It’s a big five-week stretch on the tennis calendar, as we have Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati, followed by US Open qualifying, and then the year’s final grand slam event in New York.
This week, the ATP Tour is in La Belle Province of Quebec, and we have a few matches to break down from Tuesday’s action. It should be a packed order of play, considering the rain that disrupted Monday’s play (worth noting, it’s likely going to rain again on Tuesday).
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
12:20 p.m. ET
The first match that intrigues me is between Dan Evans and Filip Krajinovic. Evans only being -155 in this matchup strikes me as being off. I have the Brit as a larger favorite in this one, for a few reasons.
First, in the humid conditions that we’re seeing both in Montreal and in Toronto (where the women’s event is being held), Evans’ advantage in the fitness department should be a key factor.
His grinding style from the baseline, ability to extend rallies and incredibly effective backhand slice that is tough to attack should also help in this regard.
In terms of the stylistic matchup, while Krajinovic has the more potent weapons, Evans is far more consistent. Despite not having as big of a serve, Evans has still managed to win an impressive 75% of first-serve points on hard courts this season.
He’s also won over half his points behind the second serve to boot.
So, even where Krajinovic may have the edge in the power department, Evans has proven to be adept at managing to find ways to consistently win points in his service games.
Finally, while everyone has been training and practicing on site (or on hard courts in general), I do think the fact that Krajinovic hasn’t played a professional match on hard courts since Indian Wells — while Evans played in comparable conditions and on comparable courts just last week in Washington — is something that should affect one’s handicap for this match.
I’m going to back the Brit to get this done, and I think this number should be closer to -180 odds.
Pick: Evans ML (-155 via PointsBet)
11 a.m. ET
Oh Aslan, what an incredibly odd few weeks it’s been.
The Russian has shown flashes of really strong play one set, only to lose the ability to play rallies longer than three or four balls without committing an error in the next.
While that can make it incredibly frustrating (not to mention tough) to handicap the sides in his matches, it often helps when looking to bet the total.
While books continue to look at service points won or hold percentages to form their lines, a qualitative edge can be found when understanding that while both these men possess strong serves and big groundstrokes, the inconsistencies from both (in different regards) can be a recipe for success when looking to back the over.
With Karatsev able to redline and dictate play from the baseline, one can certainly see how he has a path to victory (or at least to win a set).
As for the big American, his serve-and-volley style can find him quick, free points, and his chip-and-charge aggressive return style has actually made him a better returner than most players his size. His propensity to double fault, however, does allow players to find chances in his service games.
Considering both men have the ability to hold consistently, and each has enough weaknesses for the other to exploit, this one has all the chance to go three sets, or over the number in two.
Pick: Total Over 23.5 Games (+100 via PointsBet)
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