Pablo Cuevas to beat Miomir Kecmanovic at +104 at William Hill
Tie-break in Pablo Cuevas vs Miomir Kecmanovic at +170 at BetRivers
Gianluca Mager to beat Lorenzo Musetti at +140 at BetMGM
Aljaz Bedene to win the Emilia-Romagna Open at +2700 at BetRivers
|ATP Belgrade and Parma Information|
|What||ATP Belgrade Open and ATP Emilia-Romagna Open|
|Location||Belgrade, Serbia; Parma, Italy|
|Time||Sunday, May 23 to Saturday, May 29|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
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Following a tough few weeks, Cuevas showed what he’s capable of on clay in Geneva last week with a run to the semi-finals.
Having come through qualifying, Rome semi-finalist Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov were among his victims before defeating to Denis Shapovalov.
That will have given him a much-needed confidence boost and he’ll doubtless be looking to continue in the same vein in Belgrade where I’m not sure he should be the outsider against Kecmanovic on Monday.
The Serb has gone just 2-4 on clay since the tour hit Europe and I suspect he’s still working on plenty of new things in his game after hiring David Nalbandian as part of his coaching team earlier in the year.
Meanwhile, David Nalbandian has joined Miomir Kecmanovic’s team. Kecmanovic is playing in Cordoba. (via IG) pic.twitter.com/n5IA8x2fgX
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) February 20, 2021
Things clearly haven’t gelled completed yet and the wily Cuevas, playing on his favorite surface, looks capable of adding another loss to Kecmanovic’s record.
As the odds suggest, it could well be tight though and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see a tie-break in the contest.
More men have decent serves that can still dominate on this slow surface.
Three of Kecmanovic’s last five matches have seen at least one set go the full 13 games.
Cuevas played a breaker in two of his for main-draw matches in Geneva where his serve was in good working order – he lost his own delivery just once in his first three matches, winning over 80% of first-serve points in those matches and north of 50% of second-serve points.
While the higher altitude there would have helped, he’s a man who has long played plenty of breakers – he’s currently on a run which have seen a tie-break in six of his last 17 matches. The odds on a breaker here are +170.
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Mager delivered this column a tasty profit in Rome recently and he looks overpriced again for this Parma first-round contest, which will take place on Tuesday.
He beat Alex de Minaur on that occasion and has also defeated Alex Popyrin, Laslo Djere and Salvatore Caruso – all decent clay sorts – in recent weeks.
A first main draw win at Masters 1000 level for Gianluca Mager! ?
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 10, 2021
Mager made the quarter-finals in Belgrade and, prior to that, a Challenger final in Marbella.
Musetti is a highly-talented youngster – and he showed that at times in Lyon last week with his run to the last four.
However, he felt apart in the end against Stefanos Tsitsipas and I wonder if the manner of that defeat will have left something of a scar.
Even though the organizers have given the home hope an extra day to recover, he’s still got a quick turnaround and he’ll have had plenty of his time taken up by media duties with him being a big local hope at this event.
Going under the radar somewhat, Mager is a tempting +140 shot.
Last week’s Futures double came in at +1118 as both Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas won in Geneva and Lyon respectively.
This week it’s worth taking a chance on Aljaz Bedene in Parma.
The Slovenian caught the eye with a quarter-final run in Lyon last week, while he also played well against the red-hot Aslan Karatsev in Belgrade in a few weeks ago.
His serving numbers were impressive last week and if he continues in that vein here, he can go far.
With Lorenzo Sonego and Lorenzo Musetti in the top half of the draw and the other favorite Albert Ramos-Vinolas having missed the last couple of weeks due to injury, Bedene looks decent an each-way wager at +2700.
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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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