Uchiyama vs Chardy (Approx 2:00pm AEDST)
I think there has been a bit of an overreaction to the scoreline from Chardy vs Kyrgios yesterday, and that has carried into today’s match between Chardy and Uchiyama.
Whilst it was fantastic for Chardy to be able to get the job done over Kyrgios, the result ultimately did hinge moreso on which Kyrgios turned up - and it wasn’t the good one in sets 2 and 3. The saving grace for Chardy across his first two matches this week - both three set wins - has been his first serve percentage, which has sat at 69% and 60% against Struff and Kyrgios respectively. The difference for Chardy today is the fact that he finds himself against a player who is playing some form tennis in Yasutaka Uchiyama. For a player with a 16-15 hardcourt record over the last 12 months, I am struggling to find solid reasons to back him at the current game handicap available.
Uchiyama on the other hand has not dropped serve since the first round of qualifying, and is currently looking very solid overall on the hardcourt, particularly behind his serve. His performances against Humbert and Edmund in particular have been incredibly impressive. Across 2018 Uchiyama showed some very solid patches of such tennis at Challenger level (won 2 titles), however the nature in which he sustained it from start to finish in each of his last 3 matches fills me with a lot of confidence. At Challenger level I got the feeling that the further Uchiyama would progress in a tournament, the better he would play, and that appears to have occurred again this week. He has built on the previous performance, and bettered it each and every round so far. He is serving well, and is able to get a high percentage of returns in play.
Whilst I don’t anticipate Uchiyama to be as effective on pressuring the serve of Chardy as he was against Edmund and Humbert, I do like the +2.5 game start that is available for Uchiyama considering his form across the week in Brisbane. Whilst Chardy is a step up on a lot of the competition Uchiyama faced in 2018, he is a confidence player and has looked incredibly good against Humbert and Edmund in the main draw. I feel there is more value currently in the +2.5 game handicap than there is in the head to head price. Another one of the players I am very keen to watch in 2019, look for Uchiyama to surprise again today in Brisbane.
3 units Uchiyama +2.5 game handicap vs Chardy at $1.91 (-110) or better at most bookmakers ($1.99 at Topsport)