ATP Tennis Odds and Best Bets: Picks for St. Petersburg First Round (Oct. 26)
Credit: Oleg Nikishin, Getty. Egor Gerasimov hits a forehand at the Kremlin Cup.
The first round of play at the St. Petersburg Open continues on Tuesday.
We’ll be going back to two familiar faces for today’s action. Read on to see who they are, and why I believe they have value.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on watching matches.
Tommy Paul (-198) vs. Pedro Martinez (+160)
6:00 a.m. ET
Another match, another position to get Martinez at a valuable price. The Spaniard comes to St. Petersburg after two wins at the Kremlin Cup that saw him play consistent tennis on a faster surface.
Though Martinez isn’t typically known for his ability to play on hard courts, he’s shown in recent months that he is more than capable of finding results. Martinez is 5-3 in his last eight hard court matches.
Paul and Martinez both lost to the big-serving Marin Cilic in Moscow, but neither is likely to dominate their service games to a similar degree as the Croatian. Paul has conceded 18 break points in his last two matches while Martinez has conceded 14. All four matches contained just two sets each.
On the ground, Martinez and Paul are somewhat similar players. Each is comfortable with extended rallies from the baseline despite attacking in different manners. Paul is more likely to take the initiative with his backhand if the opportunity arises, but Martinez will do so off of both wings to a similar extent.
With all of this being considered, the match projects to be a tight one, as there isn’t much that separates the duo. Getting Martinez at this number offers solid expected value as he’s going to win more than the 38.5% implied probability gives him.
Pick: Pedro Martinez +160 via Caesars Sportsbook
Mackenzie McDonald (-175) vs. Egor Gerasimov (+137)
8:40 a.m. ET
Though McDonald enters the match on the back of a disappointing performance against Gilles Simon at the Kremlin Cup, the focus of this matchup has to be on Gerasimov, who has found a very high level in recent weeks.
Gerasimov’s only loss in his last six matches came against Aslan Karatsev, who went on to win the Kremlin Cup without dropping a set. In St. Petersburg, he beat Damir Dzumhur and Radu Albot in straight sets to reach the main draw.
The Belarusian’s best tennis typically comes on indoor hard courts where he’s now 13-6 on the year despite having a losing record on all other surfaces, including outdoor hard courts.
McDonald has the ability to take over matches on fast courts when playing well, but after his performance in Moscow, it’s hard to anticipate him replicating the type of tennis that he showed earlier in the summer, when he nearly beat Jannik Sinner to win the title in Washington.
This version of McDonald is far more susceptible to being exposed by the type of power that Gerasimov can bring behind both strokes as well as his serve.
Back Gerasimov to display his quality on the surface once again to get by McDonald.
Pick: Egor Gerasimov +137 via Bet365
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