ATP Daily Hitter: Bolelli vs. Delbonis on the Clay in Estoril
We stacked a quarter-unit Tuesday after splitting our hitters in Estoril. We hit a little bad luck with Andujar, who failed to seize control of that first set — squandering five break chances on the Tsitsipas serve, which would’ve all but secured the first set for the Spaniard.
However, it’s safe to say our luck turned around, as our second hitter — Nicolas Jarry — pulled a Lazarus to beat Leo Mayer, who had a 40-0 lead serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set. The Chilean sensation somehow saved all three match points (and then another) before breaking Mayer’s serve to force a second-set breaker. He then saved two more match points before taking it 9-7. And like most second-set breakers, that swung the momentum of the match, which carried right into the decider, which he won 6-4. Fortunate hit to say the least.
After a very sweaty Tuesday, let’s look ahead to Wednesday.
YTD: 42-41 +9.43 units
Federico Delbonis (-110) vs. Simone Bolelli (-110)
Where: Estoril, Portugal
When: Not before 2:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Bolelli leads 1-0
The last match on the card in Estoril promises to be a good one, with Delbonis and Bolelli squaring off in a pick ’em.
I like the Italian, Bolelli (pictured above), who has now strung together three straight wins in Portugal, including two qualifying matches against respectable opponents in Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jaume Munar.
I came away impressed with his form after watching his first-round match against Joao Domingues on Tuesday. He hit supercrisp and served efficiently. If he continues at that level, he should get through Delbonis, who struggles against players who punch first. When confident, Bolelli has no problem constructing points on his own terms. He should ultimately dictate play for most of the match.
While Delbonis also looked good in the first round, that spoke more to the form of his opponent, Albert Ramos, who has lost five of his last eight on clay. I’m just not really blown away by that result.
Bolelli has also had a more impressive season on the dirt, which the numbers show. In all competitions, Bolelli owns a 12-4 record on clay — with a combined hold/break percentage of 118.2%. Conversely, Delbonis is just 5-5 with a 98.7% combined hold/break metric (although all of Delbonis’ matches were at the Tour level except for a bad qualifying loss last week in Monte Carlo vs. Nicolas Mahut).
They have met only once before, albeit on a hard court in Winston-Salem in 2015. Given the surface difference, I don’t take much from that match, but Bolelli won comprehensively (6-4, 6-3), for what it’s worth.
I expect Delbonis to make a run or two in this match, as he usually does, but the Italian should get across the finish line. Gimme Bolelli and his beautiful strokes (some of the prettiest on Tour) at even money.
THE PICK: Simone Bolelli -110
Bonus note: I played Laslo Djere at +300 against Andreas Seppi on Wednesday in Istanbul, as that line is simply too high. Seppi’s due for a stinker match (bad loss), and Djere made the quarterfinals in Istanbul last season. Don’t be shocked if he pulls off another upset.
Photo via Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports