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Monday ATP Rome Odds, Predictions, Analysis: Marcos Giron & Alex de Minaur Highlight Best Bets (May 9)

Monday ATP Rome Odds, Predictions, Analysis: Marcos Giron & Alex de Minaur Highlight Best Bets (May 9) article feature image
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Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Alex de Minaur hits a backhand against Carlos Alcaraz at the Barcelona Open.

It was a historic week on the ATP Tour as 19-year old Carlos Alcaraz beat Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev en route to his second Masters title in Madrid. However, there’s not much time to reflect as we’re right into another Masters event in Rome this week.

With over a dozen matches set to be played on Monday, there are a few great opportunities to take advantage of certain spots.

Here are my best bets for the first-round action in Rome.

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Alexander Bublik (-136) vs. Marcos Giron (+110)

7:35 a.m. ET

While Alexander Bublik may not be the worst clay-courter on tour, he’s certainly one of the players who dislikes the surface the most.

Throughout the past few weeks, Bublik has been open about his disdain for the dirt, openly commenting on how he can’t wait to be off of clay for the foreseeable future.

Bublik is 1-3 on clay thus far in 2022, with his lone win coming against an out-of-shape Stan Wawrinka in Monte Carlo. While he fought well against Miomir Kecmanovic in Madrid, he had the advantage of altitude on his side. With a serve-centric game that is a big advantage and it won’t be present on the slow courts of Rome.

In 2021, Bublik averaged over 13 aces per match on hard courts, but that number dropped to nine on clay courts and his hold percentage dipped seven percent with the surface switch. Despite that, he won a greater percentage of return games on hard courts.

Marcos Giron hasn’t had an impressive clay season either, but the American has been below his average level throughout the period. Both his service win and return win percentages have gone down year over year on clay, in part due to poor performances and difficult opponents.

Nonetheless, his rally tolerance and game style is far-more suited to the conditions in Rome than Bublik’s, as he employs a counter-punching style with a smaller emphasis on dominating service games.

The duo have met once prior, with Bublik coming through an epic three-set battle on the hard courts of Cincinnati. This time around, I believe the value lies with a different outcome.

Pick: Marcos Giron ML (+110 via FanDuel)

Alex de Minaur (-194) vs. Dusan Lajovic (+156)

10:10 a.m. ET

Alex de Minaur and Dusan Lajovic have met just once before and that’s fortunate for the Serbian, as this is a matchup nightmare for him.

While Lajovic has been in-form in recent weeks — going 6-1 since the start of the Madrid Open — he was 1-3 on the slower clay courts that were used in prior weeks and one of his qualifying wins in Rome came against a hobbled Marton Fucsovics, who retired from the match before the end of the first set.

Alex de Minaur had a sub-50% win rate on clay in each of his past three seasons on tour, but the Aussie has turned that trend around this season with wins in each clay event that he’s played this season.

While Lajovic is historically a player who prefers being on slower clay surfaces, this version of de Minaur will be a pain to deal with. He’ll be happy to trade from the baseline and exchange groundstrokes, which can often lead to Lajovic struggling with rally tolerance and subsequent errors.

In Madrid, Lajovic enjoyed one of the best serving streaks of his season and we can expect a bit of regression from him in slower and lower altitude conditions.

Lajovic took 79% and 78% of his first serve points against Casper Ruud and Borna Coric, but his season average on the dirt is 65% and an expected dip against an excellent returner could cause trouble for him.

Look for de Minaur to wear down Lajovic as this match goes on, pulling away thanks to greater consistency.

Pick: Alex de Minaur -2.5 games (-130 via FanDuel)

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