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ATP Seoul, Tel Aviv & Sofia: Ilya Ivashka Has the Potential to Go Deep in Bulgaria This Week

Written by: Andy Schooler
Updated October 14, 2022
12 min read
  • Return to Jarry TB plan
  • Nishioka to beat Evans – again
  • Gomez a lively outsider
  • Ivashka has Sofia chance

ATP Seoul, Tel Aviv & Sofia Picks

Nicolas Jarry to beat Marcos Giron at +105 at BetMGM

First-set tie-break in Nicolas Jarry v Marcos Giron at +300 at BetMGM

Yoshihito Nishioka to beat Dan Evans at +150 at bet365

Emilio Gomez to beat Taro Daniel at +220 at bet365

Ilya Ivashka to win the Sofia Open at +1600 at PointsBet

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Atp Seoul Tel Aviv Sofia Picks

Nicolas Jarry vs Marcos Giron

Giron must head to Seoul in South Korea shortly after playing the final in San Diego on Sunday.

After his trans-Pacific flight, it’s a pretty quick turnaround for the American – he’ll be on court on Wednesday at the latest and will do so against a player already bedded in at the venue.

Jarry played qualifying over the weekend and was impressed. He won both matches in straight sets, served 20 aces, faced just two break points and held serve throughout.

Keep serving like that and he’ll trouble a jaded Giron at odds-against.

A bigger price can also be taken by backing a wager we’ve already landed on these pages in recent weeks, namely a first-set tie-break in a Jarry match.

That serve of the Chilean keeps him in sets against most players and he’s now on a run of having played a breaker in the opening set of 10 of his last 16 matches.

Giron’s stats are also decent on this front.

Prior to Sunday’s final (this preview is being written ahead of it), he’d played the first-set tie-break in six of his last 13 matches. Another sign of his good recent serving is that he’s gone unbroken in five of those 13.

The fact the pair haven’t met before only adds to the likelihood of serve holding sway, in my opinion – it may well take time for both men to get their eye in on return.

At +300, this looks worth a play.

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Yoshihito Nishioka vs Dan Evans

As a +150 outsider, Nishioka warrants support here.

That confidence is based largely on his stunning head-to-head record against the Briton – Nishioka leads their series 5-0, with two of those matches coming this season, most recently in Washington last month.

Playing in Asia should also mean plenty to the Japanese so he’ll be going full pelt to win this.

Nishioka appears to have got into Evans’ head a little with the Brit admitting after his straight-sets defeat at the 2020 Australian Open that “some days you look forward to matches and I didn’t look forward to it. I just find him overly awkward.”

Nishioka also beat Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov that week en route to the final and should be relishing continuing playing on outdoor hardcourts.

Evans did make the semis in San Diego last week but was then upset by Marcos Giron. That did at least give him a day extra to get ready for this event but it’s still not a long preparation period – I’d expect this match to take place on Tuesday.

In short, Nishioka has to be worth a try at the price.

Round Two Upsets?

It’s another week which sees the top four seeds all receive first-round byes, so which of them could be vulnerable in round two?

At the Tel Aviv Open, the obvious candidate is Diego Schwartzman.

The third seed doesn’t look in a good place right now with his last two matches bringing heavy defeats.

In the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, the Argentine lost 6-2 6-2 to the limited Mikael Ymer and was duly dropped by his captain for the remaining ties.

Then at the Laver Cup on Friday, Schwartzman was blown away by Stefanos Tsitsipas, going down 6-2 6-1.

Both matches were played on indoor hardcourts, which is what he’ll find on offer in Israel this week.

Whoever he faces – Arthur Rinderknech or a qualifier – will surely have a good chance.

In Sofia, the altitude of around 550m means the big servers have traditionally done pretty well.

That could be bad news for Pablo Carreno Busta and home hope Grigor Dimitrov.

PCB could face Marc-Andrea Huesler in his first match since the US Open and that would be a tricky one.

Huesler used the smight Winston-Salem altitude (300m) to good effect last month, beating the likes of Ilya Ivashka and Jack Draper en route to the semi-finals.

Ivashka is the man who could trouble Dimitrov (he’ll need to beat Ymer first).

The Belarusian is a former Winston-Salem champion and has been in decent form on the hardcourts in the past couple of months, making the Atlanta semis and the fourth round of the US Open.

Best Futures Pick

Ilya Ivashka has the big serve which has delivered for previous Sofia Open champions and he has the potential to go deep in Bulgaria this week.

The Belarusian’s form and propensity for a bit of altitude (mentioned above) make him a lively threat in the top half of the draw.

Jannik Sinner is the favorite and rightly so – he’s the two-time defending champion.

Yet the Italian wasn’t at his best in the Davis Cup last week and could be vulnerable.

How to Watch ATP Seoul, Tel Aviv & Sofia

What ATP Korea Open, ATP Tel Aviv Watergen Open & ATP Sofia Open
Location Seoul, South Korea; Tel Aviv, Israel; Sofia, Bulgaria
Time Monday, September 26 to Sunday, October 2
How to Watch Tennis Channel
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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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