Borna Coric v Jiri Vesely – ATP Marrakech
Two younger players on the Tour will be looking to reach a Final at the start of the European clay court season which could help them improve their World Rankings in the coming weeks. Out of the two players, Borna Coric looks the more secure and able to reach his potential than Jiri Vesely who has struggled for consistency at this level.
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It has been an ‘easy’ draw for Coric who has had to win just one match to reach the Semi Final while his opponent has won three matches to join him at this Stage.
That might mean Coric is a little undercooked for the Semi Final, but the other side of the coin is that he should be physically fine to compete. Both players are comfortable on the clay courts, but I think Coric has the better movement and that might give him the edge on this surface.
Vesely is the taller player, but I think he is still trying to find the best way to get more out of his first serve and that can be an issue on the slower surfaces for him. I can see Coric earning more points behind his own first serve and I think it will be a battle to the end with the Croatian player earning his way to a 76, 64 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Borna Coric -1.5 Games @ 1.86 with Pinncale Sports
Feliciano Lopez v Juan Monaco – ATP Houston
This has been a good week for both Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco with only one set dropped between them in five wins to reach the Semi Final. Both should be familiar with one another as former Doubles partners and veterans of the Tour and both will be looking to win the tournament this week in Houston to put some vital Ranking points on the board.
It is Lopez who has won the majority of their previous meetings which isn’t a big surprise to me. While his return game isn’t the best, Lopez has a very solid serve and that puts the pressure on Monaco whose own serve can be a weakness and I expect that will be the reason the Spaniard moves into the Final in this one.
The surface in Houston is playing faster than most clay courts and that will only favour Lopez a little more and force Monaco to try and stay with him on the scoreboard. The sliced return should keep Monaco focused at all times if he is to stay with Lopez, but it might also force the pressure onto him when behind on the scoreboard and thus leading to mistakes.
I don’t think it will be as comfortable as it was for Lopez on Friday, but I do think he will battle through to a 76, 64 win to make it four straight wins over Monaco.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Feliciano Lopez -1.5 Games @ 2.07 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.