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ATP Marrakech Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Popyrin vs Evans, Carballes Baena vs Kuzmanov (April 5)

ATP Marrakech Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Popyrin vs Evans, Carballes Baena vs Kuzmanov (April 5) article feature image

Darrian Traynor/Getty. Pictured: Alexei Popyrin.

ATP Marrakech has already showcased incredible tennis and the fascinating matchups continue on Wednesday.

I’ve found value on two of the matches on April 5, featuring Popyrin vs Evans and Carballes Baena vs Kuzmanov.

Read on for my ATP Marrakech picks.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.

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ATP Marrakech Odds, Picks

Alexei Popyrin (-146) vs Dan Evans (+114)

9:30 a.m. ET

Alexei Popyrin defeated an overmatched Younis Lamani Laaroussi 6-3, 6-2 to open his Marrakech campaign. Popyrin won 77% of his first serves and 68% of his service points overall, getting broken just once. The Aussie also won 50% of his return points, breaking on five occasions.

Popyrin is 58-44 on clay in his career, including a 7-4 record last season. The Aussie has a powerful, well-placed first serve that is a major weapon. While Popyrin can play with power from both wings, he hits his forehand with excellent controlled aggression, dictating from the baseline.

But, Popyrin’s backhand can break down at times and the Aussie can go through spells of overhitting.

Dan Evans last played in Miami, falling 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 in his opening match to Lorenzo Sonego. Evans did hit 22 winners compared to 20 unforced errors, winning 79% of his first serves and 69% of his overall service points. But, the Brit was broken on three occasions.

On return, Evans won 58% of his second-serve returns, yet he only won 1-of-13 break points in an un-clutch performance.

Evans is 49-44 as a professional on clay, although he went 4-7 on the dirt last season. The Brit will be looking to break a six-match losing streak that is currently looming over him. Evans hits his spots on serve, playing with consistency and variety from the baseline – particularly his potent backhand slice.

However, Evans can struggle to hit through clay and his backhand slice sits up on the dirt.

Popyrin is in the better form of the two and is the more confident player at the moment. The Brit even lost to world number 231 Nicolas Mejia in his only clay match so far this season, struggling to hit through the Colombian from the baseline.

The Aussie, on the other hand, has the power with his serve and forehand to blast through Evans, keeping him on the defensive and not allowing the Brit the chance to weave his web of variety during baseline exchanges.

The high-bouncing clay neutralizes Evans’ strength in his backhand slice, as well. Instead, his slices should sit up in Popyrin’s strike zone, ready to be punished.

Pick: Popyrin ML  (-146 via FanDuel)

Roberto Carballes Baena (-280) vs Dimitar Kuzmanov (+198)

1:30 p.m. ET

Roberto Carballes Baena came back to defeat Maxime Cressy 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1 to kick off his Marrakech campaign. Carballes Baena made 75% of his first serves and won 76% of those points, only getting broken once. On return, Carballes Baena happily accepted 20 Cressy double faults, winning 43% of his service points and breaking five times.

While Carballes Baena is 3-4 on clay for the year, he has an impressive 478-284 record on the surface for his career. Carballes Baena doesn’t have any huge weapons, but he’s a true pest on the surface. The Spaniard is very fast, he anticipates well and gets consistent depth on his groundstrokes.

Carballes Baena has even incorporated some power from his forehand wing, although he’s still underpowered compared to a lot of his contemporaries.

Dimitar Kuzmanov qualified for Marrakech (defeating Hugo Grenier), and then beat Grenier again 6-3, 6-4 in the main draw. When facing Grenier in the main draw, Kuzmanov won 72% of his service points and saved the only break point he faced. The Bulgarian also won 48% of his second-serve returns, breaking serve on two occasions.

Kuzmanov is a strong clay-courter, with a 282-148 career-record on the dirt. The Bulgarian, while not having overwhelming power, can dictate play with his heavy forehand. Kuzmanov is both consistent and physical. In addition, he has a lot of variety to his game and has a high tennis IQ

But, Kuzmanov’s backhand can break down under pressure.

Carballes Baena is the more complete player in this matchup. He should be able to neutralize Kuzmanov’s forehand until he can effectively attack the Bulgarian’s weaker backhand wing.

And, while Kuzmanov is often able to outlast his opponents both in rallies and in overall matches, the Spaniard is fast and fit enough to negate this strength of Kuzmanov’s game.

When looking at Elo ratings, Carballes Baena’s overall Elo is 147.8 points higher than Kuzmanov’s and his clay-court Elo is 143.3 points above the Bulgarian’s.

Pick: Carballes Baena 2-0  (+105 via FanDuel)

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