IT'S quarter-finals day in week two of the 2018 ATP World Tour on Thursday, with eight matches on the card at the ASB Classic and Sydney International.
Our remaining outright in Sydney, Adrian Mannarino, progressed very nicely on Wednesday with a 6-2 6-1 win over Ricardas Berankis, but we didn’t fare too well elsewhere, with Stevie Johnson fading after winning set one against Roberto Bautista Agut and John Isner failing in a decider against Hyeon Chung.
It was a tough day overall, with the sort of results that you often get the week before a major, and we’ve got the kind of quarter-final field in Sydney that shouldn’t come as a surprise given how open the tournament looked at the start.
There’s wind and rain in the forecast for Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, with 30kph winds expected mid-afternoon, and showers predicted from early afternoon.
And it’s a similar forecast in Auckland, where the rain is expected from 17:00 local time and 30kph winds from around an hour earlier.
David Ferrer vs Hyeon Chung
I’ve nothing against Chung, in fact I think he’s a very decent prospect, but I don’t like his price of 1.71 favourite against Ferrer in these circumstances, so of all the risky plays today the veteran Spaniard looks the one.
Chung played exceptionally well against Isner, arguably one of the very best performances of his career so far, and it’s always difficult for any player, let alone a young one, to back it up the next day.
It was a late finish for Chung, who’d have been buzzing for some time after that fine all-round display to beat Isner, who he’d failed to even take to deuce on Isner’s serve the previous time they’d clashed.
So, he’s at a disadvantage on that score, as Ferrer was an easy winner in a shade over an hour earlier in the day and Chung had another three setter his round one match too.
Lack of consistency has been one of the weaknesses in Chung’s game and if he beats Ferrer here it will be only the third time (and first in a hard court tournament) that he’s won three straight matches at main level.
That’s backed up by his outdoor hard court hold/break stats, which are decent enough, but hardly exceptional at 78.4% holds and 23.6% breaks for a 102 total over his last 20 matches in the last 12 months.
Despite Ferrer’s decline, the Spaniard has still recorded hold/break figures of 78.6% holds and 28.1% breaks for a 106.7 total and he looked in good form dismissing Joao Sousa for the loss of only four games.
Ferrer has a good record in Auckland with four titles and a 30-8 record here and while he’s not the force of old he’ll be in good shape for this match after two straight sets wins so far.
It’s a risky one, but 1.71 on Chung being able to produce his best on consecutive days having had a late finish isn’t for me.
- 1 point win Ferrer to beat Chung
- (23-20, Unibet)