Tuesday’s Daily Hitter: Finding Value on the São Paulo Dirt
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Pretty girthy card ahead of us on Tuesday from Acapulco, Dubai, and Sao Paulo. I had nothing circled in Acapulco so I’ll bypass there entirely. The Dubai card is also fairly unappetizing. I could maybe see Lucas Pouille being somewhat vulnerable after a final run last week in Marseille. And Ernests Gulbis does possess the game to test him, but who knows if he’s feeling up to it. Instead, I have my eye on a play on the dirt down in Brasil.
Match: Rogerio Dutra Silva -117 vs. Tennys Sandgren
Projected Start Time: 1:30 p.m. EST
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Give me Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva — playing in his place of birth and current residence — this afternoon against ol’ Twitter-fingers Tennys Sandgren (pictured above). Dutra Silva is the type of player I like to refer to as a “thrasher” (similar to his compatriot Thiago Monteiro). When he peaks, he paints the lines with his groundies. He’s had some tough luck so far in 2018, as he is still searching for his first Tour win. However, his last two matches have gone the distance against respectable opponents in Leo Mayer (at his hometown in Argentina) and Albert Ramos (in Rio). He’s been knocking at the door for his first win of the year. The familiar São Paulo courts should provide him with a prime opportunity to grab that elusive victory.
Sandgren, of course, had the big Aussie Open run (reaching the QF) and will probably play the rest of the season at the Tour level for as long as his ranking allows. Prior to his recent breakthrough, Sandgren racked up a ton of matches on the clay at the Challenger level. Interestingly enough, however, he played almost all of those matches at American clay tournaments. In fact, prior to 2017, he never left the country for a clay match. Conditions at an American clay-court Challenger will most likely not have prepared Sandgren well for the conditions he’ll see today, in Brasil of all places, with a local hero on the court. The atmosphere will feel like that of a soccer match. No exaggeration. Fortunately for Sandgren, he isn’t an Argentine or it would be even rowdier.
Style-wise, this will play out in the mold of the classic offense vs. defense battle. Dutra Silva, the shot-maker, will have the game on his racquet against the defensive prowess of Sandgren. I think the support of the home crowd on each point will take Dutra Silva’s game to the next level against a relatively inexperienced Tour-level opponent, especially in these conditions.
Sandgren got washed (6-1 6-2) a few weeks ago against a decent clay courter Facundo Bagnis in a similar situation, as Bagnis was playing at home in Buenos Aires. I expect Dutra Silva to present a similar obstacle for the American today.
Hitter: Dutra Silva -117
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