ATP Tennis Betting: Edmund a tempting underdog against Schwartzman in Paris

October 29, 2019

We managed to bag another underdog winner in Paris on Tuesday when Taylor Fritz, despite struggling with an injured knee, edged past Frances Tiafoe in a final set decider.

But Ricardas Berankis failed to hold serve in a pivotal 10th game on the opening set of his clash with Kyle Edmund which led to our ‘tie break played’ wager falling on another mediocre day for underdogs.

Only our man Fritz won (Albot and Moutet were joint favourites) of the remaining round one matches and Jan-Lennard Struff from round two got over the line on day two.

The first bet that I like the look of on Wednesday is for John Isner and Cristian Garin to go all the way to a tie break in the opening set at odds of around the 2.45 mark.

This is likely to be a similar match for Garin as the one he played last week in Basel against Reilly Opelka in which Garin won 92% of his first serve points and 88% of his second serve points, yet lost in straight sets.

Opelka won 51 of his 52 first serve points that day (98%) and there was not a break point in sight.

I’ve said a few times lately that Garin is perfectly capable on faster surfaces than clay these days and he’s held serve 86.2% of the time in his last 10 main level matches (all on indoor or outdoor hard).

And Isner loves a tie break here in Bercy perhaps more than anywhere, with 0.44 tie breaks per set played by the big man in his 27 main draw matches at the Paris Masters.

He’s held serve 92.6% of the time here and broken just 7.4% of the time and Isner didn’t manage to break Garin at all in their Montreal clash of a few months ago on outdoor hard in which Garin won 6-3, 6-4.

Garin will do well to repeat that score on indoor hard, but I can see him keeping this close, with Isner having been back at home for the birth of his second child and likely to be a tad rusty perhaps.

We’re on Isner outright this week and it could go one way or the other with the new addition to the family to think about, but as Isner isn’t playing Davis Cup later this month I’m hopeful that he’ll give it a real go here this week.

As far as betting underdogs go for Wednesday the shortlist contains: Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Benoit Paire, Marin Cilic and Kyle Edmund.

I’ve added the name of Benoit Paire to the list purely because he says he’s trying to impress [Davis Cup captain] Sebastian Grosjean.

“I have to prove to the captain that I have my place,” he said. “We know that he can change the team the last week before the meeting, so I have to prove to him, especially after my Asian tour, that I have the level. It's not fair to represent France. I really want to play this game and show that I can fight.”

We’ve heard a lot of this before from Benoit, but allied to a likely effort from Paire is the physical condition of Gael Monfils, which hasn’t been good for a while and he admitted to being taped up in various areas “under his clothes” in Vienna last week.

In the only prior career clash between this pair it went pretty much as expected: Monfils led by 6-2, 4-0 and was 1.01 in-play, with the crowd booing Paire, before Monfils found a way to lose.

“I’m too nice. I lost my concentration, “ said the ever ultra-competitive Monfils.

It might well happen something like that on Wednesday, but I don’t think I could bet on that match without the need for a long lie down in a darkened room afterwards.

I think a better bet would be to take a chance on Kyle Edmund, who looked decent once he got that lead against Berankis on Tuesday and he’s one player for whom fatigue won’t be a problem.

Having failed to play back-to-back matches in a week since the end of July it’s probably a fair assumption to assume he won’t have too much tennis in his legs, but Diego Schwartzman might after a big effort last week in Vienna.

Losing in a final set in the title match has probably taken a bit out of Schwartzman and in any case in these conditions the power of Edmund could be key – if he gets it right.

Edmund looks to have made a smart move by bringing Franco Davin into his team (after Paris) if the reports are correct and he still might get the nod for Davis Cup with a good week here – and if Dan Evans isn’t fit for duty he surely will anyway.

So, lots to play for for Edmund and while technically Schwartzman could make the Tour Finals he has to make the final this week to stay in contention and I expect he’ll be more focussed on Davis Cup as well.

We’ll see how Edmund gets on, but at 2.38 I’m going to take him as my match odds bet for Wednesday.

Stan Wawrinka withdrew from his slated quarter final with Roger Federer in Basel last week citing a back injury and I can’t imagine it was just a tweak for him to quit his home tournament.

He may be okay by now, but Marin Cilic is one that needs match time to try and find his lost form and it might pay to chance Cilic, but the head-to-head is off-putting to say the least, with Wawrinka having won 12 of their 14 career clashes.

Talking of dominant head-to-heads, Grigor Dimitrov has to come into the reckoning, with his 10-1 career series lead over David Goffin.

Goffin has a pretty poor record here in Bercy (4-5 win/loss and never won back-to-back matches) and it wouldn’t be much of a shock if he allowed himself to be cowed by the match-up again.

It’s hard to have much faith in Dimitrov though on the lack of form he’s shown all season long, save for briefly in New York, and I’m not sure Dimi is the best value of the underdog options. Without that head-to-head his price would surely be a fair bit bigger.

Milos Raonic is perhaps a better option at 2.38 against Dominic Thiem, who could be forgiven for perhaps being a bit jaded here after winning his home title in Vienna only a few days ago.

Raonic has a good record here and appeared to be in decent serving form in his round one clash with an admittedly injured Cam Norrie, for whom Raonic was always likely to be a tough ask indoors.

Thiem will have to lift himself for this one after Vienna and he may not do it against an opponent who reportedly tore his adductor in Laver Cup and was ready to end what’s been an awful season for Raonic with injuries.

He recovered quicker than expected though and takes his chance here after splitting with yet another coach in Fabrice Santoro and hiring another fitness trainer.

Elsewhere, surely French pair Adrian Mannarino and Corentin Moutet don’t have the firepower to do much against Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic and our other outright Matteo Berrettini will need to start the tournament well to deal with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on his home patch.


Best Bets


0.5 points win Edmund to beat Schwartzman at 2.38
0.5 points win over 12.5 games in set one of Isner/Garin at 2.45