An examination of Del Potro's stats reveals that he is not playing top-level tennis in Melbourne.
Juan Martin Del Potro lost some respect with the betting public recently.
Following his hard fought and tiring 2nd round victory over James Blake, Del Potro's odds have really drifted as he can now be found at +700 (7/1) in the outright winner's market with Paddy Power, Coral, and William Hill.
Del Potro was about a +450 third favorite in the future's market pre-tournament.
Let's compare and contrast Del Potro's statistics from the first two rounds of the 2009 US Open, a tournament he won, against his statistics from the 2010 Australian Open.
Del Potro at the 2009 US Open, Rounds 1 and 2
Through the first two rounds at the US Open, Del Potro had the following statistics:
6-0 in sets played.
37-19 in games played (66.1% won).
204-151 in total points played (57.5% won).
The two matches Del Potro played in during the opening rounds of the 2009 US Open were against Juan Monaco, ranked 41st, and Jurgen Melzer, ranked 38th.
Del Potro at the 2010 Australian Open, Rounds 1 and 2
6-3 in sets played.
54-47 in games played (53.5% won).
329-316 in points played (51.0% won).
The two matches Del Potro has played so far at the Australian Open have been against Michael Russell, ranked 90th, and James Blake, ranked 45th.
A quick examination of the key stats shows that Del Potro's game in Melbourne is far below the standard he set in New York.
In comparison to Flushing Meadows, through the first two rounds at the Australian Open, Del Potro has lost more sets, he has won a lower percentage of games, and he has won a lower percentage of points. Of course the most important stat is the same as Del Potro is 2-0 in matches played down under, but sometimes you have to look deeper than win-loss records to find out who is on top of their game.
Importantly, when the relative tour rankings are considered the luck of the draw in Australia actually gave Del Potro a more favorable draw than he had in New York. That means he is playing WORSE despite drawing weaker competition.
What that all proves is that Del Potro is not on the championship form that he was on at the US Open and he cannot be considered one of the favorites any longer.
Del Potro may very well make the 4th round and maybe even the quarters as Marin Cilic, Del Potro's top threat in his section of the draw, did not look great tonight against a supposedly weak player. However as soon as Del Potro bumps into somebody that is looking solid, like Andy Roddick, you have to think that the Argentinian will be eliminated.
Avoid Del Potro's price in the futures market, even as it drifts, and consider taking Roddick at +2500 with Sportingbet as that price looks much better. Technically it has shortened since the tournament began as Roddick was priced at +3300 pre-tournament.
Go to Sportingbet to bet on Australian Open tennis.