ATP Atlanta Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 5th August by @DavAulak

Fernando Verdasco v Nick Kyrgios

These players had a competitive three set match at the Canadian Masters last year in Montreal and now Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco meet for a place in the Atlanta Semi Finals.

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I thought the layers may have had this as a pick ’em contest, in which case I would have left it alone, but I am not sure Fernando Verdasco should be as big an underdog as he is. The Spaniard has had a good summer and has been playing well, while his game is very suited to a slightly faster hard court.

Of course Nick Kyrgios’ game is going to be huge on this type of surface, but I am not convinced he is either fully healthy or fully focused on his tennis right now. I am not ashamed to say I am a fan of Kyrgios, but I also know he is going to be someone who has these hot and cold periods depending on his mood.

It was only last week that Kyrgios admitted that he hadn’t been practicing his tennis as much as he should be and his defeat against Denis Shapovalov in Toronto showed that. Someone like Verdasco has the big game to frustrate the Australian if he is still not fully at the races and I am going to back the veteran to keep this one competitive, even if he is not able to pull the upset as my gut is telling me he will.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 Games @ 2.07 with Pinnacle

 

Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco

Reilly Opelka v Donald Young

Reilly Opelka had the biggest win of his career to date in the last Round, when beating Kevin Anderson and the young American is looking to back that up by getting to his first ATP Semi Final. I do worry about backing players after a major win, especially when it comes in upset fashion and when the winning player is not used to winning matches of that magnitude, but Opelka has had a couple of days to move on from that.

The ‘New John Isner’ is how Opelka has been described and you can see why as he is of similar stature and bases his game around a big serve. While that will be an improving weapon as he fills out, Opelka still gets plenty of joy from that shot and will be hoping to use that to full effect against Donald Young who is likely to get more balls in play than Kevin Anderson.

The latter had success against the Opelka serve too, but it was his return game which impressed me the most, as Opelka broke the big South African serve four times and fashioned eighteen break points. That should be followed up against Young in this one, and I do think Opelka can keep this competitive.

Young got out of jail in the last Round and continues to struggle covering this number of games even in winning matches. His poor record in Atlanta has to be taken into account and Young will give Opelka chances to break serve, which is important when you consider how many games he is being asked to cover. With the Opelka serve, I am backing the new young gun of American tennis to beat the former Young gun.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Reilly Opelka + 3.5 Games @ 1.93 with Unibet

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Atlanta Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 4th August by @DavAulak

Horacio Zeballos v Tobias Kamke

The tournament in Atlanta is going to give some of the lower Ranked players a chance to earn some important points and both Horacio Zeballos and Tobias Kamke have to be looking at this event in that way. Neither player has a really strong record on the hard courts, but it is Zeballos who is already in a position to Qualify for the US Open directly.

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That is because Zeballos has played more tournaments at the main Tour level compared with Kamke who is outside the top 100 in the World Rankings. Like his opponent, Kamke has been spending a lot more time on the clay courts than the hard courts this season but he has already lost here in Atlanta this week and only got into the main draw as a Lucky Loser.

Kamke did beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in the First Round in two tie-breakers which should give him confidence, but Zeballos had a really strong performance in his own win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. If the Argentinian is serving as well as he was a couple of days ago, Kamke is going to have a difficult time getting into position to break serve and that is why I give Zeballos the edge in this Second Round match.

There are some clear limitations to the Zeballos game, but he should have his own chances to break serve against a vulnerable shot that Kamke possesses. I wouldn’t be surprised if we do three sets in this one as I am not convinced Zeballos can reach the same level he did in the First Round, but he should eventually come through 46, 64, 63.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Horacio Zeballos -1.5 Games @ 2.00 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Horacio Zeballos

Horacio Zeballos

Fernando Verdasco v Julien Benneteau

Only a Protected Ranking has given Julien Benneteau a way into this draw in Atlanta, but there is a lot of work ahead of him to improve his Number 406 World Ranking. The veteran Frenchman has been hit by the injury bug over the last couple of years which has hurt him, but there is still some fire that is burning in his belly to get back to the upper level of the Tour.

This might not be the match up that Benneteau would have wanted as Fernando Verdasco used to get the better of him when the former was in his prime. These players met four times between 2006 and 2013 and Fernando Verdasco won all four while dropping a single set.

You can point out that Verdasco is not the same player as when they last met in 2013, but this summer has been strong for him. He reached the Final in Bastad on the clay courts and Verdasco was dominant in his First Round win over Dusan Lajovic, far more comfortable than the final score might suggest.

If Verdasco is serving as well as he was, he will put Benneteau under pressure although I do have a healthy respect for the Frenchman. The faster surface should suit Verdasco and I think he can just get the better of Benneteau over the course of this match thanks to having a few more break points against a player still trying to find their consistency on a return to the Tour.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Fernando Verdasco -3.5 Games @ 1.89 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Atlanta Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 3rd August by @DavAulak

Taylor Fritz v Bjorn Fratangelo

There has been a lack of real American threats in the mens draws of recent tennis seasons ever since Andy Roddick retired and the likes of Mardy Fish, Sam Querrey and John Isner failed to fill that gap as effectively as fans would have liked. Now a new generation of American players are moving onto the Tour with some of those featuring here in Atlanta.

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The leading name has to be Taylor Fritz who had a strong Junior career and has made a solid start to life on the ATP Tour through 2016. There is nothing wrong with having a losing record on the Tour in your first year and Fritz can say he has already pushed the likes of Roger Federer in matches and he has reached the Final in a tournament in Memphis.

 

Taylor Fritz

Taylor Fritz

The hard courts will be his favoured surface which is no surprise considering the nation of his birth and Fritz should be looking at Atlanta as a big chance to secure top Ranking points in what is a weak field compared to what he will see the rest of the summer.

Fritz had an easy win in the First Round, but it will be tougher against Bjorn Fratangelo although he hasn’t been able to turn into a consistent performer at this level. While Fratangelo had a solid win on Tuesday evening, he has not had the best set of results on the hard courts this summer and has had a couple of poor losses in that time including last week against Andrew Whittington.

Both players will rely on their serve to put them in a position to win this match, but I think Fritz has the edge when it comes to the returning game. That should provide him the difference maker in the big moments of the match and I like the younger player to move through to the Quarter Final behind a 64, 64 win.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Taylor Fritz -3.5 Games @ 2.00 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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