ATP Tennis Betting: Underdog Fucsovics can upset Gulbis in Winston-Salem

There are 13 matches on the card in North Carolina on Monday, as round one of the 2017 Winston-Salem Open completes and round two begins.

A ridiculous second set of serving from Nick Kyrgios in which he smashed down 11 in six service games (his yearly average is a shade over one per game) saw our final bet of the Cincy lose on Sunday night, but we were still in profit for the week.

Grigor Dimitrov didn’t help matters by serving at under 40% of first serves for most of that set, having put 66% in play in set one when he tied Kyrgios for aces at 4-4.

And of course the final irony of Dimitrov winning the tournament at 33-1 the week after we’d back him to make the final in Montreal wasn’t lost on me, as this week’s outrights began in farcical fashion.

Alexandr Dolgopolov drifted from 1-3 to 2-1 against Thiago Monteiro and the Ukrainian clearly wasn’t interested in winning in another match that had to be reported to the relevant authorities.

Then, the thing that I didn’t particularly want to happen happened, when qualifier Kyle Edmund was drawn against Daniil Medvedev, as I suggested would probably be the case.

It’s set to be warm (30C in the shade) and quite humid (over 50% humidity) in Winston-Salem on Monday and they start from 15:00 local time (20:00 UK).

There are a few decent-looking options on Monday, with the following bets appearing on my shortlist: Marton Fucsovics to beat Ernests Gulbis, Steve Darcis to beat Andrey Rublev, Marcos Baghdatis to beat Jiri Vesely, Janko Tipsarevic to beat Andreas Seppi and Malek Jaziri to beat Taylor Fritz – all at nice prices.

Marton Fucsovics vs Ernests Gulbis

There’s a lot going for the Hungarian qualifier in this one, with Gulbis’ recent record on hard courts being really poor and he’s also lost both prior career meetings with today’s opponent.

Fucsovics had few problems in qualifying, with wins over Nikala Scholtz and Kevin King, and while that’s hardly exciting he did remain unbroken in both matches, which is always good for the confidence.

The Hungarian took down Gulbis on clay last year in Barcelona and on carpet in Davis Cup back in the days when Ernie was top-100, so the match-up shouldn’t present a problem for Fucsovics.

Gulbis has lost 14 of his last 16 matches on outdoor hard at all levels and he was favourite for 11 of those defeats, so backing him on this surface is fraught with danger.

Fucsovics should have the edge as regards playing conditions, having come through qualies and at 2.45 he looks good value and the pick of the shortlist.

One of those two Gulbis wins in his last 16 matches on outdoor hard came against another wildly inconsistent sort in Andrey Rublev and if he’s having one of his regular poor days he may well find facing the canny Belgian Steve Darcis a frustrating experience.

Rublev is being priced on his shock win in Umag as a qualifier, but his hold/break mark at main level on outdoor hard is just 90.4, which compares unfavourably to the 104.8 of Darcis.

As ever with Darcis the worry is injuries and he withdrew from the Meerbusch Challenger last week citing a back injury, so his fitness is questionable.

Janko Tipsarevic is another one on the regularly injured list, but he seemed OK in a three set loss to David Ferrer last week, although he did have some pills from the doctor at one stage.

Opponent Andreas Seppi has been off since the grass swing after having an injection in his hip, so his fitness is questionable and surely he’ll be rusty, and in any case Tipsy’s main level hold/break mark on outdoor hard in the last year is 7.6% better than Seppi’s.

Marcos Baghdatis has a great record against lefties and is 4-0 against Jiri Vesely and with one match under his belt already in Winston-Salem the Cypriot looks good for another success over the Czech.

Vesely has looked less than enthused in his last few matches and Baggy’s record of 12 wins in his last 15 matches against lefties (losses to Nadal, Klizan and Muller) suggests he can continue to make the Czech struggle in this match-up.

Finally, Taylor Fritz is a really tough man to predict, with the American youngster having a good hold/break mark at main level on outdoor hard of 103.6, but he loses a lot of matches to players he should beat at lower levels.

He lost to Cedrik-Marcel Stebe last week and Liam Broady the week before in Challengers, plus he’s been beaten by Malek Jaziri in their last two meetings, so 1.50 on Fritz seems short against the Tunisian.

Jaziri is hardly a model of consistency either, with some poor losses under his belt on this hard court swing already (four defeats to players ranked below him) and it’s another risky one, but surely Fritz should be bigger than 1.50.

Best Bet
1.5 points win Fucsovics to beat Gulbis at 2.45