Marco Cecchinato to beat Dominic Thiem at +175 at Caesars Sportsbook
Ricardas Berankis to win the first set vs Federico Delbonis at +200 at DraftKings
Ilya Ivashka to beat Marcos Giron 2-0 at +135 at BetMGM
Casper Ruud to win the Geneva Open at +250 at Caesars Sportsbook
This pair famously met in the French Open semi-finals of 2018 and it seems rather odd they should be facing off in the first round of a 250-level event the week before they return to Roland Garros.
Both have hit hard times and it’s now five straight defeats since Thiem returned to action after almost a year out with a wrist injury. This doesn’t look like an easy opener in Geneva.
Cecchinato came through qualifying so is in tune with conditions which will be considerably faster than those in Rome last week – they play at a notable altitude in Switzerland, while hotter temperatures are also forecast.
The Italian lost just nine games in beating Pablo Cuevas and Julian Lenz over the weekend to end a nasty losing run and he’s got a shot at a decent price in this clash.
Thiem is clearly still short on confidence right now and looks worth opposing.
Of the big-priced underdogs, I’m tempted by Berankis.
Delbonis struggled against Pablo Carreno Busta in Rome last week, suggesting there may be underlying issues – he’s also suffered pretty heavy losses to Marton Fucsovics and Dan Evans in recent weeks, neither of whom are particularly strong on clay.
Berankis isn’t a clay court either but he did show some improvement on the surface last season, reaching the third round at Roland Garros.
The slicker conditions of Geneva should suit him more than his opponent.
The elephant in the room is the fact that this will be the Lithuanian’s first match since late March which clearly has the potential for problems.
With this in mind, rather than back him to win the match at +250, I’m going to take a punt on him winning the first set at +200 as it’s not hard to see him fading if this goes long, which clay court matches certainly can do.
Ivashka is another player who should like the faster conditions and while clay isn’t his preferred surface, his strong serve should prove tough to break in Geneva.
He may not have had great results of late but he’s had some tough draws and has put up good fights against strong opponents in defeat.
He’s taken sets off Stefanos Tsitsipas, Lorenzo Musetti and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in recent weeks.
Now, given more welcoming conditions and a weaker opponent, the Belarusian looks worthy of support.
Giron did claim a surprise win over Diego Schwartzman in Rome but the fact he was playing as a lucky loser is a nod to his poor recent form – prior to the Rome main draw, he’d gone 1-6 on clay this season.
Ivashka should win and I’ll go with the straight-sets play at +135.
The week before a Grand Slam tournament often features a few surprises and several leading seeds who received first-round byes could easily find early trouble.
In Geneva, world number two Daniil Medvedev is playing for the first time since undergoing hernia surgery. Add in his dislike of clay and he could easily lose to John Millman or Richard Gasquet.
Medvedev has played 21 clay events at tour level and in 15 of those he’s lost his opening match; I suspect his opponent will be priced up too big to worsen that statistic.
Reilly Opelka is 0-3 on the European clay and may also be worth opposing against, probably, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, a player who enjoys playing at altitude – seven of his 11 ATP finals have been played at least 400m above sea level.
They are a few metres below that mark here but hopefully the point has been made.
Across the border in Lyon, Federico Coria, a semi-finalist in Marrakech recently, could well cause Pablo Carreno Busta problems if they meet. The Spaniard has failed to impress since reaching the Barcelona final and you wonder how motivated he’ll be this week with the French Open looming.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning top seed Cameron Norrie, who struggled with an ankle injury in Rome only a few days ago.
Francisco Cerundolo is a decent clay sort capable of working the ball around and testing out Norrie’s fitness and that looks an awkward opener for the Briton.
I was right last week that Rome was a good time to back Novak Djokovic – he delivered for his backers by winning the title without losing a set.
In a similar vein, I’m prepared to side with Casper Ruud in Geneva.
The Norwegian has disappointed for much of the European clay season but last week in Rome he rediscovered some form with a good run to the semi-finals where Djokovic proved too good.
He’s almost certainly not played as much as he’d have expected since hitting the clay so despite Roland Garros being only days away, I believe he will want more matches this week – and with a first-round bye he’ll only have a maximum of four.
Ruud won this title last season and can make a successful defence at odds of +250.
See what’s the best online sportsbook for payouts before you sign up!
|ATP Lyon and Geneva Information|
|What||ATP Gonet Geneva Open; ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon|
|Location||Geneva, Switzerland; Lyon, France|
|Time||Sunday May 15 to Saturday May 21|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
Nitto ATP Finals: Medvedev to Dominate Russian Battle
TENNIS | 12 November - 07:06 | Andy Schooler
ATP Next Gen ATP Finals Predictions: Stricker Should Not Be Underestimated
TENNIS | 7 November - 10:16 | Andy Schooler
ATP Paris Masters Predictions, Best Bets, Odds
TENNIS | 31 October - 03:50 | Andy Schooler
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
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2022 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).
WSN.com is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.