Second round action at the Paris Masters continues today and with a number of big names starting their tournament. Dan Weston returns with his thoughts...
Verdasco struggles with injury in Zverev loss
After bringing us success on Monday, Fernando Verdasco failed to double us up with the Spaniard easily beaten by Alexander Zverev. Subsequent social media posts from Verdasco indicated he felt he would have retired with injury - which would have helped us get a void on the game handicap - had it not been the final tournament of the season. A frustrating decision on his part.
Today's schedule sees the remaining 12 second round matches take place with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal taking to the courts for the first time this tournament. Djokovic is an overwhelming favourite over French prospect Corentin Moutet, and should wreak havoc on Moutet's serve, while Nadal is bigger but still a strong favourite, at1.14 as he faces Adrian Mannarino.
Shapovalov should have too much for Fognini
The elite duo are the only really strong pre-match favourites on what looks a pretty competitive card today and our outright pick, the long-shot Denis Shapovalov, looks a decent shout at 1.56 to get past Fabio Fognini. The Italian's stats indoors are pretty mediocre across the last couple of seasons, and Shapovalov, who should enjoy the conditions much more, isn't badly priced at all here even as a favourite.
Monfils capable of getting past Paire in all-French clash
Similarly priced is Gael Monfils for his match with Benoit Paire. Monfils disappointed in his semi-final last week against Diego Schwartzman in Vienna but he didn't take any break point chances. Paire tends to underwhelm indoors (combined service/return points won of 97% in the last two years) and I priced Monfils quite a bit shorter than the market, who are offering1.57 about Monfils in this all-French battle.
Paire's last four defeats indoors at a similar price to today have all been straight-set losses and pretty one sided affairs, so we could also look at the 2.14about Monfils -3.5 games here and I like this line as today's recommendation.
Market favouring Berrettini over Tsonga
Concluding, there's also a few interesting underdogs today. Matteo Berrettini has clear motivation for his match with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, given potential World Tour Finals qualification, but the Frenchman, Tsonga, has marginally better data this year on relevant surfaces and could do well in front of home support at2.46.
Dimitrov with history on his side against Goffin
In addition, Grigor Dimitrov takes an 8-1 head to head lead into his clash with David Goffin, although most are from 2017 and 2018. In the World Tour Finals at the end of 2017, which Dimitrov won in the final against Goffin, Dimitrov was priced as a solid market favourite (around 1.40 in the final, and 1.60 in the round robin group stage) and this market price of 2.14today illustrates how he's struggled since.
However, in those more recent head to head matches Goffin has had slight issues on serve (58% of service points won) but the overall numbers aren't indicative of a huge head to head deficit - Dimitrov has hugely overperformed on saving break points in those matches. It will be interesting to see whether this head to head history weighs on Goffin's mind today - in theory, it shouldn't, given the nature of those victories for Dimitrov.