Karlovic vs. Sandgren / ATP Houston – Out of two semi-final matches from the tournament in Houston we have chosen this one between Crotian I. Karlovic and American T. Sandgren. Last year’s winner was S. Johnson who still has chance to defend the title given that he plays in another semi-final match against T. Fritz. Begins: 14.04.2018 – 20:00 CET
Karlovic didn’t achieve results that were expected from him this season, which in turn reflected on this ATP rating and now he occupies humble 88th place in it. He had the best rating in his career 10 years ago when he was World’s no. 14, while in 18 years of professional career he won eight ATP titles out of which the last two in 2015 at tournaments in Los Cabos and Newport.
It is interesting that Karlovic won his first ATP title right in Houston 2007 when he defeated M. Zabalet in the final by 2-0 in sets. Before tournament in Houston Karlovic had negative win/loss ratio, 5 wins and 6 losses. The first tournament where he played this season was the Australian Open and he reached the third round when was defeated by A. Seppi after five sets. After the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals of tournament in New York where he lost to S. Querrey, while Masters in Indian Wells and Miami had ended for him in first rounds after defeats by M. Merterer and V. Pospisil, respectively.
Thirteen years younger T. Sandgren occupies the 56th place in the ATP list and has won this season six and lost seven matches. The American neither won an ATP title nor he played in a final of ATP tournament by now. Sandgren had the best rating three months ago when he occupied the 54th place in the ATP rank list. If we compare that with his current rating we can say that the American is in good shape.
The season didn’t star well for Sandgren given that first two tournaments, in Pune and Auckland, ended for him in first rounds when he lost to G. Simon and H. Chung, respectively. He made the best result in his career by far at the Australian Open where he reached the quarter-finals when he lost to H. Chung, and exactly that result significantly contributed to his best rating so far.
I. Karlovic – T. Sandgren PICK
The two tennis players haven’t met so far. Although the tournament is played on clay courts that are not favourite surface for both of players we nevertheless expect a fairly uncertain match. Both players significantly depend on the first service which is why Karlovic is regarded as a favourite to win, but only slightly. On the other hand Sandgen has managed to defeat classic clay-court player G. Pella in the quarter-finals and we believe that he will find the way to put up a good resistance to I. Karlovic.
Pick: over 22.5 games
Odds: 1.53 at betway (down to 1.50 can be played)