Wednesday Tennis Best Bet: ATP Sofia, Lorenzo Musetti vs Alexandar Lazarov
Lorenzo Musetti vs Alexandar Lazarov Best Bet: Wednesday, September 28th
Tough match from J.J. Wolf once again against Emil Ruusuvuori, despite playing in pretty quick conditions. The struggles on serve were telling, considering the power he can generate there. Time to downgrade the American for the next few months in handicaps.
Onto Wednesday, where we’ll head to Sofia, Bulgaria and the indoor 250-level event being held there. Lorenzo Musetti will be taking on home favourite Alexandar Lazarov, who’s first-round victory was his first ever in an ATP Tour main draw.
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Lorenzo Musetti vs Alexandar Lazarov Preview
September 28th, 17:30 UK Time
What a number here in a match on a relatively quick court in the Bulgarian capital. While the conditions have gone from fast to medium in recent years, this year’s event appears to be favouring bigger servers and has had plenty of 12-game sets and tiebreaks in the early going. In fact, only two of the eight matches over the course of the opening two days have finished without at least one set finishing in a 7-5 or 7-6 scoreline.
With that said, it’s really hard to see Musetti thriving – even against an opponent whose overall level may not be nearly as high.
His record in quicker conditions this year has been thoroughly uninspiring, and you can understand why. His first serve will find cheap points, but not nearly as many as most on the men’s tour, his topspin heavy game is made more for clay and is rewarded far less on quicker surfaces, and his one-handed backhand struggles for consistency when he has less time – again, something that happens often on faster courts, where the ball gets to players far sooner.
Musetti managed just one win in three events down under and in India to start the season, was winless during grass season, and then struggled on quick courts in the summer as well.
He may have a big talent edge against Lazarov, but that narrows significantly on quicker courts. With Lazarov having been a fairly consistent player coming up on the Challenger Tour (he, too, plays more on clay than hard courts), his added pace on serve (he was hitting serves as fast as 217 km/h in his first match) should help him in a big way against Musetti.
With Lehecka being another player that doesn’t have an imposing serve or big weapon from the baseline, Lazarov didn’t just manage to keep it close, but was able to pull off the upset in straight sets. He has the opportunity to do so again in this one again with the right approach.
If the Bulgarian can continue to land enough of those big serves and target Musetti’s backhand, he should find success at racking up service holds.
Lorenzo Musetti vs Alexandar Lazarov Best Bet
For me, this ultimately comes down to the market focusing too much on the player they now know well and overvaluing him against a relatively unknown commodity.
I’m not sure the surface speed is priced into this market properly, as it’s tough to have Musetti such a strong favourite against anyone that looks comfortable in quicker conditions. The way Lazarov should be able to hang in baseline rallies, combined with his added ability to fire in some massive serves also leads me to believe the matchup here isn’t baked into the price in an efficient manner either.
I’ll take the four-game head start here with the Bulgarian. Let’s hope the crowd on his side also spurs him on and helps him keep things close with the Italian young gun.
- Selection: Lazarov +4 Games
- Best Odds: 1.92 (Pinnacle)
- Stakes: 3/10
- Bonus: Lazarov to win at 4.00 odds with Bet365 using 1/10 stakes.
Odds as at 9:00 am on September 28th, 2022. Odds may now differ.