Pinnacle Pulse | Sports Insights - Sports Betting Analytics
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- Sports Bettor Trick For Big Line Moves - Sports Betting
- Is Online Sports Betting Legal in California? 【2020 Update】
NEW! List of banned subreddits part 2
submitted by Holesome_chungus to reclassified [link] [comments]
Updated list of all known banned subreddits sorted by reason and alphabetically part 2 (unmoderated and ban evasion). Current as of July 3, 2020 5:32 PM EDT
This is a second thread containing subs banned for ban evasion or for being unmoderated, as Reddit limits you to 40000 characters per post. Unmoderated: Ban or quarantine evasion:
* Ban time and reason changed during the purge of subs containing the word 'nigga' or 'nigger'
The Importance of Closing Line Value (CLV)
Closing Line Value Most recreational bettors simply bet with the hopes to get lucky and win. Winning money is obviously a way to tell if you're making good bets. The ultimate measure of identifying how well a sports bettor is doing Is with closing line value or CLV. Beating the closing line means that you take a better number or price than what the market closes at, therefore having a bet with a higher probability of winning than if you made it at a later (or earlier) time. By beating the closing line, we add a share of possibility in our favor against the market. The closing lines represent the most efficient market conditions, because, at this point, all participants in the market had the best information available and the line reflects this.
In the sports market, the sharp bookmakers’ closing lines are considered to be the expected value (EV). Meaning that If you bet at better odds than the closing line you have made a +EV wager (positive/plus expected value), while if the odds you bet at are worse than the closing line you have a -EV bet (negative/minus expected value). Obviously when you are looking to make a bet you do not know what the closing line will be. However there are multiple factors that impact the movement of the odds which ultimately conclude the closing line. (I will detail this more in future lessons and weekly classes)
According to the efficient market hypothesis the closing odds are on average more accurate than the opening odds in predicting the probability of how an event will play out. Opening lines don’t reflect all the information available in the market, and therefore “inefficiencies exist”. As bettors, we want to bet into inefficient markets, to exploit discrepancies when we think our pricing is more accurate than the market. By beating the closing line consistently, you can prove that you do just that. Pinnacle was for a while considered the sharpest closing line, recently CRIS has taken over that spot and is now known as the sharpest bookmaker in the world, using their closing lines as an indicator makes the most sense.
Sports betting is not about results; it’s about the process. I know that sounds crazy to some so I’ll say it again, sports betting is not about results; it’s about the process. You cannot control the outcome of games, but you can manage your handicapping/betting process. The goal is to make +EV decisions that lead to profitable outcomes long-term. The probabilities we apply in our handicapping process are estimated probabilities, we don’t know what the real chances for winning a particular bet are.
Nobody is able to accurately predict the outcome of every sporting event. However, this does not imply that it is impossible to become a profitable sports bettor or that those who are profitable are just lucky. Placing bets that have a larger chance of winning than implied by the odds. Over a small sample size of bets anything can happen or in other words variance will have a large impact on your results. A friend of mine who made her first ever real money bet this past NBA season went on a 16 day winning streak going 19-6 in her first 25 bets, close to an 80% winning %. Of course she’s not one of the world’s sharpest sports bettors because she hit 80% over a 2 week span. What happens is over a larger volume of bets the variance will even out and only sports bettors who are able to consistently beat the closing lines will be profitable. (Update she lost the $250 she deposited into her sports book account after exactly 60 days and hasn’t bet again)
The key to handicapping is pricing teams more accurately than the market, consistently over the long run. A point spread on any given game says: this is the point where the market believes that 50% of possible outcomes fall on either side of the number. Our job as handicappers – no matter how we do it – is to find discrepancies between our estimate and the market’s estimate for a spread, total or whatever.
Let’s say Wake Forest is favored by 3 points over North Carolina. If your handicapping process comes up with an estimated line of -6 in favor of WF, your edge will be three points. You would think that Wake Forest wins by 3 or more points in more than 50% of the possible outcomes. You apply a higher probability by your estimated line. That’s what handicapping is about. Pricing teams more accurately than the market is beating the closing line. When bettors combine this with other factors like discipline, money management, they are on the right path to being profitable.
Beating the closing line requires handicapping skills or what we refer to in the community as game theory, but also market analysis must be combined (Art & Science). One isn’t enough, both must be combined. As I explained above, your goal is to price teams/events and totals more accurately than the market. By that, you can exploit inefficiencies in the markets. A big advantage is to try and always be looking ahead. On Sundays I’m always looking at the next week and handicapping those games. Make notes and write down which market reactions you expect depending on possible results during the current week. Try to anticipate where influential money will be going. Some services advertise things like “sharp action reports” to bait you into betting on so-called “steam moves.” But we want to bet those numbers as early as possible, not after the whole world recognizes the move. Does you no good knowing which side has been steamed after the fact.
One suggestion I have to help you get CLV, which will help result in +EV positions is to start making your own projections before lines are posted, that way you can bet proactively instead of reactively. If you do this before looking at the lines it will help eliminate some bias. I wouldn’t recommend backing these positions with money if you don’t have a sound process established but by tracking this it will give you a good idea of impact points in the market and find patterns.
submitted by bettingnetwork to sportsbetting [link] [comments]
Hot Ones Specs Script w/ Dwayne Johnson
DWAYNE JOHNSON, 45, is holding his hand over his mouth as he coughs lightly. He proceeds to smile and chuckle through the pain of 500,000 thousand Scoville units. The First We Feast title sequence plays. We are greeted by the bald-headed beauty, SEAN EVANS, 32. Sean’s voice is more passionate than usual, he looks into camera one with a massive smile on his face. submitted by greybowser to copypasta [link] [comments]
SEAN HEY! What’s going on everybody, from First We Feast I’m Sean Evans, and you’re watching Hot Ones.
Sean looks into camera two.
SEAN It’s the show with hot questions and even hotter wings. AND. TODAY. We are joined by a long time comin, the man, the myth, the legend, Dwayne Johnson. Better known as The Rock, but really, what isn’t Dwayne Johnson known for these days.
DWAYNE Thank you guys for having me.
SEAN Dwayne, we’ve been chasing you for a while. Are you ready to do this? I know it’s early and this isn’t your typical “The Rock” regime bodybuilding breakfast.
Dwayne Chuckles and smiles at Sean
DWAYNE I am SO ready. I just finished hitting back this morning. I skipped the post-workout meal. I’m ready to get some protein in me – regardless of how hot.
SEAN That was my next question, how are you with hot food?
DWAYNE Like most people my age, I don’t seek it out in my diet every day, but what I do seek is a challenge so I am ready for whatever…
Dwayne picks up a bottle of hot sauce and shows it to the camera.
DWAYNE El Yucateco wants to throw my way.
SEAN Let’s do it.
The Hot One’s title sequence plays – featuring images of hot sauce dousing wings, Sean and Dwayne posing with one another in various positions while Dwayne towers over Sean’s puny mortal body. The “First We Feast Presented by Hot Ones,” graphic is displayed. Next, Dwayne is seen chomping on a drumstick wing.
DWAYNE Oh yeah. I can get down with Sriracha, baby.
Dwayne cleans the wing.
SEAN So, Dwayne, you have one of the most decorated and illustrious pasts of any guest we’ve had on our show, but let’s start at the very beginning and then maybe go a little chronological, does that sound good?
DWAYNE Right on.
SEAN It’s no secret that you were on the move as a kid. What was it like attending four different high schools? And if possible can you share with our viewers, who may be transitioning to new schools, how you dealt with maintaining any social relationships and even building new ones and fitting in?
DWYANE (Smiling) That’s a good question. And you know I’m not sure I have a good answer. Ideally, you’d hope the transition to a new school will go as smooth as possible but that is rarely the case. I was a pretty hefty kid, and high school kids are nasty, so I was never looking to be something I wasn’t so that kid’s I didn’t know would accept me.
SEAN (Nodding) Right. I got you.
DWAYNE Despite how cliché it may sound, if there is any advice I can give it’d be, to be yourself, and the right people will fall into your life. Don’t adapt to please shitty people.
Dwayne covers his mouth in embarrassment.
DWAYNE Can I--. I can swear on here, right?
SEAN Fuck yeah, you can swear. I don’t think there’s a corporate sponsor on this episode.
DWAYNE (Smiling/chuckling) Well, fuck yeah!
SEAN I also, don’t feel comfortable telling The Rock, no. So swear all ya want Dwayne.
The Scovilles get upped to 5,000. The Aardvark Hot Sauce title sequence plays.
DWAYNE This is good. This is good. A little bit hotter.
SEAN (Sarcastically) Yup, that’s the idea. We like to bring it in droves.
Dwayne is seen cleaning his wing to the bone.
SEAN It seems if so American Football changes dramatically each year with the way different rules get instated. The most recent rule change that has both fans and players in an uproar is the tackling rule/lowering the helmet rule. Are you familiar with what I’m referring to?
DWAYNE Totally. Absolutely.
SEAN So I’m gonna read the rule to you verbatim. And I want to get your knee-jerk reaction to the verbiage, and also if you could cue us in on how you would adapt your play style to the rule if this had been put in place while you were still balling out at The University of Miami.
Sean quickly reads the rule aloud.
DWYANE Honest to god. And I don’t think I am the first person with a football past to say this but I think I would have to hang up the pads. Guys are being penalized for what used to be a reward, a promotion, the pinnacle of the position.
Dwayne collects himself.
DWAYNE With all that being said, I understand and want nothing more than for the game to be as safe as possible for the post-career sake. You know?
DWAYNE But as archaic as it sounds a lot of what I’m seeing is no longer the sport I grew up playing and that sucks.
SEAN A few more rapid-fire football questions: Who’s the GOAT?
DWAYNE Tom Brady. No doubt. Five rings, cmon.
SEAN Favorite player growing up? DWAYNE ***(I imagine his answer would be Brian Bosworth)***
SEAN Last one – is there a player in the league today that reminds you, of yourself and your play style.
DWAYNE God, that’s tough because y’know unfortunately I never made it to the league. But a guy a have a ton of respect for, and just love the way he plays the game is Aaron Donald. Right in my backyard here in LA. The dude is a MANIAC on the defensive line.
The Scovilles are upped to 9,000. El Yucateco title sequence plays. Both Dwayne and Sean clean their wings.
SEAN Cleaning wings. I love it. Though if there was ever a guest who I knew would come in and clean wings to the bone I would’ve bet a years’ worth of rent it’d be you, Dwayne.
Smoke alarms start going off in Dwayne’s head.
DWAYNE WOOOOO! This is kicked up a notch… So did you say that people come in here and don’t eat the whole wing?!
SEAN That’s right.
Dwayne is genuinely shocked.
SEAN I’m not gonna get on them if they’re not trying to ruin their stomach lining for the foreseeable future. I can’t be telling Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman that they have to clean bones or otherwise we won’t plug their movies, you know?
Dwayne looks into camera 2.
DWAYNE But seriously, eat your fuckin wings, people.
SEAN So, Dwayne, you were famously a part of wrestling’s attitude era, and really, you were front and center alongside Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Triple H, and many more. My question to you is, did you guys know what you had was peak entertainment gold before you really hit your stride?
DWAYNE (*I really have no clue how he’d answer this*) Yes and no. When Vince and Jim first approached me, I was both ecstatic and skeptical, you know I had a big personality but so did all the other guys you mentioned so I wasn’t certain how we would gel. But once I got in a room with Steve, I knew there was magic there.
SEAN The Rock will go down in Wrestling lore forever but more importantly, his catchphrase -
- Both SEAN & DWAYNE “It doesn’t matter what your name is!”
SEAN (Laughing) Will live on forever in meme culture, so I’m gonna show you a few that have made their way through the internet and you can just tell me what you think. That sound good?
Sean shows Dwayne a slew of vines and other videos where the punchline is his famous catchphrase. Dwayne is amused by each one.
The Scovilles are upped to 15,600. Hot Ones’ own Fiery Chipotle Hot Sauce title sequence plays.
SEAN Dwayne, this is one of two Hot Ones’ own hot sauces in the gauntlet.
DWAYNE Oh, you guys make this yourselves?
SEAN I don’t make it there’s a team of people behind the scenes that make it. But if you like it, I’ll be happy to take credit on their behalf.
DWAYNE It’s excellent! Dwayne kisses his fingers like a chef.
DWAYNE Definitely, something I could see myself tossing on chicken breast to help choke it down easier.
SEAN I hear ya on that. Which segways nicely into my next question… Can you talk about “The Rock” training diet a little bit? Can you talk about what it’s like eating over 5,000 calories a day, sometimes training twice a day, all to maintain this larger than life physique?
DWAYNE Oh gosh, of course. Yeah first off, I don’t recommend it to anyone. Seriously anyone. Unless of course, your physique is comparable to mine but you know I keep my body conditioned this way partly because it helps me land roles and because I love fitness. I’ve been tossing around weights since I was in elementary school. And you have to eat big to be big.
SEAN Funny you mention not recommending trying to mimic your diet because seated before you is someone who attempted and failed “The Rock” diet.
DWAYNE Right! See!
SEAN A tapped out at around 3,000 calories, I think. And more trips to the bathroom than I had anticipated.
DWAYNE It’s no joke man. Eating has really become work for me.
SEAN What’s the meal prep situation looking like because all of my meals were just like a bed of rice and a piece of chicken or fish that could’ve easily been mistaken for a bicycle seat.
DWAYNE (Laughing hard) Well, fortunately for me, I learned very quickly that once you make it in show business, chefs start throwing themselves in line to cook for you. That hasn’t happened to you yet?!
SEAN Unless their emails are going directly to my junk folder, I cannot say I’ve been approached by anyone who wants to cook for me.
Dwayne motions to his entourage, off camera.
DWAYNE We need to get this man hooked up!
SEAN I’ll have my people talk to your people.
The Scovilles are upped to 18,000. Queen’s Majesty limited edition Hot Sauce title sequence plays.
SEAN Alright, Dwayne. We have a reoccurring segment on our show called Explain That Gram, where we do a deep dive on our guests Instagram and pull interesting pictures that need more context. And you’re actually one of the more prominent posters to Instagram compared to our guests of the past so this works out well. So what I’ll do is I’ll show you a picture and you give us the bigger story, does that sound good?
DWAYNE Let’s do it.
SEAN (Pointing his index finger in the air.) Laptop, please!
A laptop appears by Sean’s side thanks to a PA. Sean shows Dwayne his own Instagram post from June 29th, a picture of a black notebook and a globe.
SEAN So what’s going on with the notebook here at 2 AM, Dwayne? Will we ever know what lies within those pages or is that private?
DWAYNE Ahhhh, yes. That’ll mostly stay between me and people close to me who I trust can bring some of the ideas to fruition.
SEAN Is that what the 2 AM grind usually looks like?
DWAYNE Absolutely. It’s one of the few times I can get away from external distractions and let my brain dump out what has been festering at it.
Sean shows Dwayne his post from August 19th, Dwayne is standing in front of a squat rack with 315lbs on the bar.
SEAN What’s going on here? Is this a warm-up set?
DWAYNE (Chuckling) HAH! It used to be. I’m reworking my form, trying to maintain a strong base with my compound movements. And of course, never skipping leg day.
Dwayne looks directly into camera 2.
DWAYNE YouTube, you better NEVER skip leg day.
SEAN I imagine the bulk of our viewers will tune this segment out.
Sean shows Dwayne his post from April 19th, Dwayne is seated atop alligators back while grabbing the gator by the throat and jaw area, clamping the gator's mouth shut.
SEAN Okay…what is going on here?
DWAYNE (*I can’t make up an explanation for this, it’s too outrageous.*)
The Scovilles are upped to 21,000. Dirty Dicks Hot sauce title sequence plays.
DWAYNE Hmm. Dirtyyyy… Dirty Dicks.
SEAN Yeah, it was no holds barred when naming this one.
DWAYNE Oh god. This is the first genuinely bad sauce.
Dwayne (finally) reaches for his glass of water.
SEAN Is the water to combat the heat or the taste?
DWAYNE Taste, mostly.
SEAN So Dwayne, one of your very first IMDB credits, that didn’t have you starring as a variation of yourself is the CGI abomination known as The Scorpion King from 2001’s The Mummy Returns. Do you remember what it was like getting pitched to do that and do you remember your initial thoughts after seeing what “you” looked like on screen?
Dwayne’s character image is displayed on the screen.
DWAYNE I couldn’t jump on the role fast enough. The Mummy franchise was a huge property in the early 2000’s and I was honored when the casting director came to me and told me he wanted me to play Scorpion King.
SEAN I know it was a testament to the early 2000’s but how about the CGI?
DWAYNE Yeah, the CGI doesn’t really hold up today, does it?
Both Sean and Dwayne share a laugh
DWAYNE I mean for 2000 I was psyched when I saw the final product. I mean shooting that was unlike anything I had done before. You know up until then I was always used to using my entire body and my charisma on screen but all I really had to do for this was make some facial expressions. They did the rest on the backend.
SEAN The power of CGI.
DWAYNE It grows greater every day.
The Scovilless are upped to 100,000. Zombie Apocalypse Hot Sauce title sequence plays.
DWAYNE Oh shit. Now, this… this is spicy.
Dwayne reaches to wipe his eye with the back of his palm.
SEAN Careful. Careful around the eyes.
DWAYNE Right. Right. I can only imagine…
Hot Ones’ music intensifies.
DWAYNE Woooo Shit!
SEAN Now, Dwayne, I don’t know if you know this, but according to your Wikipedia, you hold the record for the most selfies taken in three minutes. And it happened on the red carpet during the premiere of San Andreas in London… Was there a conscious effort to set this record or is that a typical red carpet practice for Dwayne Johnson?
DWAYNE First, no I did not know I held this record. My plaque must’ve gotten lost in the mail. Second, I try to make red carpets truly enjoyable for the fans because, truthfully, they’re really the only ones there enjoying themselves.
Dwayne quickly justifies what he means.
DWAYNE Now don’t get me wrong I love red carpet events, they’re extravagant, and they’re a part of history for the project. But at the core of it, myself, as an actor, and most of the other people there are still working. You know you’ve got journalists, and photographers, not to mention, I still gotta sell you guys on this movie!
SEAN Totally get ya.
DWAYNE So yeah I try and make it as pleasurable, for those who are truly there for pleasure. But how about you? I imagine you get noticed or asked to take a selfie on the street?
SEAN (Humbly) Very rarely, Dwayne. Verrrrry rarely. It’s mostly dudes asking my how my butthole feels.
Dwayne laughs the hardest he has yet. (Even celebrities like butthole humor.) The Scovilles are upped to 135,600. Da Bomb, Beyond Insanity, Hot Sauce title sequence plays. Sean pants and exhales deeply.
DWAYNE Uh oh. What’s he doing?
Dwayne looks around the room as if someone is going to answer, then smiles. Each of them dives into their wings and each of them are visibly taken back by how hot it is. The bass intensifies. Both Dwayne and Sean have now both broken the seal on their glasses of milk.
SEAN No shame in hitting the milk, Dwayne.
DWAYNE Fuck me, this is hot. The sauce is yelling at me.
DWAYNE Like I said something about its mother.
SEAN So like all A-list celebrities, you’re no stranger to the tabloids and the TMZs of the world.
SEAN What’s the craziest headline you’ve ever read about yourself?
Both Sean and Dwayne are exhaling deeply and grasping for cooler pastures. Dwayne takes a big breath and begins his answer.
DWAYNE Damn, there have been a few… I think I saw one, one time that said I was getting a sex change.
SEAN Oh dear. How’d that go over with friends and family?
DWAYNE Well, my wife at the time, was the one that sent it to me, and she was all over those sort of stories. So she calls me up, screaming, like “IS IT TRUE?!” “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” And I’m like “What, what, hunny?” And she’s like “You’re getting a sex change!?” So, yeah I had to talk her off the ledge and let her know it was all bullshit – Fake news, I think they call it these days.
SEAN You can never be too careful. And what about TMZ? Any run-ins with them?
Dwayne retorts quickly.
DWAYNE (Smiling) They know not to fuck with me.
The Scovilles are nearly quadrupled. Blair’s Mega-Death Hot Sauce title sequence plays.
DWAYNE So how am I doing?
SEAN I mean, you’re eight wings in, you’ve only hit the milk once, there’s no visible sweat on your body, I’d say you’re doing well, Dwayne.
DWAYNE Good. Good… cause I feel like shit. My taste buds have been scorched.
SEAN Most of the damage done here isn’t permanent. I promise.
Dwayne takes a sip of his water before biting into the wing. Dwayne is battling the pain mightily and still trying to keep is charming demeanor.
DWAYNE (Coughing lightly) Mhmmm. Shit.
SEAN So Dwayne throughout your historic career you’ve gotten to work alongside some of the heaviest hitters in Hollywood. In 2017 alone you worked with on projects with, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, and not to mention the star-studded Fast and Furious cast. So my question to you is who was your favorite? Sean quickly admits he’s only joking.
SEAN My actual question is which one of these actors is most like the character they depicted on screen? And you don’t have to limit your options to what I listed. Anyone you’ve shared the medium with.
DWAYNE Wow. That’s a great question.
SEAN Thank you.
Dwayne leans back in his seat, looks up at the studio lights, and really begins to think.
DWAYNE My mind immediately wants to jump to Efron because he’s so god damn good looking but he’s nothing like his character in Baywatch.
Dwayne still pondering hard.
DWAYNE Maybe Jack Black? I mean in Jumanji it gets a little ridiculous because we’re playing characters, who are characters in other characters bodies, and Jack is of course also playing a woman in a man’s body. But I mean, off shooting and off-set he really sank his teeth into the role and ran with it. It’s safe to say he had the most fun while shooting and was really authentic on and off camera.
The Scovilles are now upped over 2,000,000+…Hot Ones’ The Last Dab, title sequence plays. Sean grabs the final bottle of hot sauce and begins shaking it vigorously. Sean sighs in preparation of what lies ahead.
SEAN Alright, Dwayne. So this is the Last Dab. We call it the Last Dab because it’s tradition around here to put a little dab on the last wing. You don’t HAVE to if you don’t WANT to.
DWAYNE Cmon! What do I look like?
SEAN I had a feeling you’d be up to it.
Sean dabs his wing with the hot sauce and passes the bottle to Dwayne who follows suit. Each of their dabs are about dime size.
SEAN Here we go.
DWAYNE (Smiling) Cheers.
The two toast their wings like champagne glasses and proceed to dive into the eternal realm of spice. Sean’s face is now smushed together despite this being like the fiftieth time he’s indulged in the sauce. It is as if each of his facial features moved one inch toward the center of his perfectly symmetrical, round head. Dwayne pounds his fist against the table a few times and lets out a bit of a roar.
DWAYNE Wooooooooo! Damn!
Dwayne begins exhaling incrementally and quickly as if to keep the heat off the interior of his mouth. Triumphant music begins to play, signifying the show coming to a close.
SEAN So Dwayne… you’ve starred in movies. You’ve headlined international wrestling events. You had a short stint playing professional football. I could truly go on for hours illustrating a resume like yours.
Sean is still visibly battling the heat.
SEAN You’re an inspiration to many, but at the core of it what or who inspires The Rock. What gets, Dwayne Johnson out of bed and into the weight room at 4 AM every day? How does a guy, who seemingly has it all continue to strive for greatness?
DWAYNE Wow, that was really beautiful, Sean.
SEAN (While burying his face in milk) Thanks, man.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present My Review of Destiny 3
submitted by renaldafeen to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]
Dateline: August 13, 2021
Against my better judgment, I'll put the TL;DR right up front here: TL;DR
: Now that Destiny is being designed by BUNGiE's actual game designers - i.e., gamers at heart - instead of being defined by their marketing and finance departments, they're shipping a game that we're never going to want to stop playing, and we'll be dragging every one of our friends and their friends into playing it, buying them consoles with our own EIP cards along the way, if necessary.
(Note: I've been reading this in SkillUp voice
, just for fun)
I had the rare opportunity to play about 5 hours on a pre-release version Destiny 3 this past week.
As the saying goes: This is my report.
Right up front, let me say that although it may have been obvious to a few, it came as a huge shock to me
to discover that the whole "MATTER" thing actually turned out to be this almost perfectly executed re-imagining of the Destiny universe, released a full YEAR sooner than anyone expected. Nice smoke screen. Well played, BUNGiE... well played, indeed! My hat is permanently off to Chris Barrett and his crew!
Let me now count the ways in which Destiny has improved since BUNGiE made the decision to abandon the collection of industry fads, behavioral marketing gimmicks and band-aid fixes they've been using to keep their internal bean counters happy for the past 4 years, and finally get back to making A GREAT GAME.
We can start pretty much anywhere, since almost every aspect of this new release is absolutely amazing. But let's start with the one thing everyone cares about:
All through the last two years of D2 you wanted a great Gnawing Hunger
, right? Right?? It's been a staple in the game forever now. But a good one can be hard to find. Loot grinding in Destiny is a story all its own. Some players love it, some are sick to death of it. Either way, the fact is that in the past, except for a rare few stretches (lookin' at you, Chalice of Opulence), getting a specific item has always been left to the sole discretion of The RNGenie. And even though you may have finally found and placed an item in your Collections, it's mostly there just to taunt you, because... "menemenemenemeneh.. random rolls", making the whole Collections thing utterly useless for all practical purposes.
Golden Age Blueprints
One of the most interesting, key features of this new release comes from the discovery of Golden Age Blueprints - [a discovery you'll be instrumental in revealing, although at great personal cost, during the campaign]
- which will replace your Collections in every way that matters.
In D3, once you have procured the required Golden Age Blueprint and stored it in that big filing cabinet in your apartment in the Tower, Banshee will now happily CRAFT as many randomly rolled copies of any weapon you like, as long as you have the 'print, the necessary Glimmer and materials. These are materials which are naturally finite in your consumables inventory, but which can literally be found in every alley, every hallway, every cave, on every rooftop, dropping from every third-ish downed enemy and from every junk item you decide to dismantle, in random amounts.
And while we're on the subject, if you think you've found all the materials sources out there in the world? Well, you haven't, because new ones are cropping up in weird and genuinely out-of-the-way locations with every reset. And one of those chests really DOES contain that jackpot of 5,000 of the same gizmos you've been burning through lately (because watching Banshee finally do Real Gunsmithing just happens to be your thing). Just remember that you're going to need that matching Key to unlock it when you find it.
Eh... one caveat though - as Asher used to say: try not to DIE
, because your Ghost is still recovering from the events that occurred during the Series Finale of D2. Among other things you'll discover as you go, this affects any planetary or crafting materials and other resources you may have on you when you're out there. If you haven't brought these things back to the Tower and put them in your Vault, or shipped them back using transmat and your ship's autopilot (aka Extraction
- a tactic that presents its own seriously thorny set of risks and challenges), anything acquired since your last deposit will ALL now simply evaporate when you're resurrected by your Ghost. Yes, dying out there in the world now actually has a tangible downside
. So... fair warning.
So... just more RNG then?
Of course you're wondering: Will the random roll on the crafted item you get, suck? Sure. Sometimes. And sometimes it'll be great. There's no longer any arbitrary weighting involved here, but The RNGenie must be appeased, after all. Life, even with Space Magic, is still frequently random.
The important bit here is that the odds may not always be in your favor, but they are no longer stacked so heavily against you. You no longer have to sit through the Umbral Decryption of 42 False Promises
es waiting for that one Falling Guillotine
to drop (so to speak), and hope that ONE CHANCE at a drop gave you a usable roll. Crafting gives players added control over the RPG / progression of their chosen character without the unbridled "joy" of making farming a real-life part-time job. And in the process this gives players new reasons to engage with the rest of the game's content.
How so? Well, instead of playing an endless numbers game, doing the same thing over and over and over, hoping for the drop you're looking for, while you CAN still do that
, you NOW also have the option to do a quest or side mission that ultimately gets you the Golden Age Blueprint you need or want (yes, you read that right - see below). Once procured, you add that 'print to your file, for the stuff needed to create the builds you're going to be using out in the world.
On top of that, whatever you get - whether it was crafted, looted from some chest, dropped by some boss, or gifted by a fellow fireteam member in a strike through the new sharing feature - can almost ALWAYS be made better...
Don't like the intrinsic perk or all the stats that helmet rolled with? No problem. Pick one attribute. Any one. If you have saved a better stat or perk from some previous weapon, and registered it by donating that weapon at Holliday's Enhancement Bench, stop by to have a chat and she'll do the replacement for you. And even though Zavala has artificially hamstrung her ability in this regard, in that he only allows for ONE stat or perk to be replaced on any item (this could change - there's a Tower petition circulating...), it means that if your drop has everything but 'X' needed to make it perfect, once you eventually find 'X' on some other item of the same type, even though that's going to take time and effort on your part (in some cases... a LOT), you're all set - just go see Amanda.
Weapons. Armor. Works the same. Want a MOD SLOT on that helmet instead of a top-level stat? Ask Holliday. Yes, Enhancement DOES have a Glimmer and Material cost, but she's got to pay the bills, right? And of course there are the Tower Taxes. And new sparrows aren't just transmatted by Fenchurch from some alternate reality, you know? The price is there to keep things reasonable, it's just not going to empty your consumables inventory unless you really want it to.
Bottom Line: Destiny is a looter, yes, but it's ALSO a legitimate RPG now, and you have a new level of agency that allows you to CRAFT your own loot as well as hunt for it in the wild the way we have in the past, and you can enhance your stuff based on other items you may have found.
b-b-b-b-b-But muh GRIND!!!
What? Worried about getting that "god roll" without the endless grind you've come to depend upon, to fill in for actual quality content? Worried you'll get that Carrot before you've experienced sufficient pain from the Stick? Well I'm happy to tell you that's just your Is/Ought
and Appeal to Tradition
conditioning from previous games, screaming in your ear: "but... but that's the way it's ALWAYS been!!1!!" It's a trap! Nothing in the world HAS to be "X" simply because it's labeled "Y". Bruce Jenner taught us that centuries ago.
If you're the addictive type who believes all video games must work like a slot machine in order to be "rewarding" - including the sort who thinks everyone else should be forced to play the way you do - hey, not to worry. You'll never be forced to craft a single item. Plus - BONUS!
- RNG is still a significant factor; it's just no longer THE ONLY factor. That said, you're just going to have to accept the reality that other people value their limited time. Furthermore, you're not my real dad, so kindly stop telling me how I should be forced to
play just because YOU have found a new dopamine trigger that puts you in your 'happy place'. Instead, be glad there's a slightly more deterministic OPTION in the hunt for better loot, because you're eventually going to need quality gear to succeed at the higher difficulty levels later.
That artificial "power level" number floating on your inventory screen? Yeah, that's not going to help you any more.
On to mods...
Want a scope that increases crit damage or stability? A mag that increases fire rate, reload speed, or which ACTUALLY significantly increases the standard mag size (i.e., not by just three rounds)? Better accuracy or increased damage from a grip or muzzle attachment? How about a bump-stock that turns that awesome Scout into a thrall-thrashing AR? There are several to choose from in every one of these categories. Plus some that work directly with your preferred Class in various ways, like a suppressor that causes melee-affected enemies to explode/AOE. Find the blueprint, craft the mod and it's unlocked forevermore.
Oh, and the price to apply a mod? 0 Glimmer - you already paid to create/unlock it. Wait, what? No annoying surcharge every time I switch scopes? No Masterworking bullshit? No. There was never anything "masterful" about Masterworking. Dumbest misuse of the term ever. No, your gear is fully customizable out of the box (so to speak). No more mindless grinding just to add a tiny extra bit of customization. Save the mindless grinding for what really matters (to you).
So how do I get these GA Blueprints for mods and other items?
Answer: you acquire these as random drops from various activities and also as Targeted Loot, e.g., side missions...
Sorry, forgot to mention - in addition to the main campaign story missions, we have AN ARRAY of side missions now. We used to call these "Adventures", but there are a lot more of them now and they no longer just drop -two tokens and a blue- 500 Glimmer and a blue when you're done with them. Think of these, I guess, as The Adventures That Actually Matter Now - TATAMN. Like CTATODL but, different.
Each side mission features a blueprint for a specific weapon, armor piece or mod. Want the +10 or +20 round mag? Simple. Go run that side mission, which is identified (if there is one - some of these are just random drops from P.E.s, Lost Sectors, etc.) on the new Blueprint File entry slot where the 'print will go, once acquired. Just remember... the side missions? Yeah, don't be misled - they're frequently as involved and difficult as the campaign story missions, since a lot of them are dedicated to actively experiencing the parts of the Destiny story that used to be buried in cryptic, incoherent walls of "lore" text that so many players actively ignored and/or didn't even know about.
A bunch of these side missions actually even require finding and traversing the correct path through The NEW Infinite Forest (recently resurrected from the DCV, apparently) in order to get to the historic event depicted in that mission. I personally love the ones where you [re-enact various past luminaries' experiences during the Battles of Twilight Gap and - even though I'm a die-hard Hunter main - Six Fronts]
. The use of D1's original music is amazing in those. You'll probably have your personal faves as well. Either way, knowing how a story ends may "feel" safe, just remember these are Vex Simulations of past events, and have the potential to end very differently from stories The Speaker used to tell to scare the children...
Beyond this, in addition to their full, D1-sized gear and weapon inventories, which are made incrementally available to you by furthering their respective goals over time, the NM, DO and FWC faction leaders seem to have an endless supply of blueprint-rewarding bounties tied to RE-running the side mission simulations at various difficulty levels - some for mods, some weapons, etc. They're not cheap, though, and they only get a new one once a week.
That said, every few weeks or so one of the factions will offer a highly sought-after blueprint in return for churning through a hefty set of tasks they need help with. This might require testing experimental weapons (some of which might just, eh, explode), trying new tactics using class skills, or collecting stuff like crates of Hive Thrall Claws (NO idea what Arach Jalaal does with these smelly things and, frankly, I don't WANT to know...). Details? You'll have to ask them - they keep that stuff pretty close to the vest and it's changing all the time. So far, however, all the ones I saw can be completed in PvE OR PvP, which is a nice change.
Seriously, isn't this more fun and rewarding than a Collection that's really just a useless, static checklist?
Same goes for mods on gear, BTW. And yes you can craft a new, randomly rolled instance of every single piece of armor in the game once you have the blueprint, as many as you have the materials for. Want yet another reason to go out and shoot stuff? No problem. Go hunt down more 'prints and collect more mats.
Worried about so-called "power creep"? Don't be. Because the RPG customization on weapons and gear is so expansive now, it's no longer necessary for the various arms manufacturers to churn out endless series of 30 or 40 re-skinned, slightly different "archetypes" of the same basic weapon class. And new stuff that's introduced doesn't necessarily render its predecessors obsolete - it simply gives you alternate choices for getting the job done.
Also, that new GH
blueprint you just got from Hideo at the last Faction Rally? The one that bumps max crit damage up by an additional 5% over previous specs? Yeah, one of the required elements needed to build using that 'print is an existing GH
. No more "sunsetting". Instead, you literally Trade Up. Or not. Your choice.
Ran out of stuff to do?
Ha, very funny. No, you didn't. Not only did we work our way up through FIVE levels of Open World Difficulty during the campaign getting our Guardian from lvl 1 to lvl 50, but once we reach "end game", we NOW have the ability to set our Open World Difficulty to one of FOUR different new difficulty settings - Normal, Hard, Challenging
- each of which has significant impact on the nature of the open world experience and the quality of loot that drops in that context. Every level of player from casual to hard core, kinderguardian to seasoned vet, now has a setting they can adjust to their taste. No more dumbing the ENTIRE game down to coddle the Lowest Common Denominator.
Also, there's no longer Gigabytes of content taking up space on your hard drive that you can't access, because every single campaign mission is not only replayable
, but has the same 4 difficulty options via a standalone selector, which changes up the nature of the mission itself as you graduate through the levels (i.e., no, we no longer just add a "Champion" that requires a special mod, and pretend that's a new version of the mission). Oh yeah, some missions also feature an added selectable level of difficulty: Legendary
. Bored? Run a Legendary
. Seriously. Still bored? Join up with a friend who's running in a Heroic
level open world when you're used to doing Normal
. It will wake you the eff up quick AND show you just how far you need to go in terms of enhancing your build and the quality of your gear. Conversely, grab a friend and help them get better gear.
You now have SIX to choose from (not just 3), each with a unique Super and an individually-tailored skill tree that's fully activated through XP and other means I didn't have time to investigate. Want to maximize effectiveness on ARs, Shotties and Sidearms? Reset your skill tree. Explosive damage? Ditto. Cost to reset? 10,000 Glimmer? 20,000? No. Zero. Could the skill trees be better? Absolutely. And they will be. Right now they're still inferior to what post-D1 should have been. But neither are they a dumbed-down collection of canned skill presets
that look like they were designed for pre-schoolers and Mark Noseworthy (sorry Mark). As more nodes are added in the future, and "meaningful choices" must be made in selecting which ones to activate - including new ones that actually change the way your Super behaves - they will eventually grow to become the sort of skill trees worthy of your status as a bona fide God-Killer.
Yeah, uhm... fair warning again: this is not your Dad's Destiny. In addition to seriously messing with your Ghost's feature set, the events leading to the finale of D2 had some pretty remarkable effects on the system's locals, as well as the new hordes that have been appearing from who-knows-where. They will flank you. At every opportunity. They'll try to surround you, use focused fire, and use cover to their advantage. Getting overwhelmed and want to retreat? They will chase you down. If outnumbered, they might retreat to find others of their kind nearby. Also, squads of them will just randomly appear pretty much anywhere in the open world and sometimes even right in the middle of a Crucible match, transporting crates of heavy ammo.
As difficulty level increases, the enemy A.I. will even anticipate your movements, heal themselves the same way you do and make use of some of the same high-tech gear you have. Also, every so often, elite "Dark Guardians" will come after you in pairs to steal your stuff, like a WWE Tag Team. No, they're not actual players despite how they behave. They're A.I. With functional "I".
Ultimately, you'll be glad that ALL ammo reserves have been bumped up considerably, and that you no longer see reserve ammo quietly disappear when you switch, say, from one sniper to another sniper... because you're gonna need it.
Please let all your former clanmates who are still off playing CP2077 know: the power-level grind is gone. New content as it appears might require a new build strategy, though, and possibly even stuff that you don't have (yet), because it's acquired as part of the most recent DLC campaign. So just keep that in mind. Power level? No longer a factor once you've completed the main campaign, because that's the only stretch where it was ever actually useful.
Covered. And you don't need to spend a (real) dime to get them (although you certainly can if you're so inclined - there's actually an entire mall filled with beautiful, useless junk you can spend real money on. Just remember: other players will see you using/wearing this stuff.).
Want to apply a specific shader to all your gear at once? There's a button for that. All your weapons? A button for that too. Oh, and did I mention that shaders are unlockables, not consumables? You're welcome. 9-position emote wheel? Done. And it works as easily on PC as it does with a console D-Pad. Also, ghost shells and sparrows can benefit from Amanda's Enhancement Bench in the same ways as weapons and gear.
How about PvP?
Well, for one, you'll be excited to hear that PvP is no longer the reason we can't have nice things.
There's "Quickplay" Crucible that randomly cycles through short stretches of SBMM and CBMM to create lobbies, so that the impact of one MM scheme never makes one pine for the other. Stomping or getting stomped? Just keep playing and things will change. Meanwhile, team composition has been normalized. No more solos playing 6 stacks, etc. Quickplay is where anything available in PvE is useable in PvP. Anything. No restrictions. No nerfs, buffs, tweaks or other "balance" nonsense. No more shrinking sniper rifle mag sizes in PvE because they're "O.P." in Crucible. It's basically a free-for-all. Like playing Mayhem? Well this is pretty close. Pretty much anything goes.
Also, the maps are MUCH larger now. It no longer feels like every match is crammed into a swiss cheese, with a sliding shotgunner waiting around every corner. Have fun, but don't forget to play the objective, because even though this is Quickplay, and it's pretty casual, a loss also erases any progress you've made during that match on that bounty you're trying to complete. Sorry. The good news is that those completed bounties may take longer to finish, but they're a LOT more valuable now, especially since you can now consume a portion of your Valor rank to upgrade them.
Then we have Competitive Crucible, which is primarily SBMM and if you want to rise through the competitive ranks, you make the commitment to keep playing and do just that. Did I mention... it's C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-V-E. That is, it's NOT REQUIRED. Just like the OPTIONAL matchmaking that we finally have for every activity in the game, including raids, IT'S OPTIONAL. It's actual Competition. Like when you CHOSE to go out for the basketball team. Or didn't. Not necessarily for everyone. Also, participation in this mode is NOT REQUIRED.
I'm told that the Competitive system only downshifts to CBMM if the concurrent player population there drops below a certain level. So as long as BUNGiE does their job and keeps the player population healthy, you'll usually be playing against Guardians at roughly your own level until your stats start to improve, at which point you're bumped up to the next tier and get to feel like a n00b again.
There are seals. There are emblems. There are titles, shaders, sparrows, armor ornaments, ghost shells, emotes, ghost projections, finishers, ships and various other geegaws that can ONLY be acquired as awards from Competitive Crucible now, but no weapons, gear or other "ritual" or "pinnacle" rewards other than stuff that can drop anywhere else in the game. Got gud? That's just friggin' Awesome. You get bragging rights and various cosmetic accoutrements that show you're A PvP God with Real Skillz™... as opposed to someone with a clever build (thanks to above-average RNG), an exotic hand cannon from a raid, or that filthy grenade launcher that you acquired by running 400 playlist strikes other players didn't have the time to complete because they have real jobs and real kids.
Level Playing Field, Evolved
Happily, in D3 the servers are now genuinely dedicated and the weapons and gear in Competitive Crucible are curated, just like Halo's were. Curated by whom? By the Guardians who play it, 'natch - specifically those whose Glory Rank has lifted them to voting status, which gives them a vote on what specific weapons and gear will be made available in the next Competitive round, democratically
. As far as weapons and gear go, when you enter the Competitive fray, you select from the same rack of lethal tools that everyone else in Competitive has access to for that match, as determined by the players who engage in it, based on the voting during the previous round of competition (typically lasting 6 weeks - the only vestige of "seasons" I could find in D3 and, interestingly, the ONLY context in which a "season" makes any sense). In D3, the difference between a competitive W or an L NOW comes down to one thing: your skill, not your RNG luck or the amount of free time you have to devote to farming that 'god roll' Uldren's Promise
Finally, I understand that cheaters, paid carries, recoveries, etc., that are legitimately identified in Competitive by BUNGiE are permanently banned and publicly outed at bungie.net. No exceptions. Just like any IRL Competitive Sport. Now our competitive online gaming athletes
can enjoy the same degree of accountability as their IRL counterparts. Nothing will ever completely eliminate determined cheaters but maybe, just maybe, these kinds of changes will finally put Destiny on the eSports map. Only time will tell.
There's so much more to discuss like the new raids and strikes, and the amazing artwork and music that has always been Destiny's hallmark... but the bottom line here is that it's simply unbelievable how much quality and depth was restored to this game once BUNGiE abandoned the "seasonal release" fad (that was aimed solely at steady revenue generation), moved to a streamlined, high-end, third-party, off-the-shelf game engine which they have apparently customized in a few key areas, and focused on creating a GOTY-quality product by returning to the large scale release model that made Halo and so many other games the iconic masterworks that we remember.
I can't wait to email my former clanmates the news.
p.s. oh, and that literal Army of Fucking Beavers
? Yeah. Those guys have apparently been retired since we moved back to the original, reconstructed Tower. I didn't run into a single one of them.
Okay, back to reality... yes, of course, this was a somewhat whimsical description of where I'd love to see Destiny go - a satire of sorts. I've held onto it figuring it'll probably be DV'd into oblivion for various reasons but figured... what the heck. Lengthy? You bet. But it should be obvious why this isn't a soundbiteable topic. That said, this is obviously all "IMHO". Gaming is a subjective thing and everyone's going to have their own preference.
There are PLENTY of other legitimate features that can be (and have been) implemented in a game like this. Except for the Crucible stuff (where I added my own SWAG take on how to improve it), almost every single one of the features and mechanics described above has ALREADY been implemented
in a game that currently exists, and which has millions of players. The current version of that game - also a sequel - was developed over the course of about three years, by a company roughly the size of BUNGiE, with comparable resources, and which is ALSO working on other projects. If you've played it, you already know the game I've been using as a model here, which shows it's more than feasible.
The last couple years have revealed (at least to me), that a GOTY-quality, open-world looteshooteMMORPG needs legitimate depth. Not "seasons" or season passes or any of the distractions, gimmicks and design restrictions that release model entails. That shit is fine for simple FPS/3PS shooters like Fortnite, Overwatch and PUBG. But paper-thin seasonal releases, repetitive power-level grinding, planned gear obsolescence, time-gated, drip-fed content ... these are the antithesis of the game Destiny was meant to be. NGL, it's been genuinely heartbreaking to watch the franchise regress from its peak in late 2016 / early 2017 to its present state. BUNGiE can do better.
Australian Open First Round Men's Singles (WTA First Round to follow)
The Australian Open directors are getting a lot of flack, and rightfully so. Running a tournament is incredibly time-consuming as you have to fix the draw, disrespect the players health, be willfully ignorant and not mention worldwide issues that are within miles of the location, and then there is all that scheduling. I am inclined to cut them some slack though, as very few things that draw complaint and ire are black and white. The Australian Open is a HUGE source of revenue for Melbourne, and aside from aussie rules football might be one of the largest events held in the calendar year. My first inkling given the air quality being reported (1 day outside the equivalent of smoking 20 packs of cigarettes was reported on the news in towns near the fire) was that the event was in real danger of being cancelled, and while it is irresponsible to allow players to compete if they are in danger, the directors are under tremendous financial pressure to make this event happen. We all will be keeping a close eye on the players ability to dig deep in these 3/5 matches, and given the physical toll the AO has already been known to take due to the heat I expect this to be a very gritty event. For the first time in a few years I don’t think there is a clear favorite to run away with the men’s or women’s title, and that spells hungry tennis from the guys who are in the hunt. In the men’s I think Nadal, Federer, Novak, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Khachanov, and Rublev will have a strangehold on the later rounds, with Berretini and Shapovalov being the darkhorse candidates. The women’s has Barty, Pliskova, Osaka, and a resurgent Serena (hasn’t played a top player but she improved at each event last year and there’s no reason to think she won’t be a bit calmer this year if she reaches the later stages of an event) looking to get busy on adding to their already impressive legacies, and I have to say Osaka showed a level of patience and ballstriking several times in her run at Brisbane that made her look almost unbeatable. Her backhand seems to have improved as well as she’s been able to hit sharper angles than usual which enables her to utilize the slightly unorthodox down the line pass that she hits. Fuck all that two weeks from now noise though. Let’s pick winners. I’ll be doing the WTA also and editing it in here (might make a second post if it doesn't fit due to character length), but I wanted to get this up early. Also character max (40k) doesn't let me post it all so the rest is going in the comments. submitted by blurryturtle to tennis [link] [comments]
Nadal Dellien : While he should win this comfortably, this is a big fu to Nadal to play this guy in the early rounds. I often think directors place guys who Federer and Nadal and Novak are very similar to against them in the early rounds, and while this benefits Federer playing guys like Kohl and Gojo and skill players who don’t take a big toll on the bones, Nadal gets the short end of the stick playing Schwartzman and other grinders seemingly nonstop. Dellien had a lot of bettors hearts hurting with his gutsy performance against Kwon last year at the USO, and he’ll extend rallies here as much as he can. Given his preference for clay, his court positioning isn’t going to be such that Nadal will have much pressure, but he (Nadal) will have to earn all his points. Nadal in 3 annoying sets.
Delbonis Sousa : Two good dudes. Delbonis is coming off qualifying in Adelaide before losing to hometown favorite Duckworth and Sousa is coming off a disappointing loss to Vasek Pospisil where he was literally hit off the court. That is something that for a journeyman like Sousa who prides himself on making matches physical is a tough one to take, and although generally he’d be favored over Delbonis, this one may be difficult for him since he doesn’t have a lot of matches or confidence. Delbonis has top level offense when he’s serving well, and his backhand is a cannon, but this is not his best surface and he is prone to throwing in 4-5 poor points in a row. Expect this to go 4 or more sets, with Sousa’s backhand errors and Delbonis’ serving issues deciding the outcome. I’d lean Sousa.
Eubanks Gojowczyk : Eubanks qualifying for the AO is a big step for him. He has a great serve and big swings but he struggles with his movement and consistency. Gojowczyk is the guy you’d hate to play doubles with until you randomly won the tournament. He will hit the ball awkwardly into the net over and over trying to make his shots perfect, but when he’s on he can take the raquet out of anyone’s hands like a poorman’s Martin Klizan. The errors won’t help him here, as his shots don’t have to perfect against Eubanks. Given Eubanks usual status as a WC entrant, his qualifying run has to lend itself to him having a pretty good chance to win some sets here, and his serving game and Gojo’s awkward returning mean this will likely be decided in tiebreakers. It’s hard to bet against the more experienced player in Gojo, but I could see either one taking this in 4-5 sets.
Kovalik Carreno Busta : Kovalik is one of the few players to actually come back on a protected ranking and lose for a year and then gain traction. You love to see it and Marcel-Stebe is another one who seemed destined to be off the tour and then kinda got things together eventually. Kovalik has funky offense and is a solid challenger threat on clay to anyone he plays. This is the wrong first round for him. Although PCB went down fairly quickly to Lloyd Harris this past week, he finished up last year in fairly decent form after a horrendous return from injury that saw Benoit Paire use him as target practice several times, and 15-40 become his usual starting point in his service games. PCB may drop a set but barring injury his defense and consistent pace of play should be too much for Kovalik. PCB in 4
Kyrgios Sonego : “What are you gonna do, go bet on Kajeerios?” said Miguel. My friends have not been wholly supportive of my decision to bet tennis fulltime, and have not been supportive of the proper pronunciation of any of these people’s names. Further still, they think that gambling and Nick Kyrgios go anywhere near each other. They don’t. As a -700 favorite against Lorenzo Sonego, there should be no way that Nick can lose this match. He has a solid backhand, the best serve on tour when he’s motivated, and a ton of skill. Unfortunately, ignorance is bliss, and Nick is wasting his best years not training and not competing because of nothing we can blame him for. Talented athletes come and go in sport, and their burden is to find the motivation when they likely have always just been able to “turn it up” when they wanted to win. In a sport where people train outrageously hard, Nick somehow finds himself in the same position. That ability to turn it up numbs the losses. “I don’t care about this,” is a fair statement and “I could win if I wanted to” is dangerous knowledge because it means you really only do win when you want to. “What do I really want” is too tricky a question for someone as superficial as Nick and so his mental struggles on the court will likely continue. I expect Sonego to steal a set here as he has a good bit of skill and is hungry to take the next step in his ascent, but really this is players at different stages of their career, and Nick should be ready to contend for a title now. Still, if a child doesn’t want to eat their broccoli no amount of promising them it’s good for them will work. Nick in 4 or Sonego in 4 noisy whiney bitchfit sets.
Cuevas Simon : Simon played well in his one match at the ATP cup but fell quickly to Chardy, who then seemed too tired to compete against PCB a round later. This doesn’t give me much confidence, and for the past two seasons it seems like Simon is able to beat everyone one week, then about as good as a pusher can be without winning for the rest. This is a winnable match for him given Cuevas’ struggles to find consistent form on hardcourt, and his defensive prowess being his best form. Cuevas has the offense, variety, and physical ability to make hardcourt matches close against most of the top 100, but doesn’t really string the wins together as he tends to experience surges in form within matches. It won’t be lost on either of these veterans that NK likely waits in the next round and he is willing to gift anyone a win at any time. The “this is his home event he won’t disrespect it” idea would make sense but to me that just adds to the looming frustration of a loss that sits in the back of his head as he decides whether or not to give his best effort. I gotta stop talking about this guy. No pick here and I expect Simon to come through.
Uchiyama Ymer : Mikael Ymer has been the hottest player not quite on the tour for the past two months. He’s won a ton of matches on the challenger circuit and played moderately well in the nextgen cup. Uchiyama flies under the radar but is exactly the player to stretch Ymer if he makes errors. The match will be on Ymer’s raquet but you have to think how often you have been seeing Uchiyama’s name in the draws at majors and how the pressure of being the “name” player will affect Ymer’s ability to perform. Still, this is giving too much credence to Ymer’s past as an inconsistent player. His athletic ability and serve should get him through this one. Ymer in 5.
Vilella Martinez Khachanov : I love Khachanov’s game but am consistently nervous when he plays qualifiers in the early rounds. He plays such a high intensity game that he seems to bring people up to his level, and Vilella Martinez who I’ll admit I’ve never seen play has been snagging people all week in the qualifiers that he was not expected to. Can he overcome a top 20 player in his first major on tour? Likely not, but I expect him to acquit himself nicely and possible even take a set if Khachanov is still finding problems in consistency on his forehand wing. Khachanov in 3-4.
Monfils Lu : I’m assuming Lu is in on a protected ranking or something as I haven’t seen him active on tour since giving Zverev a heart attack way back when. Monfils has been equally inactive but this is one of those “Monfils looked in great form in the 1st round” matches and given Pospisil and FAA in the next two rounds Monfils should be primed for a good run here at the AO. Monfils in 3 unless he really doesn’t make an effort.
Karlovic Pospisil : The fairy godmother returns! Karlovic serving looks like a fairy granting wishes with their magic wand. I hope he wins this, but he probably won’t. Pospisil is seemingly approaching the levels that people thought he would in the past before he struggles with back injuries, and I’m still not convinced of his potential to be anything other than another Dimitrov type overrated underperforming talent, but his ballstriking is solid enough here to win the few rallies they’ll get into. Pospisil in 4 tbs.
Duckworth Bedene : This seems like one of the cheapest games of the first round, with Bedene sitting at just -160. Duckworth played well and beat Delbonis this past week, but really hasn’t been in any real matches on tour besides playing Andy Murray in one of his earlier comebacks. I get that the guy is a hometown favorite but Bedene has been a consistent challenger winner and a tour 2nd and 3rd rounder for 5 years now, and I think his serve/forehand combo are enough to maintain control of this match. Bedene in 3-4.
Gulbis FAA : Rough one for Felix to start the tournament with. Gulbis is Nick Kyrgios travelled back in time to warn him to make an effort, but instead he noticed the tour hadn’t really progressed that far and just hopped into qualifying. Gulbis marching easily through qualifying is tough for any first round opponent since his height and power make him able to hold serve at the end of sets when the qualifiers offense is supposed to falter. FAA had a rough patch at the end of 2019 but got it together after the FAA cup and was hitting with excellent length in his loss against Rublev this week. With Rublev pegged as a future #1 by John McEnroe last year, this is a good sign that FAA should have a decent Australian Open. What we’re all expecting though is the dominant 3 set future #1 beating from FAA and I’m not sure if it will go that simply. FAA in 5 or fewer if he’s able to win the tiebreakers.
Fritz Griekspoor : I don’t even think given some of Fritz’ past performances that he should be favored in this matchup. Griekspoor has a big game, a great compact serve, and is in form on these courts after coming through qualifying. Fritz will need to come out early with solid serving in order to put some doubt in Talon’s mind. The “working your way into the match” pushing the backhand into play bs that Fritz falls into will have this one going 5 sets before he knows it and guess which player has been playing more tennis recently (it isn’t Fritz). Man I do not like the US strategy of awarding WCs nonstop to players who don’t win and I think it has poisoned Fritz and Tiafoe and a few others who have the game to compete but lack the killer instinct. Griekspoor in 4.
Ivashka Anderson : Unfortunate for Ivashka to pull a better version of himself. Ivashka boast a big serve and forehand and unlike many big men can play defense and hang in a rally. Anderson has been very inactive but is a better version of this. While his losses can be bizarre (Pella dispatching him in straights) he did fairly well at the ATP Cup against a hapless Christian Garin and should be a solid favorite to come through here. In the past I’ve been guilty of backing Ivashka against the questionable tour names like Monfils which is a fun sweat but hasn’t produced any dollars, so this time I will sit quietly. Anderson in 4-5.
Bolt ARV : If it’s tennis in Australia, Alexander Bolt seems to be up for the task. A consistent qualifier and performer in the early 250 events, Bolt is a high energy player with a big serve and a compact backhand. This is not a great matchup for him, as ARV was hit off the court by Tommy Paul but first beat Munar and Thompson, two guys who don’t make many errors and try to push the pace. ARV looked rock solid against both and didn’t make many errors. I do believe he brings a level of defense that will stifle Bolt’s offense, and him being lefty is going to negate some of Bolt’s advantages. ARV in 3-4.
Mannarino Thiem : I forgot about Thiem when I was writing the intro. His hardcourt game has progressed and in my opinion he’s the most skilled player on tour right now outside the big 3. “Mannarino is a tricky lefty” I’m tired of writing that. Mannarino doesn’t beat guys with power, and mostly pushes the ball onto the backhand wing, which is the wrong strategy against Thiem. Thiem in 3 and Mannarino falls down at least once from the weight of shot.
Medvedev Tiafoe : Great. Medvedev who works hard and plays consistent and doesn’t bail out of volleys and takes his losses quietly against an overrated dude with an enabling camp. I am so disappointed in Tiafoe’s lack of progress and his immediate willingness to fistpump anytime anything goes right. Is there still no one in his camp that will tell him that consistent level of play is what wins on tour, not shots. Look at Benoit Paire who is supremely talented and hits 30+ winners per match but always finds himself in deciding sets. Tiafoe has really no chance here, and it’s sad because had he spent his time earning his way on tour rather than being gifted it, he would be able to compete at this level already. He’s one of the best athletes on tour with one of the worst perspectives. Medvedev in 3.
Koepfer Martinez : Pedro Martinez qualifying on hardcourt is pretty damn impressive to me, and he has a guy who just spent a year doing some impressive qualifying. I’m glad Koepfer gets his first direct entry into a major, and he should have an advantage here, after his main struggle in majors being fatigue in early rounds after pushing to get through the qualifying. Martinez has the game to take a set here and Koepfer’s height means he has to play every point a bit harder than most guys, but he should have the consistency to muscle through, and his lefty offense is legit. Koepfer in 4-5.
Gaston Munar : Gaston is the French selection for the WC into this event, and he will go up against one of the more difficult defensive tests on the tour. Munar doesn’t give up much, and is constantly improving. Gaston is getting acclimated to the challenger tour and isn’t quite there yet, but this will be good experience for him and hopefully he’ll earn his way there in the future. Munar in 3.
Popyrin Tsonga : Popyrin was an early round terror for a lot of people in 2019. 2020 has been a middling but brief start for him but he seems to be in good form. Tsonga has played one event and was quickly dismissed by Kecmanovic. This means very little as Tsonga is prone to not giving his best effort at 250 level events, and really has excelled mostly on the indoor tour and any event located in France. Family life and the 2nd half of his career may have taken a toll on Tsonga’s commitment to fitness, and that makes this match a question mark. Tsonga has the offense to take this match over, and the experience plus name to have this be a mental battle for Popyrin if he gets close to the finish line. Impossible to predict this one, but it’s hard to see either player winning in straight sets. Tsonga in 4-5 if he’s fit and Popyrin in 4 if he’s fat.
Isner Monteiro : Monteiro’s impact has been absent on the hardcourt tour for a while now, and it was interesting to see him come through qualifying and beat Norrie before falling to Paire. The loss to Paire seems like one he’d want back but Paire played some of his best tennis ever last week in his finals run. Monteiro gets a bonus in this matchup as he’ll have an easier time holding serve than he would against the rest of the tour, but Isner had a good time in Adelaide and got his serve going for a few matches. Generally when he is in form, his matches include tiebreakers and tiebreakers against Isner are as exhausting to play as they are boring to watch. Isner not being able to hit his backhand into the court is about the same as NBA players not being able to sink a free throw. I know he’s a bigman and bigman tennis and fearhand and all the dumb excuses Tennis Channel makes for him, but get Gimelstob out of your box, fix your swing on the backhand wing, and try to be more than just a guy who ruins draws. Isner in 4. I’m not sure why I suddenly got angry at Isner at the end of that, but I’m not taking it back.
Tabilo Galan : It always amazes me when I see guys like Coric and Querrey playing first round that they allow qualifiers to play each other. To be fair, they usually play into a bad section of the draw, but the increased prize money makes it seem like an awesome shot for the guys who land in that section. Tabilo is a good player from Chile and none of you have seen him play. I also have not seen him play, but recent results playing close with Luke Saville and Marc Polmans, coupled with his win over Stakhovsky suggest he’s on the cusp of making the tour. Galan on the other hand is a year ahead of him, and did some very impressive qualifying last year. He has that niche factor of never being out of a match regardless of the score, and pushes the pace with his forehand and hits with range which can be difficult for some players to adjust to. His game reminds me a bit of Joao Sousa, and I lean towards his experience, but have no real way to suggest who will win this match.
Kecmanovic Seppi : After a disappointing injury led to his US Open exit, Kecmanovic has to be all kinds of fired up to get back into a major event. This kind of speculative thinking leads to a lot of poor wagers as people back guys in “comeback games” against their old teams or “revenge matches” after prior losses. Seppi is a very tricky opponent who is as accurate as he is calm. He doesn’t have the power to really hit through Kecmanovic’s defense but he has the experience to get deep in sets and his ease of pulling the trigger on what he considers the right shot regardless of the situation can make him dangerous once he gets there. Kecmanovic is likely going to be able to take advantage of Seppi’s spot serving with his movement and should wrap this one up in 4. Kecmanovic in 4.
Dzumhur Wawrinka : Dzumhur has looked good the past two weeks in the events he played on the challenger tour and in Qatar, but this is the perfect matchup for Wawrinka to begin his run. Wawrinka managed to be frontpage on the AO page after one of my associates texted me excited about taking a Wawrinka future at 50/1, which means to me he is in immediate peril. Stan has been improving every match he’s played since his return to the tour, and although it’s been a while, that just means he’s still trying to get back to the top of the tour. Dzumhur has to produce a great deal of variety to win on tour given his lack of physical dominance, and while his skill is brilliant, at times his errors and demeanor is as well. I don’t really see him winning a lot of baseline rallies, so this will likely come down to who is able to hold serve easier. That should be Stan, and I think he comes through here with at least one hiccough. Wawrinka in 4.
Goffin Chardy : I swear these guys have played each other like 10 times in the first round at majors, but Wimbledon and Roland Garros are the only spots they’ve met with a straight set victory going to Chardy on clay and Goffin on grass. Chardy looked bad last week against PCB after a decent win over countryman Simon, but he is a dangerous player in the first round of any event. He sometimes lacks the timing and with his very smooth oldschool game it’s important to minimize errors in today’s compact game. Goffin is in good form again after a lonnnnnnnng return from eye problems that started to look like he’d never get it together again. His serve can become ineffective at times and i’m hesitant to cite weather but I believe Goffin will have the easier time competing in the smoky heat of Melbourne. Still, it’s difficult to put out a guy who can play the kind of flawless offense that Jeremy can, so I’d expect Goffin in 4.
Herbert Norrie : This is a nice matchup of two guys on tour everyone expects to beat but nobody wants to play. Herbert is an upset threat in any 2/3 match and his variety/skill stemming from his years dominating doubles actually make him able to compete with a higher quality of opponent than his results would suggest. Norrie is somehow the opposite. His simple game and preference for the grind make him struggle with pretty much every opponent he plays. I really think the flat backhand/topspin forehand combination is a bad one as his opponents can choose which ball they’re better capable of defending when they’re on defense. Herbert unfortunately won’t be the underdog here, and that makes it somewhat more difficult to back him. Norrie plays a low-risk low-reward game, but in a 3/5 format the grind can often be rewarded when one player is looking to play a skilled game and the other guy is bunting the ball back to you and making british noises. I don’t think either player can run away with this one, but I hope Herbert does. Herbert in 5.
Sugita Benchetrit : A lotta qualifiers are going to be squinting at this spot in the draw thinking at what could have been. Sugita can win the matches you count him out of, and it’s easy to overlook his consistency on tour over time due to his lack of marquee wins. Benchetrit pulled upset after upset to come through qualifying and that form makes him about even money in my mind to win this one. Sugita is a challenger tour journeyman and is used to competing with these guys, but somehow these two haven’t met. The winner meets Rublev, so I’m not going to put too much thought into this one. Sugita in 4-5.
Rublev O’Connell : This is unfortunate for O’Connell to be playing the hottest player on tour right now. Rublev is also playing some good ball. I spent 2019 making fun of Rublev’s appearance, but I’ll spend 2020 backing him to win tennis matches. Back to back titles and McEnroe stating that he thought he was a future #1 about a year and a half ago have me starting to believe. In the past he’d cough up errors when pressed defensively, but he came up with the answer in the past week every time he was pressed, utilizing some skill that many had not seen before (a few onehanded slice passes and some beautiful two handed lobs). The second serve is a liability as he tends to just spin it in but until he plays a top-tier returner of Benoit freakin Paire he will do fine behind it as he’s one of the best baseliners on tour. O’Connell has been the most consistent player on the challenger tour in the past year and if you watch this match you’re going to hear about how he worked on a fishing boat and now it’s a feelgood story. He has a smooth onehanded backhand and just keeps hitting the court until people fold. The key to beating him has been absurd power and that’s where Rublev (barring fatigue or injury) will end his tournament. Rublev in 3.
Basilashvili Kwon : Kwon getting to play in the Kooyong exhibition matches was an interesting choice for a guy who is usually grinding it out. I actually like it because the more comfortable he is on court with the tour players the quicker he will ground himself. Kwon has a very nice game and really doesn’t miss off the backhand wing that much. He tends to get behind the baseline a bit given his speed and this is a problem against Basilashvili, who hits the ball past people sitting in the crowd. Basilashvili has been known to tie himself to a ball with string and just hit the ball to his next event destination for free airfare. I do not think there is a harder hitter on tour right now. With a middling ATP Cup, he’ll have trouble here with Kwon. Kwon moves the ball around and is a fake-test. If Basilashvili makes errors, he’ll lose this match. That’s fairly straightforward. With the momentum though it’ll be difficult for Kwon to serve this one out as he hits his spots nicely at times but doesn’t exactly get to 40-0 often. Someone in 5 and if Basilashvili comes through easily he’ll be in good shape to best Verdasco in the next round.
Verdasco Donskoy : Donskoy managed to get got in qualifying, and while normally Verdasco is a flight-risk from any match, he turned in a good effort in Doha and should be poised to win this one. Lucky loser entrants have a beautiful history of destroying higher ranked players, and Donskoy possesses a flat yet big offense, but I don’t think fresh Verdasco isn’t going to find a way to win 3/5 sets of tennis. Verdasco in 3-4.
Ruud Gerasimov : Casper Ruud is always a threat to become great. His game seems complete, and when he wins it looks like he’s the next big thing. I think his ceiling is either 40-50, or several years in the future, as this match has me thinking Gerasimov is going to win. A big server with a heap of wins over the past year, the fast courts of Melbourne are going to be decent for his chances here. This is a good spot in the draw with Zverev waiting and his early history in majors present in a players mind, and it’s difficult to gauge how effective Ruud’s game will be on a given day. Being the frontrunner in tennis honestly seems to be a hump for all these guys, and so I think this one will be tight. If Ruud wins in 3 I’ll back him against Zverev. If Gerasimov wins, I think he’ll cover a handicap against Zverev.
Zverev Cecchinato : Zverev has to be glad to get one of the tour’s most notable hardcourt strugglers in his first round. Cecchinato hits big but makes errors off of routine balls, and his frustrations are so well-known at this point that even TC announcers mention them. I don’t think he’ll be able to turn around his game against Zverev, and even though Zverev gives up at the slightest hint of adversity, he shouldn’t have much here. Zverev in 3-4. See you in South America, Marco.
Berretini Harris : This is the other Harris. A nice enough player, this WC will be seen on tour more in the future, but in this one he’ll just be seen playing defense. Defense, which, thus far, only the big 3 have really proved effective at against Berretini’s forehand. I’m excited to see how his backhand improves over the course of this year, as if it does he’ll become a threat to win majors.
Sandgren Trungelliti : This is a strange matchup with Sandgren really not making the best effort in some matches and losing, and also making a great effort in some matches and not being rewarded with the W against some lesser players. Trungelliti isn’t likely to give this one away, and I have to say that although Sandgren steps it up in majors, he is at risk here. He’s fat(for professional tennis). It’s hot. Trungelliti in 4.
RCB Berankis : This is an interesting match no one will watch. I won’t watch it either. Maybe this match is not interesting. RCB and Berankis should be out there for hours, and although I’ve seen Ricardas look dominant from the baseline, RCB doesn’t really go away. Someone in 5.
Querrey Coric : These two have had similar stories, with big successes being followed up by somewhat disappointing years. Querrey struggles to find the court in rallies and gets outworked when he’s not thumping aces, and Coric attempts to outwork his opponents but can’t stop hitting the tape long enough to do so. This is a rough first round for both of them as their opponent tests their weaknesses. Querrey is likely the player in better form right now, as he played moderate decent in Adelaide before getting dismissed by Rublev. If this is on an outer court Coric has a better chance as serving is generally more difficult and conditions are more windy. I’m already cringing thinking about Berankis somehow beating RCB and then Coric, but I’m not going to pick Coric here until he displays the form he did in 2017. Querrey in 4-5.
Pella Smith : Pella just shouldn’t lose this match. Smith is another of a good crop of Aussie tennis players, but I don’t think he would have come through qualifying and I don’t think he’ll hit through Pella’s defenses. Pella is coming off good practice competing in the ATP cup, and should wrap this one up in 3.
Safwat Barrere : Safwat won the last few rounds of qualifying as and underdog, and now gets rewarded by playing the king of 2019 qualifying. Barrere moves the ball around beautifully, and like other french players the score does not affect the shot selection which is great to see. His strength is holding serve, and it should be his edge in this matchup. Safwat scares me because he’s one of the players in the draw I actually haven’t watched a lot, but this is a matchup of a challenger threat vs a tour threat and I think Barrere will solidify his place on tour with a win here. Barrere in 4-5.
Thompson Bublik : Thompson plays tennis like he really wants to be on tour. Bublik plays tennis like he really wants to embarrass the tour. This is another good matchup of conflicting styles as Thompson will take every single point you give away and Bublik will constantly make his opponent uncomfortable. Bublik’s T serve is brilliant and his game at net continues to improve. He’ll definitely frustrate Thompson who in the past has had trouble finding the pass against serve and volleyers, and although he hasn’t been that active recently, Bublik’s top gear is better than Thompson’s. It’s difficult to find that top gear for a full match to I expect this one to go back and forth a bit. Bublik in 5.
Opelka Fognini : Fognini is likely to take this one well. Opelka is the perfect storm of physical ability and flailing. Fognini doesn’t want a single hair out of place and won’t swing at a ball unless it’s a testament to skill and beauty. Fognini has shown in 2019 that he is not done winning on tour, and although he is prone to mope at any moment, he has competed well. Opelka seems to show improvement in the rally but still coughs up the errors. I don’t think Fognini will find 3 full sets of breaks of serve here, and Opelka might by virtue of Fognini feeling the pressure and also Fognini feeling the anguish of possibly losing to a flailer. Opelka in 4-5 tiebreakers.
Shapovalov Fucsovics : Marton can’t catch a break. A former junior standout, Fucsovics works harder on his fitness than most teenagers work on their snapchat streaks. His reward is often playing the best players on tour and competing hard in a loss. A year ago Fucsovics was not quite as good. A year ago though Shapov (name’s too long that’s all you get) would have been error prone enough to lose this match outright. I saw great things from him in his ATP Cup matches, and he looks a bit physically stronger this year which is a bonus because bless his heart he has puppy dog brains. Fucs (i’m running out of gas) is prone to getting slicehappy on his backhand, and that complacency works right into Shap’s (even more lazy) gameplan as he hits most of his forehands crosscourt and works best starting point from there. Sha in 4.
Sinner Purcell : This one is interesting as Sinner will be looking to nab some tour names this year, but Purcell is not one of those names, yet is a quality player. The hopeful in me wants Purcell to compete here, but I don’t think Sinner is actually an overhyped talent. He hits very big, applies constant pressure, and although there are similarities to the Zverev that lost match point to Nadal, Sinner has no real serving issues. Sinner in 3-4.
Mayer Paul : Tommy Paul had the best beginning to this season for unproven commodities, not only winning a few matches but also being predicted to do so by the books. He’s serving well, hitting with great pace, and is a pretty solid athlete which make him a threat when he keeps the ball on the court. Mayer is supposedly a clay specialist, but his hardcourt game is solid and he hits and serves big. I expect this to be a high level match but having seen some recent struggle from Mayer against guys playing a slight cut below Paul (Monteiro/Cecchinato), I actually expect Mayer to lose here. Paul in 4-5.
Londero Dimitrov : Good. I always hope for Dimitrov to get it together and here is an opponent that will force him to. Dimitrov is the better player and has more talent, but Londero wants to win. He’ll push the pace and he has legitimate offense that will force Dimitrov to play defense and hopefully keep the ball on the court. Londero isn’t really best on hardcourt by a longshot but he has proven that he’s willing to improve and compete, and that’s big against an idiot parade like Dimitrov. Dimitrov in 4-5.
Hurkacz Novak : This is pretty unfortunate for Novak who has been in great form this January. Hurkacz has been in finer form, and while Novak is a hardnose opponent unlikely to give up, Hurkacz has the bigger weapons and should be able to have an edge in this one. Still, given Novak’s form I doubt it will be straight sets. Hurkacz in 4.
Milman Umbert : This is an interesting matchup given Humbert’s title run, and Milman’s relatively good form against Paire who played lights out tennis. Milman has one shot, and it’s his forehand crosscourt. Humbert’s backhand isn’t the pinnacle of consistency, and his backhand let him down against Ymer in the nextgen cup so it could happen again. Milman will make this match physical, and while Humbert is capable of playing crisp enough offense to take the raquet out of his opponents hands, it’s in his best interest to do so here, as Milman will have a tremendous amount of home support out on Court 3. A stadium crowd is one thing, but a smaller stage can get raucous and frustrating, and Humbert’s main risk is momentum. Still, I think he’s at a point where this will likely be a gutsy performance from Milman and an Humbert win. Humbert in 4-5.
Halys Krajinovic : I’ve never watched Halys play tennis, and it’s important to note that in case anyone thinks I know what I’m talking about. I want to say that Kraj has this in the bag since he is a rocksolid tour player, but he’s tossed in some terrible performances. Probably Krajinovic in 3, or Halys in 5.
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