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ATP Rio de Janeiro, Doha & Marseille Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

Written by: Andy Schooler
Updated February 20, 2023
22 min read
  • The underdog trio look good wagers
  • Back Bonzi, Lajovic parlay
  • RBA’s strong Doha record worth noting

ATP Rio, Doha & Marseille Picks

Fernando Verdasco to beat Christopher O’Connell at +210 at FanDuel

Radu Albot to beat Mikael Ymer at +260 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Joao Sousa to beat Hugo Dellien at +210 at Caesars Sportsbook

Benjamin Bonzi & Dusan Lajovic moneyline parlay at +138 at Caesars Sportsbook

Roberto Bautista Agut to win ATP Doha at +1800 at PointsBet

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ATP Rio, Doha & Marseille Picks

Fernando Verdasco vs Christopher O’Connell

I know a lot of people won’t want to put any faith in 39-year-old Verdasco but, for me, O’Connell looks way too short here.

The Australian has gone 2-5 at all levels so far this season with his highest win by ranking being against the world number 169. For all his flaws, Verdasco is currently at 133.

He’s won three of six and was only edged out in two tie-breaks by Radu Albot last week in Delray Beach – to give that result greater perspective, the victor went on to reach the semis.

The Middle Eastern events have been ones Verdasco has enjoyed over the years, too. He’s gone 11-8 in Doha where he reached the last four in 2017 and held match point against Novak Djokovic.

And the Spaniard has been one better in Dubai, finishing runner-up.

It’s fair to say such days are probably now behind him but it’s also fair to suggest he’s no +210 (FanDuel) chance here.

To me, Verdasco looks a price play.

Mikael Ymer vs Radu Albot

As already mentioned, Albot made the semi-finals in Delray Beach last week and is another who has made the trans-Atlantic trip.

That’s probably got quite a lot to do with quotes of +260 (DraftKings Sportsbook) about him winning this one in Marseille but I think that’s too big.

OK, Ymer has enjoyed a decent start to the season, winning 14 of 20 matches at all levels, but when you filter that down to matches against the top 120 (Albot is ranked 113) then the Swede actually has a losing record of 5-6.

Albot’s long trip and fairly short time in which to adapt is certainly a concern but I’ve found over the years that that’s the sort of thing that often hits home after the first match, although admittedly it’s only anecdotal - I have no data with which to back that up.

I do believe that after a good week, one which saw him crush Tommy Paul, Albot will be giving it his all to keep on a roll and at +250 and above, he’s too big to take down a pretty average opponent who, like Albot, has a vulnerable serve which can be attacked.

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Joao Sousa vs Hugo Dellien

A third underdog pick is again chosen on price – Sousa is tempting at +210 (Caesars Sportsbook).

He made the quarter-finals of the recent Cordoba Open to get his season properly up and running, defeating Tomas Etcheverry and Cristian Garin.

Dellien also enjoyed a good week there, reaching the last four, but he’s a player who’s had some of his best results at a decent altitude (probably no surprise given he’s from Bolivia) and he won’t be getting that in Rio this week.

Playing under a protected ranking having missed several months in the second half of 2022, Dellien hasn’t played much claycourt tennis at sea level in the past year and when he did return to such conditions last week in Buenos Aires, he duly lost to Etcheverry.

Sousa is hardly bet-of-the-year stuff but I certainly think he’s overpriced in this match-up.

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Benjamin Bonzi vs Luca van Assche

Bonzi made the semi-finals in Marseille 12 months ago and should be too good for his fellow Frenchman here.

He made the third round of the Australian Open after a run to the final in Pune in the opening week of the campaign. He’s been unable to keep such a run going indoors, although it was notable that he took a set off eventual runner-up Jannik Sinner in Rotterdam last week.

Teenager van Assche, beaten in the pair’s only previous meeting in 2021, certainly doesn’t have the same sort of form.

He’s lost five of six at all levels so far in 2023, the win coming against world number 162 Luca Nardi on the Challenger Tour. He remains without a career win at tour level.

I don’t see that maiden victory coming against Bonzi, who I’m surprised isn’t shorter than -150.

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Dusan Lajovic vs Diego Schwartzman

A return to the clay has worked wonders for Lajovic, who last week won five matches in Buenos Aires, including taking down seed Sebastian Baez, en route to the quarter-finals.

Eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz proved too good there which is no disgrace.

The previous week, Lajovic beat Juan Pablo Varillas in Cordoba and it’s noteworthy that the Peruvian went on to reach the semis in Buenos Aires.

Conditions in Rio should be similar to those on offer in the Argentine capital which will suit the Serb.

Schwartzman would also have been hoping that the clay would flick his switch back on but that hasn’t been the case.

He admitted recently that his father’s ill health has been preying on his mind and it’s been clear on the court that all is not well.

Schwartzman won just four games in defeat to Bernabe Zapata Miralles last week and he simply looks devoid of confidence.

The pair have split their two previous meetings on clay but I expect Lajovic to take the lead in that series here and will double him up in a parlay with Bonzi.

Round Two Upsets?

I’m not seeing too many big, early obstacles for the leading seeds in Marseille and Doha – the top four at each event get a first-round bye.

However, one who could find early trouble is Alex Zverev, who clearly isn’t close to his best right now.

That’s no surprise given he was out of the game for six months with an ankle injury but he gets no credit for that once a match begins.

Andy Murray or Lorenzo Sonego will be an awkward first match in Doha where it is often windy. Zverev may well have to play at night too when it’s colder and that will do his serve no favours.

Murray, in particular, is a master of the windy conditions, while he’ll be happy to grind it out in cooler conditions if necessary.

Best Outright Pick

Roberto Bautista Agut has a terrific record in Doha, having won the event in 2022 and 2019. He was also runner-up in 2021.

He’s already been to a final on outdoor hardcourts this season (in Adelaide) and won’t be fazed by the presence of Daniil Medvedev in his quarter of the draw.

RBA leads their head-to-head 4-2, while it’s 3-0 on outdoor hard.

In addition, Medvedev must quickly adjust from indoor conditions in Rotterdam where he claimed the title on Sunday. He’s clearly in decent form but is he ready for another big push here against an opponent who has troubled him in the past?

Bautista Agut looks a decent wager at +1800 with several books.

How to Watch ATP Rio, Doha & Marseille

  • What - ATP Rio Open; ATP Qatar Exxonmobil Open; ATP Open 13
  • Location - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Doha, Qatar; Marseille, France
  • Time - Monday, February 20 to Sunday, February 26
  • How To Watch - Tennis Channel
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AUTHOR

Andy Schooler

70 Articles

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.

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