ATP 2017 Top Australian Nick Kyrgios

Tennis - Season Special - 01 Jan 10:00

This is a two part tip, backing one of Kyrgios or Tomic to be top Aussie at the end of 2017. I will address Kyrgios in this half of the preview, then Tomic and other contenders in the second part of the tip.

The differing prices on Kyrgios is the first thing to point out. Coral are at 1.8, Sky Bet at 1.4 and Paddy Power at 1.29. Instantly this suggests 1.8 is too long given both other bookies are significantly lower.

At 6' 4" he has easy power and he is a big match player with one of the most dangerous serves on tour. While his defense and IQ is lacking, his hyper aggressive style means he essentially has everything he needs to stay in the top 20.

In reverse chronological order Kyrgios' year end rank since turning pro in 2013 is as follows: 13, 30, 52, 182. He won this market in 2016, has improved his year end rank every year and is only 21 years old with unfulfilled potential.

He's been a consistently profitable player to back, with an ROI of 12% over his last 50 matches, 22% last season, and 24% lifetime over a decent sample of 172 matches. This suggests he is a player being under rated.

The past couple of seasons have shown especially noteable results.

He defeated Gasquet (#14) at 4.5 and Nadal (#1) at 10 at Wimbledon 2014, then in 2015 he made the quarter final of the Australian Open, made the final of Estoril losing to Gasquet, defeated Roger Federer (#2) priced at 6 at the Madrid Masters, defeated Raonic (#8) at Wimbledon priced at 2.2 and Wawrinka (#4) in Montreal priced at 3.

He then had a breakthrough year in 2016 winning 3 titles, 2 at the 250 level and, very impressively, one at 500 level. He defeated Gasquet (#9), Berdych (#6) and Cilic (#13) one after the other to claim his first 250 title in Marseille, then beat John Isner (#16) at his home tournament of Atlanta to claim his second title, before finishing off his year with wins over Monfils (#8) and Goffin (#14) to win ATP Tokyo.

He also has quarter final and semi final appearances in Masters 1000 events to his name, losing to current top 5 player Kei Nishikori both times. He had a 11-9 record over top 20 players in 2016 with an ROI of 53%.

Fun fact: Kyrgios is the only player in history to beat both Federer and Nadal in a first meeting while they have been ranked in the top 10. Tellingly, at the Madrid Masters in 2015, after his loss to Kyrgios 6-7 7-6 7-6, Federer commented on his potential:

"He likes the big stage. He's got nothing to lose, no fear, and he's got a great game. ... He can rely on his serve so much. It keeps him in the match regardless of he how he plays from the baseline."

It's fairly easy to establish that Kyrgios has potential, but as anyone who follows tennis will know, he has had some issues with his temperament, said he doesn't actually like tennis and was fined $25,000 and banned at the end of the 2016 season for poor conduct.

This is the worry, betting on an angsty 21 year old whose motivation and consistency are difficult to quantify. It's worth pointing out that despite all his controversy, Kyrgios has managed to have a phenomenal year, making it to 13 in the world, and he didn't even play the last few events - Stockholm, Vienna, Paris - due to his being banned. These are all on Kyrgios' best surface, indoor hard.

However, it does seem a feasible worst case scenario for Kyrgios to slip away from tennis and fall outside the top 50. Hence the bet on Tomic, a player who has been inside the top 56 since 2011 and will almost certainly win this market if Kyrgios does not. I explain more fully in the second tip.

That means we are getting odds of roughly 1.2/1.25 on one of the two winning. Not a hugely enticing prospect, but one of these two has won this market for the last 2 years running, both are improving overall, especially Kyrgios, and the next most likely player going from the bookies odds is currently unranked.

While I would expect Kyrgios to win, I am happier opposing the rest of the field as I see no-one else with a realistic or reasonable chance of winning this market.

I am suggesting a 20 stake on Kyrgios and a 10 stake on Tomic.
TennisPilot +2196.25
Stake: 20 1.50Betway
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