OTW Extra Email Archive - March 2019

The case for Kyrgios at 30/1...

Wednesday 27th March 2019

In your Ones to Watch EXTRA email today:

  • Grand Slam potential – facts & figures...
  • The young pretenders...
  • Now’s the time for Nick...

We’re on a quest to find the next big-price Grand Slam winner.

That’s no easy task. There is no crystal tennis ball. But the history books can help us. And there are certainly some very promising young players around at the moment...

I’ve been doing some research today, concentrating on the men’s game. The findings are interesting...

Men’s Grand Slams:

Age of first Grand Slam win:

The Big Four:

Andy Murray age 25 (first Grand Slam final – age 21)
Roger Federer 21
Novak Djokovic 20
Rafael Nadal 19

Others since 2009 - last 10 years:

Stan Wawrinka 28
Marin Cilic 25
Juan Martin del Potro 20
Andy Roddick 20

Age of first Grand Slam final (runner-up):

Since 2009:

David Ferrer 31
Kevin Anderson 31
Milos Raonic 25
Dominic Thiem 24
Kei Nishikori 24
Tomas Berdych 24
Robin Soderling 24

  • Average age of those 15 players when reaching a first Grand Slam final = 23.8

ATP titles won before first Grand Slam final:

David Ferrer 20 titles
Marin Cilic 11
Andy Roddick 10
Dominic Thiem 10
Roger Federer 8
Milos Raonic 8
Novak Djokovic 7
Andy Murray 6
Rafael Nadal 6
Juan Martin del Potro 6
Kei Nishikori 5
Stan Wawrinka 5
Tomas Berdych 5
Kevin Anderson 3
Robin Soderling 3

  • Average ATP titles wins of players aged 24 or under when reaching first Grand Slam final = 6

The young pretenders...

Here are the five top-ranked players that fit the ‘first Grand Slam final’ criteria unearthed above. That being, players aged 24 or under with multiple ATP title wins to their name – but as yet no Grand Slam final appearances...

Alexander Zverev (No.3, age 21)
ATP titles: 10

Stefanos Tsitsipas (No.10, age 20)
ATP titles: 2

Karen Khachanov (No.12, age 22)
ATP titles: 4

Borna Coric (No.13, age 22)
ATP titles: 2

Daniil Medvedev (No.15, age 23)
ATP titles: 4

Those five youngsters have all appeared in our Ones to Watch lists in the last couple of seasons.

Zverev with his Top 3 ranking and 10 titles is the player repeatedly talked up by the tennis media at large. So far the German has managed just one quarter final at Grand Slam level (French Open 2018). And more importantly for this column – the bookies are also well on the case with Zverev. For example, he’s 12/1 in general for Wimbledon.

Tsitsipas, Khachanov, Coric and Medvedev are all also well on our Ones to Watch radar.

But for today – let’s pay attention to this guy at big odds for Wimbledon...

Now’s the time for Nick...

Nick Kyrgios is a true outsider. As Mark Petchey said in commentary this week, ‘This guy goes about things differently to any other player on the tour right now.’

Kyrgios has been in the news for many things recently. Underarm serves. Trick shots. Arguing with spectators. Swearing at umpires. The list goes on, including – let’s not forget – some sensational tennis.

I’m interested in one thing above all. His Grand Slam potential...

Kyrgios is ranked No.33 in the world. He is 23 years old. He turns 24 exactly a month today, 27th April. The age average mentioned above came out at 23.8. So Nick ticks that box.

Last month, he won the ATP Acapulco title. That takes Nick’s career ATP titles tally up to five. So he’s right there on the edge of that six-trophy average listed above, too.

It’s not an exact science, of course. But there are signs that Nick is starting to realise his potential.

He’s smiling more on court – and not just ruefully or sarcastically. He’s had less injury withdrawals. He’s won a trophy. His talent or ability isn’t in question. The future could yet be very bright...

In terms of the Grand Slams, the grass courts of Wimbledon would be the most likely setting for the big breakthrough. Kyrgios’ best Grand Slam runs have come at SW19, with a quarter final and two 4th Round appearances.

Right now, Kyrgios can be backed for Wimbledon 2019 at odds of 30/1 and 28/1 Each Way. That’s a bigger price than Zverev and Tsitsipas. And twice the odds of Andy Murray who has barely played all year and might not be fit enough to even compete this summer.

That 30/1 best price is with 888 Sport.

I’ll be back in the weeks to come with more big prices, outsiders and youngsters to follow.

Enjoy the tennis...

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch Extra