ATP Tennis Betting: Chung can defeat Gasquet in steamy Shanghai

Round one completes and round two begins on Tuesday at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, with 14 matches on the card on day three of the 2017 Shanghai Masters.

Monday was a good day for us in Shanghai, with two odds-against winners from two wagers, when Robin Haase (just about) took set one against Richard Gasquet and Stefanos Tsitsipas took down Karen Khachanov.

Another very humid and warm day is expected in Shanghai on Tuesday, with the chance of some rain around, but it’ll be steamy at between 70 and 85% humidity, which will make for a really tough day.

Richard Gasquet vs Hyeon Chung

One man who does not like hot and humid conditions is Gasquet, who we took on with Haase on Monday, and the Gasman should have been beaten by the Dutchman.

Typically, Haase blinked when a set and *4-3 up and a 1.09 chance in-play, and showed exactly why I only trusted to take a set and not the match, as he allowed Gasquet back into it by being broken to love.

At (not before) 10:30 UK time (17:30 local) Gasquet faces a different kind of challenge from Chung, who was superb in dumping out Robert Bautista Agut on Monday in straight sets.

Chung’s campaign has been punctuated by injury this year and I’m surprised he was able to find that level after just two straightforward Davis Cup wins since the US Open.

The injury came (when we backed him outright, of course) ahead of the Ricoh Open and at a bad time for Chung, who had performed very well indeed in the clay swing and he looked set to rise up the rankings as the year went on.

But that setback took two months out of his season and then he had to start from scratch pretty much and he’s been a bit hit and miss since then.

However, that showing against one of the better defenders in the game in RBA on Tuesday was just the sort of game that Gasquet will very likely struggle with in these conditions.

Flat, accurate, hard hitting off both wings in quick conditions is a nightmare for someone like Gasquet, who likes to play deep, and the ball staying low makes it tough for the Gasman’s loopy forehand to counter.

Haase doesn’t play that way really and he gave Gasquet too much time in the end (although he still should have won) and if Chung reproduces that level he’ll surely win this.

Gasquet looked down and out in the heat and humidity on Monday and the Haase match will have taken a lot out of him, while Chung will be buzzing after that showing in what amounts to a home tournament for him.

The Frenchman said after his loss to Grigor Dimitrov last year: “I do not like the conditions here, they are not easy with the heavy balls and the surface with a low bounce.”

That’s fairly clear anyway, but throwing 80% humidity into the mix as well only makes me more confident that there’s value on Chung as underdog.

Of the early matches in Shanghai on Tuesday we should see a win for Ryan Harrison over Ze Zhang, while Aljaz Bedene looked in no sort of condition to continue his season last week in Beijing when his knee problem flared up again.

I’d doubt whether he’d be able to grind down Paulo Lorenzi in that condition, while the fast surface here should in theory suit John Isner, who takes on Dusan Lajovic.

Isner hasn’t produced in Shanghai so far and away from the USA he’s liable to poor losses that you rarely see from him at home.

Perhaps the low bounce here makes his serve less effective than the high bounce at places like Indian Wells, and with his height I’d assume he needs a higher bounce for his shot production, but it’s just as likely that homesickness is his issue in China.

Whatever, he’s yet to win more than two straight matches here, so I wouldn’t be rushing to add his name to any list of accumulators.

The 06:00 on Grandstand is potentially interesting, with Jack Sock priced up as underdog against Alexandr Dolgopolov, with the American holding a decent record here in Shanghai.

As it involves the highly suspect Dolgo I wouldn’t bet on it, but if Sock is fit – and it’s quite a big if after he had the doctor out and faded badly last week – he could be value in that one.

Sam Querrey vs Yuichi Sugita

I’m going to take a chance and go against the 1.38 favourite in this one, with Querrey, like Isner, a regular disappointment in this tournament (and the Asian swing in general).

Again, the low bounce isn’t ideal for the tall players who have a fairly extreme grip (also like Khachanov, who we took on successfully on Monday) and Querrey fits into that category.

He hasn’t won a match here since 2012 and Albert Ramos defeated Querrey here a couple of years ago, so his performances here aren’t up to the level he achieves elsewhere.

And it wouldn’t surprise me if went on one of his occasional slumps after that somewhat disappointing end to his US Open campaign when he was favourite to make the final, but lost out to Kevin Anderson in the quarters with Pablo Carreno Busta waiting in the semis.

This is just a theory, but looking back to when he beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last season and then lost to Milos Raonic in the quarters Querrey went on to lose nine of his remaining 13 matches that year.

And they were losses to the likes of Jurgen Zopp and Santi Giraldo too. Perhaps he wasn’t fit, but just as likely is that loss affected him, as the Anderson one will do too – I’m still annoyed about it having backed him at a very big price outright, and so he must be.

But it’s the flat hitting of the diminutive Sugita on a low-bouncing court and Querrey’s record in Asia at this time of year that lead me to take him on here.

Querrey is 9-13 in the last decade in Asia, with one match win in his last eight going back to 2013 and I think we have to take him on today.

Elsewhere, Nick Kyrgios made a quick switch from Beijing to Shanghai playing the doubles here on Monday after the final of the China Open on Sunday – and he won too with Lucas Pouille against Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas.

So, he’s had practice here and NK should be too good for Stevie Johnson, though as I said in my outright preview he’s yet to go well the week after making a final.

Of the other round two matches underdogs Kyle Edmund and Andrey Rublev have the weaponry to upset Marin Cilic and Juan Martin Del Potro if the former US Open champs aren’t on song, as Delpo wasn’t on Monday.

Cilic will also need a big improvement on his Tokyo loss to Adrian Mannarino, but hopefully we’ll get that from the Croat.

Best Bets
2 points win Chung to beat Gasquet at 2.10
1 point win Sugita to beat Querrey at 3.05