Zverev fancied to escape from Alcaraz

Zverev fancied to escape from Alcaraz

Underdogs get the job done in deciders

Our lean towards the underdogs yesterday proved correct with both getting the job done – Alcaraz over Novak Djokovic in three arduous sets, and while Zverev also required a decider to eliminate Stefanos Tsitsipas, his win took place in half the time.

At least from an accumulated fatigue perspective, Alcaraz has spent quite a bit more time on court to get to this stage – will it prove to be an issue for the young Spaniard?

The market doesn’t seem to be too concerned, with Alcaraz trading at 1.625/8 to lift his first clay Masters 1000 title and send out a real message ahead of the French Open, which starts in several weeks time.

Alcaraz’s meteoric rise illustrated

If it had somehow slipped your attention, Alcaraz’s meteoric rise can be illustrated by him being ranked outside the top 100 at this time last year, and his final preparation last season for the French Open consisted of him winning the Challenger Tour event in Oeiras.

It truly is some story for the 19-year-old, who looks set for greatness and likely dominance over the next decade, at least.

The duo have met twice previously last season, but the context of those matches mean they are utterly irrelevant in terms of usefulness for this upcoming match.

Zverev won both with both on hard court – one indoor, one outdoor – but Alcaraz was ranked far lower at the time and Zverev was a very strong market favourite in both. The tables are somewhat turned today.

Zverev could take advantage of accumulated fatigue

Twelve month clay data, as we’ve said already this week, is fairly misleading for Alcaraz – he’s improved markedly over that period, as already discussed above. This season on clay, he does have a slight edge over Zverev, although it’s not huge – winning around 1.5% more points on return, and actually having a slight deficiency in service points won percentages.

With all-surface data for this season having a pretty similar dynamic, I can’t help wonder if Alcaraz is actually a little over-hyped for this final.

There’s not an abundance of evidence in the data to suggest he should be such a strong favourite for this final, and given the long match yesterday, plus tough three-setter against Rafa Nadal on Friday, there’s definitely the potential for this match to be one too many for the young Spaniard.

It’s certainly not a strong lean, but Zverev looks to be the pick at his current price of 2.68/5.