Diego Schwartzman v Viktor TroickiSchwartzman continue to improve his career best ranking every week and now sits at number 25 in the world. He continues to win multiple matches every week which is a testament to his consistency. He has very few fluctuations in his game and his ability to break serve keeps him in every match. It is hard to bet against the best returner in the game when he is coming up against a man who turns up one day and forgets how to play tennis the next – Troicki. The key to beating the Serbian to to break his spirit early. He then proceeds to free fall and finding the court with a regulation forehand becomes a difficult task. In Schwartzman we trust.
Fernando Verdasco v Andrey RublevBeing a successful ATP Tour pro requires you to play close to your best on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Like Shapovalov, Rublev still has a lot to learn. A quarter final run at the US Open opened up several doors for the Russian but he has lost in the opening round in 3 of his 5 appearances since losing to Nadal. What is even more concerning is that all of those losses have come in straight sets. Verdasco is a seasoned vet and will not give him an inch. The Spaniard played some inspiring tennis in Stockholm – beating Anderson and pushing a in-form Del Potro to a deciding set tiebreaker. Rublev is 0-3 on indoor hard courts and will fall to 0-4.
Dominic Thiem v Peter GojowczykHe may be ranked number 6 in the world but as we have seen in recent weeks Thiem is yet to figure out how to win matches on faster surfaces. He continues to play off the back foot with his backhand, giving up court position and consequently allowing his opponent to dominate from the baseline. Fading him has been a money making machine for us in since the US Open. He has lost 4 of his last 5 matches – all to players ranked well below him. Gojowczyk has plenty of tennis in his already this week. Came in as a lucky loser and took full advantage by beating Harrison in the opening round. Even if he doesn’t win this one he will keep it very close.
Best Bet: Gojowczyk +3.5 ($1.73)