ATP Tennis Betting: In-form Evans can finally complete the job against Wawrinka in Bercy

November 2, 2020

We’re back at the Palais Omnisports this week (or as it’s called these days, the AccorHotels Arena) for what’s always an interesting week in Bercy that often provides a few unexpected results – and lately some huge-priced champions.

More on that in my outright preview, but as far as individual match betting is concerned the Paris Masters has provided a fairly average frequency of underdog winners lately, with an average of 30% of Bercy’s dogs winning in the last seven years (34% in the last three years).

Round one produced 11 underdog winners from 16 back in 2013, but since then there have always been between three and six underdog winners in the opening round, which gives us an average of 35% from 2013 to 2019 inclusive.

As far as holds of serve go, a very high 84% of service games were won last year and it’s been over 80% in each of the last four years, giving us an average of 82% holds between 2016 and 2019.

In the last seven years an average of 40% of its matches have featured at least one tie break and that comes down to 37% in the last three years.

There were five underdog winners here a year ago and my shortlist this time includes: Richard Gasquet, Dusan Lajovic, Tommy Paul, Dan Evans, Alexander Bublik, and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Richard Gasquet very nearly knocked my man Alex De Minaur out of Antwerp in round one in his last appearance on the tour and he showed enough in that match to make me think that he’s still easily good enough to defeat Taylor Fritz.

The Gasman has a fairly reasonable record here in Bercy and he can say that he’s never lost here to an opponent that hasn’t been top-10 at some point in their career and by and large it’s been major winners or finalists that have beaten him.

Fritz may end up top-10 at some point, but he’s got work to do before he thinks about achieving that ranking, largely due to the deficiencies in his return game, especially indoors.

The American has broken serve indoors at main level just 8% of the time in his last 10 such matches and only once in his 12 tournaments since making the 2016 Memphis final indoors has he won back-to-back matches (in Basel in 2018 when he beat Djere and Laaksonen as heavy favourite for both).

He’s lost three of the four matches he’s played on this indoor swing since the French Open, with only a win over a really out of sorts Reilly Opelka in his favour, and he’s lost six of the last nine matches that he was priced up as favourite for on this surface.

So, 1.60 about Fritz looks pretty short to me against what should be a motivated Gasquet playing at home and with a reasonable draw in Q3 as well.

I’m a little concerned about the shoulder problem that Dan Evans appeared to have in his semi final loss to Lorenzo Sonego in Vienna, but I’m still prepared to take him as underdog against the fading Stan Wawrinka.

It looks like Stan is being priced on reputation and the 4-0 head-to-head that he’s recorded against Evans, but he’s far from the player he was and at least two of those clashes should have gone the way of the Brit.

In St. Petersburg a few weeks ago Evans had three match points for a 2-0 win over Wawrinka and in their first meeting in New York he had a match point for a 3-1 win and ended up losing in five.

It’s Evans that has the better stats on indoor hard at main level over their last 10 matches each, with Evans holding a hold/break total of 103.1, compared to the 100 exactly of Wawrinka.

It would be a bit of an inaccurate record of this career series if it ended 5-0 to Wawrinka and the price on Evans is good enough for me, with this match not being played until at least Tuesday, giving Evans time to recover a little from Vienna.

Tommy Paul produced a really unpleasant choke (especially if you happened to have backed him) to somehow lose from 5-0 up in the final set tie break against John Millman in Nur-Sultan a few days ago, but his price is decent here against veteran Frenchman and now author, Gilles Simon.

Paul should never have lost that one against Millman from that position and of course the latter went on to win the title in Nur-Sultan, so the American can take heart from knowing he all but beat the player that went on to win.

And on a surface that’s likely to be quicker (please, be quicker!) than the slow, spongy thing that they created in Nur-Sultan Paul has the power to beat Simon, who’ll turn 36 next month.

Simon did okay on an absolute pudding of a surface in Cologne that was virtually impossible to hit winners on, but I suspect he’s getting too much credit for beating a physically impaired Denis Shapovalov, who could barely serve after injuring himself in St. Petersburg.

Gillou has done very little else lately and he has a pretty weak record in Bercy, too, with a 12-14 win/loss mark, only once winning back-to-back matches here since he lost to Jerzy Janowicz in the 2012 quarter final.

Simon may well win this match, but this is only the fourth time this year he’s been priced up sub-1.50 at main level and the others were against Mohammed Safwat, Harold Mayot and Pablo Cuevas (on a hard court).

Paul should be a little disgruntled by his price today and he's one to consider at the prices.

Lorenzo Sonego’s amazing run to the final of Vienna still has me shaking my head and we’ll see show well the Italian backs it up this week with a bit of pressure on him now to show it was no fluke.

I watched Sonego in Rome and in Sardinia and he was not good, so to come from losing to Aljaz Bedene (who was injured in his next match) to making the final of a very strong 500 was something that surely nobody even considered.

Here in Bercy he must adapt quickly to a different surface and conditions (no crowds here) and face an awkward and unpredictable opponent in Alexander Bublik, who could be anything on the day in terms of his level and attitude.

Bublik was poor last week at ‘home’ in Kazakhstan, but at least some of that could be attributed to the awful slow surface that they made him play on that was the opposite of what he needed.

It’s difficult to say with Bublik, who really did look like he couldn’t care less last week, but if we forget that Vienna run of Sonego’s ever happened, a status of slight underdog about Bublik against Sonego is a tempting proposition.

It could be that Sonego uses that run to move on to better things, but I have to say that that’s unlikely and his price today looks short.

Another of last week’s finalists that must adapt to very different conditions is Adrian Mannarino, who was once again disappointing in a main level title match and has now lost nine of his 10 tour level finals.

And after that disappointment (and a nine-hour flight) he comes back to Bercy, which is a tournament where he’s really struggled over the years, winning only five of his 14 matches.

Perhaps he’ll go better without the crowd pressure, but he’s also lost three of his four career meetings with Dusan Lajovic (three of the four clashes came on hard courts) so 1.52 about Mannarino looks skinny to me.

Finally, my huge-priced outright Alejandro Davidovich Fokina might find himself overpowered at times by Karen Khachanov, but ADF has some power of his own and with the Russian struggling for form for a very long time now my man has his chances here.

Having come through qualies he’ll be nicely attuned to conditions and he’s facing an opponent here who looks at the moment like his best days are already behind him, having failed to even make a semi final since Beijing 2019 (unless you count the ATP Cup knockabout).

Khachanov has shown very little in St Petersburg or Vienna on indoor hard that should worry the Spaniard, so I’m hoping for a performance from ADF here.

The only other one I fancy is one we were unlucky one a few weeks ago when Aljaz Bedene chucked his serve away early on against Milos Raonic, which was the only break of the match.

We’d gone with a set one tie break there and of course it ended up being set two that ended 7-6. Given the respective stats of the pair I wouldn’t be against trying that 7-6 set one bet again.

We did really well with last week’s bets, with three of the four winning at very good prices (the other one retired injured) and that’s pretty much ensured that we’ll be in profit yet again for the season.

That’s pleasing, considering that we only had a few months play in 2020 and much of that came after a six-month break, and this week I’ll just take a couple of my fancies on the daily bets.


Best Bets


0.5 points win Evans to beat Wawrinka at 2.60
0.5 points win Gasquet to beat Fritz at 2.35