Kremlin Cup Tennis First Round Odds, Best Bets (Oct. 18)

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Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty. Egor Gerasimov hits a backhand at the Winston-Salem Open.

The second day of first round action continues at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow on Tuesday.

Seven matches will be played with a number of edges to be found on the slate. Here’s how I’ll be playing the early morning of tennis.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on watching tennis.

Roman Safiullin (-110) vs. Adrian Mannarino (-110)

4:00 a.m. ET

Since suffering a knee injury in his first round matchup with Roger Federer at Wimbledon, Mannarino has only played four matches. At the US Open he was able to deliver, beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert in five sets and taking a set off of Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the Frenchman has had a rough run since then.

Losses in Sofia and in Indian Wells — where he won five games in each first round match — have slowed down Mannarino, who is in for another tough battle against Safiullin.

The 24-year-old Russian has been competing well when given the opportunity on the ATP Tour this year, but he’s spent most of his time on the Challenger Tour. Safiullin battled through Australian Open and French Open qualifiers, and he was able to pick up a main draw win in each event.

Recently, Safiullin has been steady across indoor hard court Challenger events, picking up a good win against Andy Murray and holding his own against Richard Gasquet, Corentin Moutet and Norbert Gombos. Unfortunately for Safiullin, he’s struggled in key moments, turning could-be victories into defeats.

He should have a great chance for another key win, with Mannarino struggling to find his form. Safiullin has been working up towards this event in his home country for a couple of weeks now, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him peak.

Back Safiullin to improve his main draw ATP record and earn a victory.

Pick: Roman Safiullin -110 via Bet365

Tommy Paul (-172) vs. Mikael Ymer (+140)

4:00 a.m. ET

The American Paul had an excellent run in Indian Wells, upsetting Andrey Rublev before falling to the eventual tournament champion, Cameron Norrie. Those results are a bit of a smokescreen for Paul, however, who hasn’t played on an indoor hard court since the Paris Masters in November of 2020.

Ymer enters the match after a bit of a break, having not gone to Indian Wells after the initial European swing. Prior to the BNP Paribas Open, Ymer was in solid form, reaching the final of the Winston-Salem Open and beating Jan-Lennard Struff in Metz.

He’s positioned really well to compete with Paul in Moscow. The Swede and American both have near 50% win rates on indoor hard courts, and though each of the pair’s two 2017 H2H matchups ended in victory for Paul, Ymer should enter the match with plenty of confidence.

In a match that projects far closer to a toss up than a strong advantage to Paul, go with Ymer to continue to find success on hard courts.

Pick: Mikael Ymer +140 via FanDuel

Miomir Kecmanovic (-110) vs. Egor Gerasimov (-110)

6:45 a.m. ET

Kecmanovic has struggled mightily since the tour returned from grass to hard courts. The Serbian has won just two of 10 matches he’s played in the American hard court swing and European indoor hard court period. I expect that trend to continue.

The Belarusian Gerasimov earned four wins in six matches on indoor hard courts in Sofia and Nur-Sultan, but he wasn’t able to back that up in Indian Wells. The world number 105 won his two qualifying matches this weekend, and he will be ready to capitalize in a tournament played on his preferred surface.

Gerasimov excels on indoor hard courts, with a 60% career win rate on the main draw of the tour. Kecmanovic is a solid all-around player without a preferred surface, and he will have to play his best tennis to find success against Gerasimov.

It’s far more likely that the 22-year old falls into the same pattern of struggles regarding errors and loose play that he has in recent weeks than he snaps that streak and plays clean tennis.

Go with the far more consistent player to earn another win on a mismatched surface.

Pick: Egor Gerasimov -110 via Caesars Sportsbook

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