The 2018 French Open gets underway this Monday night and our resident tennis tipster 'Ace' is back with a slate of betting tips for the early qualifying rounds.
Conditions: Cloudy with the chance of a thunderstorm, top of 23 degrees
Bonzi has only won 1 of his last 6 matches on clay (defeated Kudla – Bordeaux Challenger 4-6 6-1 6-0). I feel bookmakers have majorly overestimated Bonzi based off his March Challenger hardcourt form, where he made the Drummondville final before losing to Kudla.
I remember watching his entire match vs Rosol in Tunis about a month ago, where he managed to twice gave up a break advantage in the third set in meek fashion, before going on to drop the decider 3-6. What was noticeable was the lack of conviction, most notably when leading and needing to initiate and dictate, it just wasn’t there.
Since that match, he has done the following:
- Lost to Vatutin in straight sets
- Lost to Barrere in 3 sets (3rd set TB)
- Lost to Ymer in straight sets
- Defeated Kudla from a set down
- Lost to Opelka in straight sets
What is very evident across those matches was how little Bonzi led during these matches. When he did lead however, he really struggled. He led 2-0* and *5-2 with two chances to serve it out vs Barrere before losing, and when you look at his form since the start of this clay season, it is very clear that he plays his best tennis when he is behind a set or down in the score count, almost as if the pressure valve is released and he can play his best tennis.
Riveros was able to put together a pretty solid run of form on clay in the South American swing. He made the Semi Final where he lost in 3 sets to Arevalo (eventual winner), before reaching the Semi Finals of the Mexico City Challenger where he lost in 3 sets to Londero (eventual winner). His clay form has been incredibly solid, and his willingness to attack, as well as come into the net when necessary, has held him in really good stead over the last month. I will admit I completely underestimated him when I backed Escobar to beat him in San Luis on March 31, and since then I have paid very close attention to in the last month on the clay. His form faltered a bit on hardcourt, however back to his preferred surface here should suit.
Outside of the home country advantage, I cannot fathom why Bonzi is the favourite here when you consider the recent claycourt form of both players. I like Galan Riveros here to start strongly (ties in with what I mentioned above regarding the form of Bonzi over the last month. I am happy to split my plays across first set and full match here, as ultimately I believe they both present fantastic value. If Bonzi is able to win the first set, I would still consider Galan Riveros to come back with an in-play bet for those who like to trade. Personally, I will settle for the first set and full match plays.
Good luck if following.
Conditions: Cloudy with the chance of a thunderstorm, top of 23 degrees
I must say, there really isn’t a whole lot of positive form to mention in regards to Bublik playing on clay. Since the start of 2017, Bublik has a 5-9 record on clay. Bublik’s one win on clay this season came against Denis Istomin (not in the same form that won him his match vs Djokovic at the Aus Open, that’s for sure) 6-7 7-6 7-5. The rest of his performances have been quite disappointing to be honest. Straight set losses to Struff (1-6 4-6), Ojeda Lara (5-7 1-6), Klahn (6-7 6-7) and De Schepper (0-6 3-6) have all come in the last 4 weeks – hardly form to get excited about. The bigger the occasion the better the performance generally from Bublik, so for fans of Alexander they would be hoping for a significant lift in performance in his match tonight. Personally? I just cannot trust his form at the moment.
I think there is one recent match from Choinski which has interestingly led to his price tonight being value in my opinion. More on that in a moment.
Choinski has a 40-17 record on clay over the last 12 months, although admittedly a 33-9 record of that comes from Futures level. That being said, it is clear that he is most comfortable on clay of any surface. At Challenger level on clay this year, Choinski has only a 7-8 record, however he has put together some pretty serviceable results against some very solid claycourters. After wins over the likes of Jay Clarke and Carlos Berlocq, Choinski did struggle a touch against two of the more consistent Challenger claycourters, the Facundo’s (Arguello and Bagnis). He was able to follow that up with 3 set losses to two of the three form players on the North American in Londero and Dellien.
Then, the odd performance that doesn’t quite fit with the rest. Choinski played Dancevic in the first round of qualifying in Geneva, 48 hours ago. This begs the question: what incentive is there for Choinski to win that match, considering he had to be in France in less than 2 days (1 day if he had won) for Roland Garros Qualifying? It was actually quite a serviceable result considering he lost 6-7 5-7, but I would seriously be questioning that performance, and I have completely ruled that performance out of my thinking to be honest with you.
Personally I cannot trust Bublik at this price. I just think he doesn’t have the patience in his game to be a threat on clay. His inability to wait for the right shot to attack is the big issue, and I think at times he is more interested in going for the big winner than consistently playing high percentage tennis. I think this plays into the hands of Choinski today. We get a nice price coming off his “loss” the other day, and I think his game style should hold up okay here.
If Bublik redlines his way to victory with a bunch of winners, then good on him. I just cannot have him at that price when you consider this matchup.
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