the Briton has had some very tough draws during the indoor swing and has actually won sets against world number one Carlos Alcaraz and Hubert Hurkacz in that time.
With the power in both his serve and groundstrokes to cope with a variety of conditions, Draper looks a good price (+250) to go all the way.
Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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