ATP Rolex Shanghai Masters Day 3 & WTA Tianjin Day 2 Best Tennis Bets and Predictions


Monday, October 7, 2019 4:05 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 4:05 PM UTC

Will Lajovic´s woes against the big servers continue as rising star Reilly Opelka stands for the opposition?
<div><h2>Reilly Opelka vs. Dusan Lajovic</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Game Odds"><strong>Tuesday, October 8, Shanghai</strong></a></p><p>Reilly Opelka is one of many talented young Americans rising up on tour, and together with Taylor Fritz probably the likeliest to establish himself well for years to come. The 211cm tall giant carries the usual enormous serve and forehand we´ve come to expect from the Big Americans, but Reilly has more upside to his predecessors. Not quite as vulnerable on the move as the likes of John Isner, and serviceable when the ball is in play, Opelka looks set to overtake his older compatriot in the near future. Coming off a stellar year which has seen the 22-year old surge to a career high world no. 40 ranking, behind a New York title with Atlanta and Tokyo semifinals to boot. Though most at home on the faster surfaces, we´ve seen Opelka do well on slower surfaces as well, qualifying and making the third round of Miami, and the second round of the Madrid Masters on the red dirt.</p><p>Dusan Lajovic has long been regarded as a supreme talent, and emerged as part of a new wave of young Serbian tennis talent back in 2014 when he made his top 100 breakthrough. Employing a beautiful one-handed backhand and great tactical awareness, Lajovic has made large strides over the years and currently resides at a world no. 31 rank. However, the 29-year old has the propensity to be quite inconsistent, or "streaky" if you will. We´ve seen a lot of that this year where Dusan had only won back-to-back main draw matches on two occasions, and never three on the spin going all the way back to Lyon last May. From out of nowhere, the Serb then made a maiden Masters final in Monte Carlo, and then fell off the map going 1-4 in subsequent tournaments. Lajovic showed up to win Umag in July, then again went 1-4 on subsequent matches and hasn´t won back-to-back matches since. Far more comfortable on the red dirt, the 29-year old won´t like the fast conditions here, never making it beyond the first round on three attempts.</p><p>Opelka has been on the rise this season, and though ranked nine places lower than his opponent, the American has been playing the better tennis for most of the year. Lajovic´s inconsistencies make him a vulnerable Top 50 player and we´ve seen this be true when facing up against similarly ranked talent. Going 6-13 against the top 50 over the last 12 months, 3-12 removing the stellar Monte Carlo run - the world no. 31 has now lost 6 straight against this group of players. Furthermore, the 29-year old tends to struggle against the big servers, going 0-8 to them in the last 12 months, five of the losses coming in straight sets. The fast conditions here should suit Opelka´s big serve and big forehand combination well, whilst they take away from Lajovic´s game. In the lone head-to-head matchup between the pair back in 2017, a young Opelka actually came out on top - despite the meeting being played on an unsuitable surface for him being the red clay. With the American improving by leaps and bounds since, playing on a fast hard court, expect the big server to come through. After three straight sets victories in Tokyo last week, two of them against top 50 players, a repeat of that outcome appeals at a 2.55 price with Unibet.</p><p><strong>Best Bet: </strong>Opelka 2-0 at 2.55 (31/20) with <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Join Unibet Today!">Unibet</a> 1.5u</p><p><a href=";a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&amp;f=3"><img alt src="" style="width:100%;height:38px" /></a></p><h2>Wang Xiyu(Q) vs. Kristie Ahn</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Game Odds"><strong>Tuesday, October 8, Tianjin</strong></a></p><p>18-year old Wang Xiyu continues to develop as a young tennis player and holds a lot of promise. A calm, collected and intelligent player, Xiyu employs a multi-layered lefty game which will certainly reap great rewards for her in the future. The Chinese starlet has impressed in qualifying for quite a few WTA-level tournaments this season, and has an ITF title on the red dirt of La Bisbal to her name as well. in 2019. Keen to improve her strength and conditioning post her Major main draw debut at the US Open, the world no. 154 will be one to watch in the future. Xiyu is once again back in the Tianjin main draw, and the 18-year old will have fond memories of the tournament. This was the place where she scored her first ever WTA main draw win in 2017, and the Chinese player has impressed to qualify here. Winning all of her matches in straight sets, Xiyu overcame an 0-3 H2H record against fellow 18-year old Wang Xinyu in the last qualifying round to book her spot in the main draw.</p><p>Kristie Ahn will be very happy about this fact indeed, as Sofia Kenin has withdrawn from the tournament after winning the doubles title with Mattek-Sands in Beijing. Opening up against an inexperienced opponent will certainly be to the American´s liking. Ahn has plied much of her trade on the ITF level in recent years, but has stepped up in quality this season, starting with qualifying for Wimbledon. The 27-year old then qualified to make the San José quarterfinals, and had a fantastic run to the last 16 at the US Open - propelling her to a career high ranking of world no. 87. A sweet ballstriker off her preferred forehand wing, Kristie is also skilled at point construction, often trying to get that powerful forehand into play early and often. However, the American is also quite shrewd, and not averse to utilize her tactical awareness to switch up the play.</p><p>Though full of promise, Wang Xiyu is still a raw talent, and has much to learn. Against the better, more experienced players on tour she´s indeed struggled to keep up. Going 4-10 against top 100 opponents in her young career, and 2-6 in 2019, the numbers would support that sentiment. Furthermore, all but two of those losses have come in straight sets, so it´s rare for the 18-year old to even have been copmpetitive in these outings. Kristie Ahn on the other hand rarely slips up against lower ranked opposition, riding a 9-match win streak against players residing outside of the top 100. I have a tough time seeing Wang able to play with enough depth and variety to keep the ball off the Kristie Ahn forehand, and the American should be the one dictating proceedings here. All things considered, making Ahn a favourite priced 1.85 at Pinnacle is a price we must take advantage of, as that is far off a fair price in this matchup.</p><p><strong>Best Bet</strong>: Ahn to win at 1.85 (17/20) with <a href=";a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Rated Bookmaker!">Pinnacle</a> 2.5u</p></div>
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