ATP Tennis Betting Picks: Karatsev, de Minaur Matches Feature (Thursday, Sept. 23)

ATP Tennis Betting Picks: Karatsev, de Minaur Matches Feature (Thursday, Sept. 23) article feature image

Credit: Mitchell Layton, Getty. Alex de Minaur stretches for a defensive forehand at the Washington Open.

As the matches keep coming in Metz and Nur-Sultan, so do the opportunities to exploit shaky lines and find value with the indoor hard court matches.

Here are some chances to do that on Thursday.

Match times are subject to change.

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Emil Ruusuvuori (-125) vs. Aslan Karatsev (+102)

3:30 a.m. ET, Astana Open

Emil Ruusuvuori looked solid in his abbreviated first round match with Benjamin Bonzi, but his confidence in this match will be even more sparked by his hard court results, particularly at this event. In 2020, he won 5 matches including qualifiers before burning out against Adrian Mannarino in the semifinals.

At this point in his career, he can still only play on hard courts for this most part, but he does it really well. With a 19-11 record on hard courts this year on the ATP tour and a 3-1 record on indoor hard courts, he's excelled on the surface in 2021 and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

A harder man to predict what you're going to get, Aslan Karatsev has had a rollercoaster year with the highest of highs and some harsh lows. He reached the semis of the Australian Open and won a Dubai title, but also had a summer hard court period in which he lost three first rounds in a row. It's an incredibly accomplished year for the Russian either way, but he's still prone to let downs.

It's hard to say what we're going to get from Karatsev in this matchup. If it's the Karatsev of the first two rounds at the US Open, this should be a good battle. If it's the Karatsev of the majority of the summer hardcourt swing, Ruusuvuori should handle the match with ease.

Either way, the value is with Ruusuvuori to get the job done.

Pick: Emil Ruusuvuori -125 via FanDuel

Alex de Minaur (-210) vs. Marcos Giron (+163) 

8 a.m. ET, Moselle Open

Australian Alex de Minaur is in the midst of an incredibly weird season. It's tough to call a 2-title season a disappointing one, but I'm fairly sure that's how the 22-year old would describe it.

Two titles in 250-level tournaments are surrounded by first round losses in more meaningful tournaments, including the US Open and Wimbledon. Third round and second round appearances at the Australian Open and French Open won't cut it for de Minaur either, who had achieved both of those results in prior seasons.

All in all, a 21-18 record isn't bad, but when compared with his 2019/18/17/16 seasons, in which his worst winning percentage was 57% and his combined record was 181-98, he'll be looking to improve it in the final stage of the season.

Giron pulled out a quality win in his first round matchup with Arthur Rinderknech, winning 81% of his points behind his first serve and 62% on his second. He was also able to attack Rinderknech's second serve, getting 52% of those points.

While de Minaur has been slumping in 2021, a return to indoor hard courts could be good for him, as it's his most historically successful surface. Giron has only played 12 matches on indoor hard courts, with an even 6-6 record to his name. He does have a milestone win on the surface, though, beating Matteo Berrettini at the Paris-Bercy Masters in 2020.

Giron and de Minaur split their previous two matchups, with the American winning in the 2019 edition of Indian Wells and de Minaur thumping him in Antwerp last year. While those two matches don't offer a massive amount of information given the form of the two players this year, it's worth noting that de Minaur's easy win came on an indoor hard court that plays fairly similar to the one in Metz.

With that being said, I think Giron will be far more comfortable in the trilogy than he was in their second matchup. This has been a defining year for Giron and his consistent play should fare well against a player who has been struggling for confidence all year. If de Minaur isn't able to stand on the baseline and run every ball down and return it with interest, as he's struggled to do all year, Giron is in very good shape.

Pick: Marcos Giron +163 via PointsBet

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