Determined Munar can make it tough for Alcaraz

It’s a really busy one this week, with main level tennis in Rio, Delray Beach, Marseille and Doha. Over the years, the most profitable of these tournaments by far for underdog backers has been the Rio Open.

It wasn’t staged in 2021 due to coronavirus but Rio is in the top-four tournaments of the year, both in terms of profit and for frequency of underdog winners.

It’s returned an average of 41% underdog winners in its seven years on the tour.

If you’d backed every single underdog in the last five editions of the Rio Open for just £10 you’d be in profit to the tune of over £450.

Round one has been by far the most profitable round in Rio in the last five editions, with a £339 profit (£10 stake) if you’d backed all of the underdogs.

Rio is in the top-four tournaments of the year, both in terms of profit and for frequency of underdog winners

If you’d done that in all rounds in Delray Beach and Doha you’d be £150 down, while using that method of betting you’d be £63 out of pocket in Marseille, so Rio will most likely be the focus this week.

Players heading to Rio from Buenos Aires often struggle due to the very different conditions and balls in Brazil from Argentina. No Buenos Aires finalist has gone on to make the Rio final the following week.

Side with Munar to test Alcaraz in Rio

Carlos Alcaraz’s recent performances have made him one of the market leaders to win Rio this week, but he’ll face a tough test first up against the resilient Jaume Munar.

Indeed, Munar beat Alzaraz when priced up as a 2.0811/10 underdog when they clashed in Marbella’s semi finals on the clay last March.

On that occasion, Alcaraz was coming from hard courts in Miami, while Munar had played the previous week at the same Marbella venue in the Challenger there and made the final.

That said, Alcaraz had three matches to get used to the clay before he met Munar, so he can’t really use the change in surfaces as a reason for not beating his compatriot on that occasion.

This will be Alcaraz’s first match on clay since Kitzbuhel in July…

It will be a little different this time, with Alcaraz not having played for almost a month since the hard courts of Melbourne. Munar has been on the clay on the Golden Swing while this will be Alcaraz’s first match on clay since Kitzbuhel in July.

Munar showed once again in Buenos Aires that he’s tough to put away on the red dirt when he took Diego Schwartzman to two tie breaks. On combined service points/return points won on clay in the last 12 months at main level, Alcaraz isn’t streets ahead.

Munar has a 101 total and Alcaraz is on 104, with the main difference in their stats being Alcaraz has won 5% more points on second serve and he’s taken a higher percentage of break point chances (47% compared to 36%).

At these prices I’m happy to take Munar +3.5 games, which should be around the 2.506/4 mark.

Delray double worth risking

Peter Gojowczyk remains as streaky as ever and the German is now on a run of 10 straight defeats since making the Metz semi-final indoors back in September. But he’s more than capable of taking down Andreas Seppi here.

In typical Gojowczyk fashion, he’s only played Delray Beach once and beat Isner, Opelka and Johnson to make the final. Each time he’s beaten Seppi it’s been as underdog – on clay in Geneva in 2018 (where he made the final and hasn’t won a set there since) and on slow hard in Indian Wells in 2019.

Peter Gojowczyk 2021 indoors.jpg

Seppi played okay last week indoors in Dallas in quick conditions, but it’s slower and obviously far windier in Delray Beach, which will need some adjusting to for both players, but the German has had longer to prepare, having lost in Dallas qualifiers.

Much of Gojowczyk’s woes lately have been self-inflicted with his first serve percentage being at 50% or lower in six of his last eight matches, but if he gets up around 60% today he’s got every chance here against Seppi, whose level these days is up and down.

It’s very risky, so just a small stakes double on the Sportsbook with Yoshihito Nishioka, whose excellent movement has taken him all the way to the Delray Beach final in the past.


I like to have nimble players on my side in windy conditions and Nishioka fits the bill in that regard.

He got into the main draw this week as an alternate and he’s been playing well in Challengers lately, winning the Columbus Challenger (beat Jenson Brooksby that week) and making the final of the Cleveland Challenger the week after.

I like to have nimble players on my side in windy conditions and Nishioka fits the bill in that regard.

Fatigue set in a bit last week in Dallas, but I’m not sure he should be underdog against Oscar Otte, whose form this year hasn’t matched the level he attained in 2021 in Challengers and in the second half of the year generally.

Nishioka will have good memories of Delray Beach after his 2020 run to the final and he’s had success against the bigger hitters in the past (defeated Isner, Karlovic, Cressy and Querrey) so on current form I don’t mind a small risk on Nishioka here.

I’ll take a half point double on Nishioka and Gojowczyk at odds of 5.36 and one point on Munar +3.5 games on Monday.

Author: wpadmin

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