I finally got saved by a retirement. Now 1-9 on the season. Thank you John Millman, it’s about time. With a 2-1 day, I’m now 9-3 in the since Sunday. That feels nice. Klizan was the first bad call in those twelve matches. He never even showed up.
Zverev and Pella live. And they both look good. We’ll see how RBA looks on Thursday but, if he looks anything like he did in Monte Carlo (albeit against Rafa) then a feet-up-on-the-desk final between Zverev and Pella is in the cards.
I’m on Pella for the week but, I can’t advocate backing him in anyway today. Destroying Mischa doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things, as he’s been terrible in 2019. This line looks too high considering Taro’s proficiency on the surface. European clay 250’s are where Taro comes to play - quarterfinal in Marrakech, quarterfinal in Kitzbuhel, quarterfinal in Gstaad, title in Istanbul. The only blemish on his record in this regard was in Umag when Taro played…. wait for it…. Guido Pella. Now, it was a three setter where Pella won 13 games to Taro’s 12. This is a pass and a hope that Taro doesn’t show up.
It’s a gross slate today with a ton of oddly lined large favroites. RBA is one of those. He tends to beat who he is supposed to beat and tends to lose to the big boys (recent wins over Djokovic notwithstanding). On clay, he was crushed by Nadal last week, in Gstaad he made the final before being routined by Berrettini. He lost to Djoker, Goffin twice and Kohl twice. Conversely, he usually handles guys like Molleker fairly well - hot prospect or not. -4.5 does seem like a big line though. I suspect RBA wins but, I’m not sure he covers and I don’t do well backing dogs on the plus games, so it’s a pass.
Kudla and Berrettini have, amazingly, played four times in the last 18 months and Kudla has won three of them. Now, each win was in a tight three sets. And they were all on hard courts. This match is on Berrettini’s turf. Kudla is a below average clay player and I think Berrettini keeps his streak going. I’ll take Berrettini on the big spread.
If someone had said Kohl would be a favorite over Khachanov, on any surface, last year after Paris, man, they would have been laughed out of the room. Not only is Kohl a favorite, he continues to take money. Kohl was up to -188 when I went to hit publish. This has to be purely based on form. And maybe a little on the head-to-head. Their clay court stats are far too close for comfort and Khachanov is on a four match losing streak that contains some very odd results. I’ll not be surprised if this goes over the total considering both matches Kohl won went three sets and contained multiple coin flips. This is a pass for me.
Goffin is on the blacklist for a spell. And Sousa doesn’t have the stats to support a bet. Maybe the home town boy drops a close first set and he is available at like +300 or more, it might be worth a tickle. In Goffin’s current form it wouldn’t surprise me if he went down.
Malek Jaziri was 2-7 on clay coming into this tournament. He had beat Guido Andreozzi and Carlos Berlocq. On Monday he beat a very up and down Nic Jarry. These are not overly impressive wins. HIs 2018 hold/break stats are largely distorted by one amazing tournament in Istanbul when he ran through to the final. Leo is a much superior player and he hasn’t played four weeks in a row like Jaziri. I’ll take Mayer.
Tiafoe. Hmmm. Playing a dude who can’t win a match. Here’s my take: one of these dudes won’t show up. Take the under.
Cuevas is in solid form. A loss in Budapest to eventual champ Berrettini and a tired loss in qualies to Caruso which he immediately rectify, empathetically. And Cuevas has been gifted a Fognini withdrawl. Cuevas and Baldi are in completely different classes as players and I think Cuevas rolls.
Berrettini -4.5, +100
Mayer/Cuevas ml, -150
Tiafoe/Nishioka u22.5, -125