ATP Tennis Betting: Value in opposing Paire against fellow countryman Mahut

Tuesday at the 2017 Internazionali BNL d’Italia is a busy one, with 14 men’s singles matches scheduled at the Foro Italico.

We had to wait a long time for our only wager of Monday to start and when it did Jared Donaldson led an irritable Ryan Harrison by 6-2, 5-3, but of course he choked it, lost the ensuing tie break to love, and eventually the match from 1.04 in-play.

That’s pretty much how things have gone this whole clay swing and it was no shock to see Donaldson fail to put away an opponent who was all over place and who should have been out of there in straight sets.

Those who took a chance on David Goffin being a 2-1 winner against Thomaz Bellucci would have enjoyed a 3.95 winner though, as our outright gave cause for concern before coming through in the decider.

We’ve plenty of round one and two action in Rome on Tuesday when we’re set for another sunny and warm day, with no rain expected, and the dial will reach the high 20s in the shade.

Nicolas Mahut vs Benoit Paire

We’ve seen on numerous occasions in recent times that Mahut is no slouch in clay and this quicker red dirt should suit him well – it certainly did a year ago when he took down Pablo Cuevas here.

The veteran Frenchman also played very well against Cuevas in a three set defeat, having beaten Jack Sock as a big underdog in round one, so if he’s in the mood to give it his all this could be tricky for Paire.

A key factor in taking on Paire is his dismal record against fellow Frenchman, where he’s lost five of his seven when priced as a 1.50 favourite or shorter and 10 of his last 12 at main level.

He’s lost six of his last seven versus Frenchmen in straight sets and Paire hasn’t beaten a fellow countryman at main level in straight sets since 2013.

He’s never faced Mahut so far in his career and he’s been beaten by the likes of Pierre Hugues-Herbert, Michael Llodra and Lukasz Kubot – all net rushing types like Mahut.

Much depends on Paire’s mood of course, but 3.20 on Mahut looks worth risking.

Adrian Mannarino vs Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas has a poor record in Rome of just one main draw win in his six matches at the Foro Italico and as mentioned above he was beaten by Mahut here a year ago.

Coming off a strong run in Madrid Cuevas could well be feeling it and Mannarino has improved considerably on clay over the last year, which he’s not being given much credit for in the prices of this match.

The Frenchman, who rarely used to show anything at all on clay has won 12 of his last 16 matches on the red dirt and beaten the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Paire, Guido Pella, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Robin Haase on this surface in that run.

His service hold/break stats on clay are now over 100 in total (71.4% holds/29.4% breaks) – a stat that is better than Paire, Gilles Simon, and almost the same as Jack Sock.

Looking at the handicap mark of 4.5 games on Cuevas is interesting, as in his last 13 matches on clay versus left-handers he’s only covered that handicap four times – and three of those were against the same player, Facundo Bagnis.

Bagnis hasn’t beaten a top-100 player since last October, so that says it all about his current level, and with Mannarino having come through qualies he’ll be used to the conditions and could prove competitive in this one.

A price of 2.75 and upwards on tie break played looks good here, as does the 3.30 about Mannarino taking the opening set.

Other underdogs that could be in with viable chances today include Fernando Verdasco, who on a good day could cause problems for Goffin, and there’s only a couple of percent between the pair in the hold/break stats on clay in the last 12 months at main level.

Hopefully Goffin will come through that one and it would be good for that outright if Fabio Fognini rises to the occasion for once in Rome and takes down Andy Murray in the 20:00 UK time match.

As I mentioned in some detail the other day Fognini has rarely been anything other than poor here in Rome, but he might revel in the role of underdog taking on the world number one with no pressure on him. His price looks rather skinny though and slight value may well lie with Murray today.

David Ferrer’s decline has been such that he now lags behind Feliciano Lopez in the main level hold/break stats on clay over the last 12 months, and Ferrer has lost as favourite 23 times in 2016 and 2017, so I wouldn’t be backing him on Tuesday.

Pablo Carreno Busta looks plenty short enough too against Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman is struggling for confidence right now and overs looks the wager in that one.

Kevin Anderson is starting to play well again after a long struggle with injuries and in conditions that are lively for a clay event and will be so again on a sunny day he could push Alexander Zverev harder than perhaps many expect.

Best Bets
1 point win Mahut to beat Paire at 3.20
1 point win Mannarino to win set one at 3.30