Thursday ATP Betting Preview: More Halle Magic From Florian Mayer?

Thursday ATP Betting Preview: More Halle Magic From Florian Mayer? article feature image

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Florian Mayer

The Highlights

  • Tennis action continues on the grass from Halle and Queen’s Club with quarterfinal action underway Thursday.
  • Our first best bet of the day comes at Halle in a match between Florian Mayer (-125) and Andreas Seppi (+105)
  • We will head to Queen’s Club for our second hitter in an all-French affair between Julien Benneteau (-125) and Adrian Mannarino (+105).

Our Wednesday hitter, Daniil Medvedev, let us down at the Queen’s Club, as Jeremy Chardy simply outclassed him.

Through Chardy’s first five service games, Medvedev failed to win a single point — and the Frenchman continued his white-hot form by serving his way to a straight-set victory.

However, over in Halle, Yuichi Sugita took down Domi Thiem on the grass — as we suspected — so hopefully some of you reaped the benefits of the “fade Thiem on Grass” wagering strategy.

With another seven matches to choose from on Thursday in Halle and London, I’ve got my eyes on two bets that I think hold value on the lawn.

Florian Mayer (-130) vs. Andreas Seppi (+105)

Where: Halle, Germany
Surface: Grass
When: Not before 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Seppi leads 4-2 (1-1 on grass)

This will be the last “hoorah” for Mayer at Halle, a tournament that he has dominated in the past. In his last six appearances at Halle, Mayer owns a 13-4 record — with three of those four losses coming at the hands of the King of grass, Roger Federer. (The fourth loss came against another solid grass-courter in Richard Gasquet, whom Mayer defeated on Tuesday.)

Last year, Mayer defeated Ben Paire and Lucas Pouille, both decent wins on grass, before losing to Roger in the quarterfinals. And, in 2016, Mayer won this tournament.

In Flo’s last rodeo in Halle before retirement, I like him to go out with a bang. On Thursday, he’ll square off against Italian Andreas Seppi — who straight-setted compatriot Matteo Berrettini in his first match here. I watched some of the replay of that one and wasn’t overly impressed by Seppi’s performance.

The Italian can run hot and cold — and, while Seppi got through Lucky Loser Berrettini in straights, I didn’t come away feeling as if he was about to rip off one of his hot streaks. Berrettini is hardly an established grass player — having never played on a grass court professionally, before the Halle quallies — and he looked uncomfortable on the surface.

Mayer, in contrast, will no doubt look at home on the grass of Halle. And I expect his experience — and craftiness — to get him to the finish line at a tourney he fancies. Mayer loves to use double-handed drop shots early and often. That should really frustrate Seppi, who likes to settle in behind the baseline. With the unpredictability of Mayer likely to disrupt Seppi’s rhythm — I think Mayer holds the edge in this matchup.

Especially with the German crowd urging their man on.

The Pick: Florian Mayer (-130)

Julien Benneteau (-125) vs. Adrian Mannarino

Where: London, UK
When: Not before 11:30 a.m. ET
H2H: Benneteau leads 3-0

The last match of the day at Queen’s Club features another player hanging it up after this season in Benneteau, who will take on a fellow Frenchman in Mannarino.

Benne came through quallies with two impressive wins — against Simone Bolelli (a very decent grass courter) and Mackenzie McDonald (fresh off a quarterfinal run in Den Bosch) — and then he took out Tomas Berdych in the first round of the main draw. Benneteau hit 19 aces against Berdych in that one — and should feel supremely confident about his current form.

Meanwhile, Mannarino was fortunate to get through Dan Evans in the first round at Queen’s Club. After taking the first set somewhat comfortably, Mannarino sucked down a bagel in the second set. He then had to come back from 2-5 down in the third set to pull out the victory.

Mannarino looked utterly lost for most of that match against Evans — winning just 33% of his first serve points (appalling) in the second set. I don’t expect things to get any easier for Manna against Benneteau, who generally plays a tidy brand of tennis.

In their three previous meetings, Benneteau has never dropped a set against Mannarino — and given the latter’s form, I expect Benneteau to make it four out of four matches. Keep in mind, Mannarino has lost nine of his last 11 matches (on all surfaces) and has struggled with confidence issues in the past.

Mannarino found a way to wiggle out of trouble against Evans, but I doubt he’ll be as fortunate if Benneteau jumps out to an early lead.

The Pick: Julien Benneteau (-125)