ATP Tennis Betting: Struggling Coric can be opposed in Verdasco clash in Bercy

October 27, 2019

We’re back in Bercy for the traditional main-calendar-season-ending Masters 1000 and this is one tournament where nobody really knows what to expect in terms of results and performance levels.

In the last six years the Paris Masters has produced an average of 29% underdog winners, which is about par, but there were only 10 in the whole tournament last year (23%) yet 22 the year before (48%).

Tie break matches are subject to similar year-on-year fluctuations, with 52% of the matches in 2016 featuring at least one tie break, but only 36% in 2018.

The seemingly constant altering of the court speed here doesn’t help us either in that regard and of course there are regular – and not exactly subtle – tanks thrown in at this stage of the season as well.

Five of the first 33 main draw matches weren’t completed (two didn’t even start) last season and only four of the 16 round one matches went to a deciding set.

In the last six years 36% of round one matches have gone the way of the betting underdog – helped by a whopping 11 of 16 in 2013 – while 38% of the matches in round one have featured a tie break in the last six years.

There are 10 matches on the card on day one in Paris and French players dominate the line-up on Court Central on Monday, but do any of them have decent records at this tournament?

Well, not really, and here are the Paris Masters main draw records of the French players in action on day one:

Jeremy Chardy: 5-9 win/loss and never won back-to-back matches here. Only three of his 14 matches have gone to a decider (one retirement). Plays 0.35 tie breaks per set here.

Benoit Paire: 2-6 win/loss and just 68.8% service holds.

Adrian Mannarino: 4-8 win/loss and five of his last six losses have come in a deciding set

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Lost 7 of his last 11 matches here, but 18-11 win/loss in his career at least.

Three bets appeal to me in Monday’s play, the first of which is continue to oppose Borna Coric, whose form lately is awful and I should think he’s one player that can’t wait for the season to end (although he still has Davis Cup after this). 

The Croat was able to win only 31% of his second serve points against Mikhail Kukushkin last week in Vienna and if we look at his last five matches since a rather fortuitous run to the St Petersburg final we find that he’s 1-5 win/loss.

The solitary win was over number 339 Di Wu and in his last four matches his service hold/break total is 90.4, with just 13.5% breaks of serve.

He actually served pretty well against Kukushkin, hitting 13 aces in 10 service games, but still only won 73% of first serve points in another weak showing since splitting with his coach, Riccardo Piatti.

Coric doesn’t have anything like an impressive record on indoor hard and here in Bercy he’s only managed to break serve 14.3% of the time in his six matches (3-3 win/loss).

One of those wins in Paris was against today’s opponent Fernando Verdasco, but that was back in 2015 and Verdasco beat Coric twice in two days at the start of this season in Adelaide in the WTC event there, so the match-up shouldn’t be a worry.

Verdasco actually made the quarter finals here in Bercy as recently as 2017 and has a decent hold/break total here of 100.4 in his career, so I’m not expecting an end-of-season tank from him.

Despite losing three of his last four matches his level has been okay, with a 98.4 hold/break total in those four matches against good opposition: Thiem, Schwartzman, Fritz, and Basilashvili.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bit of a half-hearted effort from Coric given the way his second half of the season has gone and I’m happy to take Verdasco as underdog here, with Coric having lost five of his last nine versus left-handers, too.

He also has a losing 4-5 record on indoor hard when priced up between 1.60 and 1.79 at main level, so plenty of reasons to oppose Coric today.

Jeremy Chardy and Sam Querrey both made it through qualies here this past weekend and face each other at around 14:00 UK time on Court Central in what will be a sixth career meeting of a series that started a decade ago.

They’ve not met for almost five years now, but little has really changed in their games and the head-to-head shows that Chardy has held serve 93% of the time against Querrey, who’s held 91% of the time against Chardy.

Chardy has won 0.09 break points per game against Querrey, who’s won 0.08 per game against Chardy, while Chardy has played 0.35 tie breaks per set in Bercy.

Chardy even managed to play two breakers against Corentin Moutet in qualies on Sunday and 2-1 about a set one tie break between Chardy and Querrey is fair enough.

The third one that appeals is to take Benoit Paire on as 1.55 favourite against Damir Dzumhur, who gets in as a lucky loser following Guido Pella’s withdrawal.

Dzumhur lost in a final set tie break to Ricardas Berankis on Sunday, but it may simply be the case that he’ll put more effort in than Paire, whose record here is poor and recent effort levels have been likewise.

Each time I’ve trusted Dzumhur this season he’s been awful though, so I may pass on that one.

Elsewhere, Adrian Mannarino’s luck in Bercy might be turning, as despite his record of deciding set losses here he faces an opponent in Casper Ruud that looks like he’ll have a hard time on hard courts against lefties.

The defence on that side doesn’t look the best on a faster surface than clay and Ruud failed to win a set in five against Guido Pella in two matches on outdoor hard this summer and last.

On all surfaces at main level he’s 2-6 win/loss versus lefties and this looks a good opportunity for Mannarino to get off the mark in Bercy for a change.


Best Bets


0.5 points win over 12.5 games in set one of Chardy/Querrey at 3.0
0.5 points win Verdasco to beat Coric at 2.18