The good start to the week in Geneva and Lyon continued on Monday when our 3.45 shot of there being a tie break in the match between Nicolas Jarry and Matt Ebden at the Geneva Open was successful.
As usual, Jarry’s radar went off for a spell, allowing Ebden to take a 4-1 lead in set two, but he was broken on the restart after a lengthy rain delay and all holds from there allowed us to collect a nice winner.
Anyone who took a chance on the one I suggested as the best option in Lyon of Pierre-Hugues Herbert (and also Janko Tipsarevic in Geneva) would also have collected and from an outright perspective it was handy for Jarry to win his match in two sets.
There wasn’t such good luck with Martin Klizan in the outrights though, as Klizan withdrew from Lyon with a stomach complaint.
The threat of rain has diminished at both venues on Tuesday, with a cloudy day expected in Geneva and Lyon, with winds ranging from 15-20kph, so a bit breezy.
There are a few underdogs that look like they might have fair chances of causing an upset on Tuesday and they include: Corentin Moutet, Mackenzie McDonald, Federico Delbonis, Feli Lopez, and maybe Ernests Gulbis.
Corentin Moutet vs Reilly Opelka
With a fair strength wind around it might not be the ideal day for serving and I’m happy to take a small chance on young French talent Moutet here at a tempting price of around 2.70.
Moutet is certainly one of those players that can be held back by his temperament at times, but he’s shown us in the past that on clay against one of the biggest servers around that he has got the patience to succeed.
Last season Moutet twice defeated Ivo Karlovic – on the clay of Quito at huge altitude – and in much slower conditions at the French Open, with Moutet winning three of the four tie breaks they played in those matches.
My worry with him, as well as his questionable mindset at times, is that he’s had a bit of a tight turnaround from playing the Samarkand Challenger final in Uzbekistan on Sunday, but the Lyon organisers couldn’t have given Moutet a much later start than Tuesday given the proximity to the French Open.
I’m hoping that with a wild card at home in France he’ll be keen to go well and against Opelka he’s got every chance on this surface.
We’ve only seen Opelka as anything like a force this clay swing at altitude in Madrid and on a breezy, cloudy day of 15C in Lyon he won’t get the same kind of assistance on serve as he did in the Spanish capital.
And Opelka needs that serve to fire, breaking as he does at main level on clay, only 7.1% of the time so far in his career.
You’re never quite sure what you’ll get with Moutet, but at 2.70 at home with a wild card I’m happy to chance him here.
Another French player of questionable mentality on show on Tuesday is Benoit Paire, who has been complaining of a recurrence of his back issue that crops up every so often and he spoke of potentially not playing this week.
He didn’t look too comfortable in the doubles on Monday and unless he improves markedly on his Rome display Mackenzie McDonald has half a chance here at decent odds.
Paire said he was “apprehensive” on serve in Rome, where he lost to Radu Albot, and in the last year on clay at main level (14 matches) his average first serve percentage is just 47.4%, which is dreadful.
Moving on to Geneva and I’m quite tempted by the odds of 3.40 on a tie break being played in the clash between Albert Ramos and Adrian Mannarino, with the extra speed at slight altitude likely to aid Mannarino.
There’s no real stats to back that up, like there was with the Jarry bet, it just looks on the generous side to me and another option in Geneva is to take Feli Lopez in these conditions against Damir Dzumhur.
Both of these two are very much out of form and I wonder what Lopez has left in the tank these days, but he’s played well in similar conditions in Gstaad before and he’s able to serve somewhere near his best it’s a possibility that Lopez could cause the upset.
Similarly, with Ernests Gulbis, who beat Alexander Zverev in admittedly very different conditions at Wimbledon last year. The Latvian can’t be ruled out against an opponent low on confidence and who described his match last week as: “Horrendous. I will not touch the racket for a few days. I do not feel like playing tennis right now.”
And he faces a similar sort of challenge to Matteo Berrettini in Gulbis, a big serving, aggressive opponent – and in similarly windy conditions, so if Gulbis can take confidence from his round one win he’s capable of doing something here.
0.5 points win Moutet to beat Opelka at 2.70