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Federico Delbonis to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas at +110 at Caesars Sportsbook
Lloyd Harris to beat Soon-woo Kwon 2-0 at +150 at Caesars Sportsbook
Dan Evans to win the Sydney Classic at +650 at FanDuel
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To be honest, I’ve struggled to find an underdog to be confident about in Tuesday’s first-round matches but I’m going to go with Delbonis at the Sydney Classic.
The Argentine is only a slight outsider here – he’s available to back at +110 – but that’s piquing the interest.
Both men have been in Sydney over the past couple of weeks so will be very much used to conditions.
However, Delbonis certainly has the advantage in terms of match preparation. He played three singles rubbers, winning two, during last week’s ATP Cup team event.
Ramos-Vinolas was part of the Spanish side which finished runners-up but his role was limited to two doubles matches, both of which were lost.
Essentially, he’s playing catch-up in terms of singles, and facing Delbonis in his first such match of 2022 isn’t ideal.
The pair have met regularly in the past – 12 times in fact, with Delbonis leading 8-4. He has won each of the last four in straight sets.
The kicker is that all of those matches took place on clay, the favored surface of both players.
Neither man will be truly at home on the Greenest hardcourts of Sydney but Delbonis has shown he can produce a performance on a faster surface before and that strong head-to-head record sees him get the nod.
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There’s little doubt in my mind that Harris is the better outdoor hardcourt player here.
He was a US Open quarter-finalist towards the end of last season, whereas Kwon went 2-9 on outdoor hard in 2021 with both of his wins coming against players ranked outside the top 100.
In quick conditions, Harris should thrive, using his big serve to trouble the Korean, whose limited reach could leave him in trouble on return.
The fly in the ointment is we’re not entirely sure what Harris’ physical state is.
While Kwon made round two of the first Adelaide International event before suffering a disappointing 6-3 6-2 to Mikael Ymer, Harris withdrew from his opening tournament.
That’s probably the reason why he’s not shorter than -163 to win this match.
With Kwon’s ability in these conditions questionable – his last win against a top-50 player on outdoor hardcourt was before the COVID pandemic halted tennis in early 2020 – I’m prepared to take the risk on board and back Harris to win in straight sets at +150.
Six of Kwon’s nine outdoor-hard losses last season came in straight sets and another here would be no surprise if Harris is on his game.
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The top four seeds in both Sydney and Adelaide get first-round byes this week but which of them could be vulnerable in round two?
The top candidate looks to be Reilly Opelka, who could meet local boy Jordan Thompson in Sydney.
The wild-card won the pair’s only previous meeting and has a decent record against some other big servers.
Thompson is a former quarter-finalist here, while he also made the last eight in Melbourne in the equivalent week of last season.
He’s sure to go off at a decent price if they do meet and will certainly be worth considering as a decent underdog.
Dan Evans was in excellent form at the last week’s ATP Cup, winning all three singles rubbers in straight sets.
Opponents included John Isner and Denis Shapovalov and there are few of that quality involved in the Sydney Classic this week.
Indeed, only two players in the field are ranked higher than Evans – Aslan Karatsev, who is playing for the first time in 2022 after recent COVID infection, and Nikoloz Basilashvili, who was all at sea at the ATP Cup, losing heavily before quitting his second match with breathing difficulties.
At +650, Evans looks a good wager this week.
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|ATP Adelaide & Sydney Information|
|What||ATP Adelaide International 1 and ATP Sydney Tennis Classic|
|Location||Adelaide, Australia; Sydney, Australia|
|Time||Monday January 10 to Saturday January 15|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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