Friday ATP Madrid Best Bets | Picks For Hurkacz vs Gasquet & Zverev vs Carballes Baena
Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Hubert Hurkacz.
It took a lot longer than it should have for Andrea Vavassori, but he did manage to put away Andy Murray in straight sets, while Dusan Lajovic was much more workmanlike in defeating Jason Kubler to bring us a much-needed 2-0 day to kick off our ATP Madrid bets.
Friday sees the second round of action get underway, and that means the top players in the world – who all had a bye in the opening round – join the fray.
Let’s delve into a pair of matchups from Friday’s slate, including Hurkacz vs Gasquet and Zverev vs Carballes Baena.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis.
ATP Madrid Picks & Predictions
Hubert Hurkacz (-425) vs Richard Gasquet (+290)
9:30 am E.T.
Here we have another match in 2023 where Hubert Hurkacz is given a sizable edge over his opponent in the betting markets.
That’s despite having his fair share of struggles on return and playing an odd game that is centered around a monster first serve and then a more consistent brand of tennis from the baseline that doesn’t boast an eye-catching amount of power.
His serve alone is elite, and it has been the bedrock upon which his No. 15 rank has been founded.
I do find it tough to make players that play so many close sets a -425 favorite, however. That’s emphasized when playing someone like Richard Gasquet.
The wily veteran from France plays with an incredible amount of topspin, works the court very well and constructs points beautifully. The firepower may be lacking, but he makes up for it with his shotmaking and spin that forces opposing players to play with patience, since being overly aggressive against those balls can lead to sailing unforced errors.
Throw in the fact that clay isn’t Hurkacz’s best surface and I’m content opposing the big man in some capacity.
The Gasquet moneyline does look somewhat appealing, but with the altitude involved in Madrid likely to bolster an already elite serve for Hurkacz, I’m looking at a slew of overs instead.
Not only does the underdog have a surface advantage here, but he’s playing a relatively poor returner that plays plenty of long sets and three-set matches.
Picks: Over 21.5 (-125 via Caesars), Over 10.5 1st set (+200 via BetMGM), Over 12.5 1st set (+300 via BetMGM)
Alexander Zverev (-400) vs Roberto Carballes Baena (+295)
3:30 pm E.T.
It’s been a wild few months for Alexander Zverev, who appears to finally be nearing full health after a nasty injury last year kept him out for a lengthy period.
The former world No. 2 reached the semifinals in Dubai and was on the precipice of toppling one of the most in-form players in the world in Daniil Medvedev not once, but twice, before a pair of epic collapses.
Then there were the head-scratching losses in straight sets to both Taro Daniel and Chris O’Connell, in which he was -500 or more expensive in both contests.
Back on clay now, this is a palate-cleansing type spot for the big German.
Roberto Carballes Baena may be a clay-court specialist, but he hasn’t been the best in 2023. He took the title in Marrakech, but his path to victory was littered with unimpressive wins and third sets against players he should have beaten more routinely. Even his opening match in the Spanish capital – as impressive as it was – came against David Goffin, who has been awful since returning from injury.
Zverev has the rally tolerance to sit back and wait out the longer exchanges in this one and he’s the only player on the court in this matchup that has any kind of attacking game.
I’ll happily back him to move on in dominant fashion.
Pick: Zverev -4.5 games (-105 via DraftKings)
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