PERHAPS the value of the day in Sao Paulo is an offbeat one and that’s to take the price of 2.85 on there being a tie break in the clash between Fabio Fognini and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The average price for any match to have a tie break in Sao Paulo over the last five years is 2.63, while GGL plays plenty of tie breaks (0.24 per set) on clay and Fognini has played 0.29 per set in his 17 matches here in Sao Paulo.
Given also the up and down nature of their career head-to-head and Fognini’s up-and-down personality I like the 2.85 on tie break played here.
Leonardo Mayer vs Pablo Cuevas
Cuevas looks worth opposing here. The Uruguayan isn’t playing at the same level that we’ve seen from him in Golden Swings in the past and he’s always been vulnerable to opponents that attack and take the game to him.
Mayer will certainly do that and he’s had success with it against Cuevas in the past, winning all three of their completed meetings, although they were a very long time ago now and that not that relevant to today’s encounter.
What is more pertinent is the recent displays of Cuevas and this isn’t the guy that beat Rafa Nadal en-route to the Rio title and then backed it up by winning in Sao Paulo last season.
Not yet at least. And while that sort of form may come in due course it doesn’t appear to be there now and for the moment it’s Mayer that leads the main level hold/break stats on clay over the past 12 months.
The Argentine has held an impressive 85.9% of the time and broken at 21.7% for a total of 107.6, while Cuevas is a little way behind on 104.8 (80.9% holds/23.9% breaks).
This match up reminds me a little of the one that Cuevas had with Jarry in Rio, where he faced a rightie serving big and hitting hard, and once again it was a lacklustre effort from Cuevas, who often stays too far behind the baseline against these power players.
Mayer’s a little fortunate to be at this stage at all, after almost losing to Gastao Elias in round one, saving a couple of match points, but his willingness to go for broke (which can be his downfall on occasions) saw him through, just about.
If Cuevas doesn’t show a more positive approach in this one and allows Mayer time on the ball he’s in trouble again and I’ll take Mayer as slight underdog.