ATP Tennis 2019 February 25

You can only laugh. I have a 6–4 day on February 19th. I have gone 3 and 14 in my 17 picks since. That is incredibly bad. Flipping a coin would be miles better. 3 and 14. That’s a week from hell.

Some serious weather issues have delayed the podcast and the weekly tournaments preview for BTB.

They should be out Monday night. Hopefully. The only tournament with significant ‘names’ playing on Monday is Dubai, so no real worries there.

Acapulco

Ryan Harrison now has four wins in 2019, after completing qualifying here in Acapulco. The highest ranked win was Jiri Vesely at #90. This lack of success actually dates back to last summer. Since July of 2018 the only guy in the top 90 that Harrison has beat was Filip Krajinovic in Winston-Salem. Harrison’s first trip to Acapulco in 2015 resulted in a semi-final run, the last four years though, have been abysmal. 
Wawrinka is such an enigma in these smaller tournaments. He’s actually, low key, a lot like Fognini. Go out early or make a run to the finals. Sofia and Rotterdam would be great examples of that dichotomy in 2019. Stan doesn’t have any kind of statistical advantage on hard courts, in hold/break numbers, over Harrison; they are actually pretty similar. The difference, of course, is that Wawrinka routinely outplays his numbers — he has a 0.636 career winning percentage. Wawrinka usually plays Dubai (title in 2016) so, a move back to Acapulco is an interesting move. His form would seem fine, considering he went to the finals in Rotterdam a week ago. And he should be rested and adjusted, having had a full week to get to Mexico and get settled. 
Now, Wawrinka does have seven wins in 2019 but FOUR of them have been by a 64,76 scoreline. Dude plays a lot of tiebreaks. I doubt Wawrinka is going deep this week but I’ll take him in a parlay to win today.

Johnson is -800. I see no reason, based on form, that he should be -800. Conversely, no one knows the local Mexican he is playing, so Johnson could conceivably be -3000. Total stay away. The o/u is 20.5. I could see an under being a better bet than Johnson on the handicap if you have to bet this.

Gaio came through qualifying here in Acapulco and they were his first two wins of 2019. He was…. wait for it, 0–6 coming into Acapulco. His two qualifying wins came over qualifying alternates — two guys who weren’t even in the draw but gained entry, from the doubles listings, because of a lack of players. I’m not sure Gaio is a tour level hard court player or even a Challenger level hard court player. Gaio is running at 0.256 on hard courts on the Challenger Tour. That’s gross. 
Gojo hasn’t had the greatest start to the season but he is at least playing all his matches against top 100 guys. He has been in Acapulco since Friday, because he participated in the doubles qualifying draw (his pairing won both matches and he is now in the doubles main draw with Kevin Krawietz). So, Gojo should be acclimatized to the Mexican venue. Additionally, Gojowczyk was here last year and won a match so he should be comfortable on Monday. I’ll take him on -3.5.

I bet against Granollers in qualifying and he put the hammer down on GGL in the third set. And he made it through qualifying based more on his return game — his serve was landing at less than 60% in both qualifying matches but he generated a massive amount of break points in both matches. He converted 4/11 against Krawietz and 4/8 against GGL. 
I would like to fade Granollers again but Millman hasn’t had the greatest 2019 and he is facing some amazing travel. Davis Cup in Australia, week off, New York, Florida, over to Mexico. That’s almost complete navigation of the globe, east to west in four weeks. Of course he lost both his matches in New York and Delray Beach. Millman has massive hold/break advantages over Granollers and I make this line closer to about -500. So, I’m a little gun-shy here and will avoid this match.

The Tiafoe Curse continues. Amazingly. I picked Tiafoe to back up his only title on tour in Delray Beach and he went out in the first round. He should roll over Jordan Thompson but, I’ll happily pretend this match is not happening.

Sao Paulo

Hmm. How is RCB a dog here? Marterer is a career .414 clay player, he doesn’t win tiebreaks and after attending all three Golden Swing events he is rocking an 89% hold/break number. RCB is a motivated guy, looking to replace points from a dropped Quito title from last year. He has a had a middling return on results during this Golden Swing but he is putting in good work — his hold/break number is 108%. That is a dramatic difference. RCB’s losses so far on this Golden Swing were to Delbonis in Cordoba, who went to the semi-final, Cecchinato in Buenes Aires, who won the event, and to Hugo Dellien in Rio, maybe, along with Londero in Cordoba, one of the great underdog runs of this years Swing. RCB should win here and I’ll gladly take dog money.

Rest is basically neutral across the board in Sao Paulo — you’ve probably played all three weeks of the South American trip. If a player skipped one week it is usually due to a low ranking preventing qualifying entry or injury. So, Trung is “rested” compared to Taro? Taro is a far better player, on the face of it than Trung. Trung lost both his matches in Cordoba and Buenes Aires…and they weren’t close. Unfortunately, Taro hasn't looked much better. He got trucked 1 and 0 in Buenes Aires and Djere thumped him almost as bad in Rio. Taro Daniel “should” win this but, I’ll avoid it based on terrible form from both guys.

Delbonis is better across the board, statistically, than Sonego. All three years of hold/break stats lay in Delbonis’ favor. The Argentine has a better career record on clay and had a better 2018. Delbonis also seems in good form — he ran to the semi-finals in Cordoba, losing to eventual champ Londero and then lost tough three-setters to up and coming Jaume Munar and ARV. Sonego has also run into ARV and Londero at the same two tournaments as Delbonis. So, there isn’t much to choose from when it comes to comparing form. I will lean to Delbonis here based on his ability to break serve at a much higher level, which is the consistent trademark of Golden Swing winners.

Gojowczyk -3.5, -138
RCB ml, +110
Wawrinka/Delbonis ml, +104

Good luck