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Federico Delbonis to beat Jaume Munar at +230 at FanDuel
Emil Ruusuvuori to beat Cristian Garin at +116 at FanDuel
Tallon Griekspoor to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas at +135 at PointsBet
Casper Ruud to win the Monte Carlo Masters at +1000 at DraftKings
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Delbonis looks a big price to win this first-round contest at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The Argentine is the higher-ranked player and has won two of three tour-level meetings with Munar on clay (it’s 2-2 on the surface overall).
The market seems to place too much weight on the Spaniard winning the recent Marbella Challenger tournament in his homeland and while he backed that up by winning two qualifying rounds here over the weekend, the level of opponent was hardly jaw-dropping – a local wild card and Oscar Otte, a player who would prefer a faster surface than this.
At tour level, Munar failed to win back-to-back matches during the South American Golden Swing in February. That is in contrast to Delbonis, who made a run to the semi-finals in Buenos Aires where it took eventual champion Casper Ruud to stop him.
Delbonis is far from nailed on but he’s certainly worth a bet at +230, while another option would be to back him to win a set at a shade of odds-on.
Garin did manage to rediscover some form in Houston last week where he made the last four.
However, that meant he was still in Texas on Saturday night and won’t have had much time to adjust to the vastly different conditions Monte Carlo has to offer – it’s much slower here than the faster clay in the US.
Throw in the fact that every match he had last week was a tough one (he played three sets in all four contests) and it would be no surprise to see Garin looking a little weary after his trip across the Atlantic.
Ruusuvuori looks well primed to take advantage.
He came through qualifying over the weekend to book his spot in the main draw so, in contrast, he should be tuned into the conditions.
The Finn enjoys the clay and could justify the faith of his backers at +116.
Griekspoor may be another player capable of landing an upset in the opening round.
He loves the clay and won six titles on the surface on last season’s Challenger Tour.
He’s beginning to transition to the main tour and this looks an opportunity for him.
I’ve mentioned on these pages before how Ramos-Vinolas’ best results have come at altitude but that’s not an advantage he gets on the Mediterranean coast.
After a first-round loss up high in Marrakech last week, he’s back down at close to sea level this week, at a venue where he’s often struggled.
Yes, Ramos-Vinolas did make the final here in 2017 but take that run out of his record and the Spaniard is a poor 4-7 at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
It not, the most confident bet of the week but Griekspoor looks worth a small wager at +135.
The top eight seeds all get byes this week, including world number one Novak Djokovic who returns to action for the first time in six weeks.
Given the potential for ring rust, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alejandro Davidovich Fokina keep things tight, at least early on, when they meet but the Spaniard’s poor head-to-head record against the Serb puts me off.
However, I’m less concerned by Stefanos Tsitsipas’ previous dominance of Fabio Fognini.
This is a big week for Tsitsipas who is yet to win a title in 2022 but is defending one in Monte Carlo.
His clash with Fognini (if the Italian beats Arthur Rinderknech) will be his first on clay since July and the former champion has the clay skills to trouble Tsitsipas if he’s not quite dialed in.
Fognini has already played plenty on clay this term, making the semis in Rio, and could be worth a try if the odds are right.
Also, Felix Auger-Aliassime could come under pressure in his likely opener against Lorenzo Musetti.
Musetti notched a decent win over Ramos-Vinolas in Marrakech last week en route to the quarter-finals and won his most recent meeting with FAA – on the Lyon clay last season.
Auger-Aliassime’s shock loss to Alex Molcan in Marrakech last week continued a poor run of form, one which has now seen him lose four of his last five matches.
If the bookmakers are still putting too much faith to FAA, Musetti could well be worth a try.
Casper Ruud has been to the semi-finals of his last three Masters 1000 tournaments on clay, including in Monte Carlo last year.
That’s the sort of form which puts him into the elite on this surface and, after his recent run to the Miami Open final, he’ll be aiming high this week as he looks to land that maiden Masters title.
The Norwegian posted some great stats on clay in 2021, particularly on serve, and having been handed a decent draw in the second quarter, he should go well.
The presence of Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz in the first quarter makes things a little awkward but both rivals look pretty short in the outright market, particularly given that are on course to meet in the last eight.
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|ATP Monte Carlo Information|
|What||ATP Rolex Monte Carlo Masters|
|Location||Monte Carlo, Monaco|
|Time||Sunday, April 10 to Sunday, April 17|
|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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