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
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.