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San Diego ATP 250 Tennis Betting Picks: How To Bet Schwartzman vs. Gaio

San Diego ATP 250 Tennis Betting Picks: How To Bet Schwartzman vs. Gaio article feature image

Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty. Dominik Koepfer hits a forehand at the Winston-Salem Open.

The new San Diego 250 event has offered up some quality tennis already, with Fabio Fognini and Brandon Nakashima headlining a solid first day of play.

I wrote on Sunday about the Fucsovics-Dimitrov matchup, but it was delayed until Tuesday. You can read about that one here.

Read on for two more plays I believe have value on the second day at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Match times are subject to change. 

Cameron Norrie (-240) vs. Dominik Koepfer (+180)

3:50 p.m. ET

All-lefty battles on the ATP Tour are extremely rare, but this will be the second time that Cameron Norrie and Dominik Koepfer meet this year.

To an extent, seeing two lefties compete isn’t all that surprising, as being a left-hander gives you a meaningful edge in tennis. How meaningful? It’s impossible to say. Some say it’s important, some say it’s negligible, but it’s enough for ATP professional Ilya Marchenko to make a comedy video about it.

I’ll end my digression with this: Approximately 10% of humans are left handed, while 14 players in the ATP top 100 are lefties (31 of the top 200, 39 of the top 300, etc.). Now, it’s time for me to get into actual analysis on the match.

In the duo’s prior 2021 battle, Koepfer defeated Norrie in two tight sets. The German was able to dominate on the ground, which was reflected in the stats. Though Koepfer won just 69% of the points behind his first serve, points that will typically be shorter, he won 89% of the points behind his second serve, which is a staggering number.

Koepfer also won 41% of the points on Norrie’s first serve and 53% of the points on Norrie’s second, displaying the unbelievable performance in rallies from Koepfer. When points were extended, he instantly became a heavy favorite, putting more pressure on Norrie to go bigger, resulting in more mistakes from the Brit.

I think this factor will give added confidence to Koepfer, and that’s an area where Norrie is really struggling. While he has had the best year of his career in 2021, the hard court period following Wimbledon has not been kind to him, despite the fact that he won his first ATP title in that span.

Norrie is 6-5 since Wimbledon, but the record is more reflective of a lack of competition than anything. That’s not to discredit the year that Norrie is having, but he isn’t coming into this match with the type of mental state that he had in the clay and grass season.

Koepfer is 5-4 in the same period with some disappointing losses sprinkled in, but he’ll really enjoy the opportunity to get on track against a player he’s very comfortable facing. Go with the world No. 66 to get the job done.

Pick: Dominik Koepfer +180 via PointsBet

Diego Schwartzman (-650) vs. Federico Gaio (+425) 

9:50 p.m. ET

Throughout his career, Federico Gaio has played the majority of his professional tennis on clay, but he actually has his best winning percentage of any surface on hard courts. The Italian’s ATP main tour career 3-13 record is incredibly uninspiring, but at the moment he’s playing really well.

He secured a main draw berth by getting through Steve Johnson and Denis Kudla in the qualifiers, both ranked inside the top 100 and having solid summers. Because of the stacked nature of San Diego’s draw, Gaio had to go through two main draw level opponents in the qualifiers. But he competed well and here we are.

Diego Schwartzman is coming off of a trip to the Laver Cup in Boston where he lost to Andrey Rublev in a heartbreaking loss. He was in control of the match and he really should have come through with a win, but Schwartzman broke down in the match tiebreak and lost it 10-8.

Overall, I feel that Gaio will be able to match Schwartzman well enough on the ground to hang around in this match. Gaio’s one-handed backhand isn’t a weapon, per se, but if he can change the direction of backhand-to-backhand rallies well, he’ll be able to stick around on the forehand wing and push Schwartzman.

The Argentinian played well in Boston, but the conditions there were far different than what he’ll be dealing with in San Diego. The Laver Cup was held indoors on a very slow court, well-suited to Schwartzman’s game, but much different to the center court in San Diego, which is fast and set outdoors.

With a comfortability on the surface and a clear indication that form is peaking, go with Gaio to punch above his weight.

Pick: Federico Gaio to win over 7.5 games -110 via DraftKings

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