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Soonwoo Kwon to beat Alex Zverev at +155 at Caesars Sportsbook
Stan Wawrinka & Albert Ramos-Vinolas moneyline parlay at +220 at BetMGM
Richard Gasquet to beat Pablo Carreno Busta at +200 at bet365
Fabio Fognini to beat Laslo Djere at +225 at FanDuel
Stefanos Tsitsipas to win ATP Rotterdam at +500 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Kwon has made a strong start to the season and is already an ATP champion in 2023 having triumphed on the hardcourts of Adelaide, prior to the Australian Open.
He beat Pablo Carreno Busta, Jack Draper and Roberto Bautista Agut there and, after a few weeks off, should be raring to go again.
Things have not gone so smoothly for Zverev, who is just six matches into his comeback from a serious ankle injury which kept him out for six months.
Four of those have been lost with lucky loser Michael Mmoh dumping the German out of the Australian Open and Jiri Lehecka and Marc Andrea-Huesler others from outside the top 50 to defeat him.
In terms of performance, most significant has been the downturn in his serve – Zverev has been broken 24 times in those six matches, which simply wouldn’t have happened pre-injury.
The sluggish Rotterdam courts are unlikely to help either, Zverev famously said after his last match at the venue in 2021: “I haven’t done well here in the past and to be honest if the conditions don’t change a little bit, I don’t think in the future I’ll do too well here either.”
With Kwon on offer at +155 (Caesars Sportsbook), the Korean looks a good bet.
This column successfully opposed Bublik last week in Montpellier and is happy to repeat the trick in Rotterdam.
Wawrinka has already beaten the Kazakh this season, winning 6-3 7-6 at the United Cup in Australia. He didn’t face a break point in that match.
Bublik needs his serve to fire for the confidence to flow but, as already explained, conditions won’t favour that happening here and Wawrinka should enjoy the slower court much the better of the two. Indeed, he’s a former champion here and made the final as recently as 2019.
Bublik’s Montpellier loss included a major meltdown, featuring several smashed racquets, and given what happened in that United Cup match, I can see his frustrations getting the better of him again here.
Carreno Busta looks too short in this match-up and Gasquet has the potential to take advantage.
PCB appears to be playing catch up following an injury-hit start to the season – he was forced to sit out matches at the United Cup and it was no surprise when he suffered an early loss at the Australian Open, going down to Benjamin Bonzi.
He won just one of his three matches on that trip.
In contrast, Gasquet made the final in Auckland where many matches had to be played indoors due to rain. That could work in the Frenchman’s favour here with Carreno Busta playing on indoor hard for the first time since last autumn when he went an unconvincing 5-5.
Gasquet has underdog potential at a best price of +200 with bet365.
Another outsider who may be worth chancing is Fognini, who plays his first claycourt event of the season in Buenos Aires.
He’s always had great claycourt talent and while his powers may be on the wane, he remains a player who loves the big stage and I think he’ll be motivated to win this one, knowing that the victor will face top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the next round.
Of course, Djere may well fancy a bit of that too and there’s no doubt he’s a decent clay sort as well. Yet the last of his two ATP titles came back in 2020 and he didn’t manage to reach a final on this surface last season.
The Serb beat a disinterested Casper Ruud in Auckland but he’s also lost to Max Marterer this season and has humbled by Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open.
He’ll hope to flick the switch now that he’s back on his favourite surface but that’s far from certain to happen – Djere has actually lost four of his last five claycourt matches, the last of which was back in early August.
Both of these players are stepping back down for the altitude of Cordoba but I’d expect Ramos-Vinolas to cope with the switch the best.
He made the semi-finals at this sea-level Buenos Aires venue two years ago to show his capabilities in the slower conditions.
Ramos-Vinolas played well enough in Cordoba, losing a tight semi-final to Federico Coria. Carballes Baena had been beaten in round one.
And the head-to-head sits firmly in ARV’s favour – he’s 6-2 up in their previous claycourt matches.
I’m a bit surprised he’s not shorter than and will put him in a moneyline parlay with Wawrinka which pays around +200.
I’d be surprised if each of the top four seeds at the Argentina Open progress to the quarter-finals.
I’m certainly interested in seeing how Carlos Alcaraz is after three months off the match court. He’ll be a very short price against the winner of Fabio Fognini and Laslo Djere and will probably be worth taking on in some shape or form, possibly in the handicap market or to lose the first set.
Diego Schwartzman has openly admitted he’s struggled to deal with off-court problems – his father has been ill – and I can see him falling to either Pedro Martinez or Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
In the other half of the draw, Lorenzo Musetti could be troubled by home hope Pedro Cachin, who will be looking to translate his 2022 Challenger form to the main tour.
And second seed Cam Norrie won’t be relishing a meeting with Cordoba finalist Federico Coria should, if expected, they meet.
Only Novak Djokovic was a better player than Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open and the Greek looks worthy of support in Rotterdam this week.
This has been an event dominated by the leading seeds – 11 of the last 14 editions have been won by one of the top four seeds.
Tsitsipas was runner-up last year and a semi-finalist in 2021 so has won plenty of matches in Rotterdam.
Let’s try to make the most of his good start to 2023 by backing him to win the title at +500 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
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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