Joao Sousa v Robin Haase – ATP Marseille
The First Round match in Marseille that kicks off the tournament is one that I do think Joao Sousa can win after a couple of tough losses in Montpellier and Rotterdam. Both of those matches have seen Sousa go down in three sets and I think he will be seriously disappointed that he didn’t win at least one of those and perhaps even both of them.
[expand title=”Read More…” swaptitle=”Hide” trigpos=”below” rel=”star-highlander” ]
It looks a much more winnable match against Robin Haase than the last one against Roberto Bautista Agut especially when you consider the Dutchman has lost four matches in a row. Haase has a solid serve, but he doesn’t seem to be able to back that up effectively and perhaps his best form is going to be reserved for the Doubles Tour in the coming years.
To be honest, Haase has always been far too inconsistent and his best performances have come on the clay courts. Someone like Sousa should be able to make life awkward enough with his ability to get plenty of balls back in play and I do think Sousa has been close enough to win matches recently without getting over the line.
With a bit more luck at key moments, Sousa would have won the last two matches he lost and I am backing him to come through this one while covering the number.
HANDCICAP BETTING PICK: Joao Sousa -2.5 Games @ 1.73 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Albert Ramos-Vinolas v Dusan Lajovic – ATP Rio de Janeiro
This is the second time in three weeks that Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Dusan Lajovic will be meeting on the clay courts during the South American Golden Swing. The first time saw the Spaniard win a tight match on the fast conditions in Quito and I think Ramos-Vinolas can come through this one too.
I actually backed Lajovic in their first match with the added hook of the extra game on the handicap, but he was a little fortunate in that match. While he served well for the most part, but Ramos-Vinolas was much better in protecting that side of his game and a similar level will see him have the edge.
The defeat to Pablo Cuevas last week in Buenos Aires is not that much of a surprise for Ramos-Vinolas especially as he had reached the Semi Final in Quito the week prior. The Spaniard will look to set himself up by producing effective lefty serves to put Lajovic in awkward positions and that scoreboard pressure can build on the latter.
Lajovic is at his best on the clay courts, and had a very solid week last time out in Buenos Aires when reaching the Quarter Finals. That will give him confidence but ultimately I think Ramos-Vinolas will get the better of the key moments and record a similar 76, 64 win he had in Quito against the Serbian.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Albert Ramos-Vinolas -2.5 Games @ 1.80 with BET365
Prices correct at the time of writing.