Joao Sousa vs Vasek Pospisil ATP Shanghai Picks 10/8/2019
Joao Sousa vs Vasek Pospisil
5 am EST, 8th October 2019
Joao Sousa is playing some very solid tennis lately. It started in St Petersburg a couple of weeks ago when he got all the way to the semifinals, where he lost to Borna Coric in a grueling three-set match. After a long week in Russia, he had to get to China and play in different time zone and different playing conditions in Chengdu. Not many players can adjust so quickly and bring their A-game, but Joao did it. He beat Hyeon Chung and Felix Auger-Aliassime before losing to red-hot Lloyd George Harris. Exhaustion finally caught up with him in Tokyo, where he lost to Nishioka in the first round. It was also a bad matchup for him, where the lefty had an answer for his inside-out forehand.
Seeing his record in this tournament is not very encouraging. He is 1-4 in the main draw so far, losing to players like Juan Monaco and Albert Ramos. Not being able to beat a couple of clay courters in these fast conditions is definitely a red flag, but the encouraging part is that he got through the first round this year, eliminating Filip Krajinovic. Let's see if he can build on that and get another one.
His opponent will be Vasek Pospisil who scored a very impressive win in the first round. Beating Diego Schwartzman in straight sets is a big deal, considering he has been completely irrelevant on the ATP tour this year, with a 1-4 record (didn't play first 6 months of the season because of an injury).
His playing style should work really well in these fast conditions, but looking at his past results in Shanghai, he never really thrived here. Not even when he was a Top 50 player, more than 5 years ago. He is 5-5 here, with his best result being the 3rd round appearance in 2016. Last year, he lost in the first round to Alex de Minaur.
These two guys have quite a history. They played many matches, from which most were pretty close. But every time the Portuguese came out on top. And I'm not that surprised by that. We are talking about a gritty player that doesn't give up and can grind out his opponents with his consistency and stamina.
He also matches up well vs Pospisil. The Canadian did a lot of damage vs Schwartzman with his big forehand. He went inside-in very often in this match and Diego was unable to successfully counter it. But Joao is a great defender and someone that is great at redirecting the opponent's power. Especially with his forehand down the line. That is his specialty and it plays right into Pospisil's weakness - his backhand. And when he is the one that has the control, he mostly goes for an inside-out forehand to open up the court and set up the next shot. Again, playing into Canadian's weakness.
Betting odds & prediction
I believe that is why Vasek struggled this much against him in the past. But that is not stopping the public bettors to back him in this spot. He was bet down from +126 all the way to -116. Obviously, we have a textbook example of recency bias in this one. He looked really good against the Top 20 player yesterday. And I'm not even denying that. I'm just saying that Sousa had his number in the past, while Pospisil failed to solve that puzzle time and time again. The market failed to factor that in properly while overreacting on the most recent results at the same time.
Pick: Joao Sousa +105
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