ATP Tata Open, Cordoba Open & Open Sud de France Best Bets (Feb. 1)
Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Alexei Popyrin hits a forehand at the Australian Open.
After a thrilling Australian Open and month of tournaments down under, the ATP Tour moves on to its golden swing in addition to hard court tournaments.
These events obviously don’t contain the same pedigree as the first Slam of the year, but they still represent valuable opportunities for players to gain ranking points, money and form on their preferred surfaces.
Here are my best bets for each tournament across the Tour on February 1.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Elias Ymer (-162) vs. Gian Marco Moroni (+130)
Tata Open, 2:30 a.m. ET
Both Elias Ymer and Gian Marco Moroni battled through qualifiers to set up a first round matchup, with Ymer getting by Jozef Kovalik and Dimitar Kuzmanov and Moroni defeating Kimmer Coppejans and Evgeny Donskoy.
Each player also fell in the qualifying stages of the Australian Open, so this represents a chance to get on the board for the 2022 season in terms of main draw Tour wins.
This matchup is interesting stylistically, as it will pit two players against each other that don’t love hard courts historically. However, they’ve both been making strides on the surface as evidenced by their qualifying success.
Moroni comes into the match with confidence stemming not only from his qualifying victories, but also from quality performances at the Forli 3 Challenger. where he strung together two wins and a tight loss against the in-form Quentin Halys.
The Italian had a one-plus ace-to-double ratio and winner-to-unforced error ratio in each match, highlighting the efficient but offensive tennis that he’s been able to maintain.
Ymer beat Moroni in the pair’s only prior matchup, but that came on clay in 2019. I believe Moroni will even the series with an upset in Pune.
Pick: Gian Marco Moroni +130 via Caesars
Filip Krajinovic (-115) vs. Alexei Popyrin (-110)
Open Sud de France , 6 a.m. ET
In another matchup between players that had equal success at the Australian Open, Filip Krajinovic will take on Alexei Popyrin.
Both players suffered first-round defeats at the slam, though the Aussie’s was more painful not only because he was playing at home, but also because it came in five sets, rather than the straight set loss that the Serbian endured.
Regardless of the form that the two showed in Melbourne, this is a surface that is far more suitable for Popyrin than Krajinovic. The former posted a 10-5 indoor hard court record in 2021 while the latter totaled a 4-7 mark. It’s easy to understand Popyrin’s success when his game is predicated on a big serve and forehand combination.
The speedy courts in Montpellier allow for shorter points, which will not be ideal for a player in Krajinovic whose best surface is clay, conducive to longer rallies and individuals with more shot tolerance.
At a pick ’em price, there’s no reason to get cute and ignore the value that inherently comes with it. Back the player that is more likely to be comfortable, and that’s Popyrin.
Pick: Alexei Popyrin -110 via PointsBet
Hugo Dellien (-115) vs. Daniel Elahi Galan (-110)
While Daniel Galan got into the main draw of this event as a lucky loser, his recent play doesn’t reflect that notion.
Galan struggled in the latter stages of 2021, but he’s really turned a corner since beating John Isner at the Davis Cup in his last match of the year.
The clay-courter has since nabbed a hard court win in Adelaide, in addition to a Challenger title on clay, where this match will be played. He beat his opponent, Hugo Dellien, in the semifinal of that event, and despite struggling down the stretch, he was the better player throughout the match.
This match is on each player’s preferred surface of clay, but Dellien hasn’t been able to find the success that Galan has had recently. He’s 6-2 in two Challenger events, and he didn’t travel to Melbourne for any Australian summer events.
The Bolivian hasn’t been able to sustain the consistency that is a staple of his game, with the lone impressive win he has on the year coming against Santiago Rodriguez Taverna. Outside of that, Dellien hasn’t done any significant damage.
Both players will view this as a key match, so the intensity will be risen further. But Galan is playing better at the moment, and on clay the ability to remain solid and pressure your opponent off the ground in each point is key.
At another pick ’em price, I side with the Colombian.
Pick: Daniel Elahi Galan -110 via DraftKings
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