Wednesday ATP Tennis Best Bets for Antwerp and Moscow (Oct. 19)
Credit: Markus Tobisch, Getty. Arthur Rinderknech hits a backhand at the Generali Open.
While ATP 250s don’t typically generate the same hype and drama that bigger tournaments do, that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe engaged in a near four-hour matchup that ended in unbelievable fashion, proving that you never know what you’re going to get from the ATP Tour.
WHAT A MATCH. 🙌 🙌
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) October 19, 2021
With that being said, here’s how I’ll be playing Wednesday’s slate of action in Europe.
Match times are subject to change.
John Millman (-146) vs. Illya Marchenko (+120)
7:30 a.m. ET, Kremlin Cup
These two recently met at the Sofia Open, where Millman got by Marchenko in three sets. The difference in Moscow is the speed of the courts, which are significantly faster than the ones that were used in Bulgaria.
Marchenko is a player that relies on stress-free service games to get results, and the courts in Moscow will play into his style. The Ukrainian has posted a 2-to-1 or better ace-to-double fault ratio in each of his matches thus far, and in each of the matches he converted over 55% of the points on both his first and second serve. Those are efficient numbers that suit a fast indoor court really well.
While Millman is comfortable on indoor hard courts as well, he’s found more success in slower situations that allow him to excel behind the baseline.
The duo have played three times on tour, splitting Australian Open qualifiers in 2009 and 2010 before meeting 11 years later in Sofia. They were evenly matched in the prior decade, and though Millman’s career has seen a steeper upward trajectory than Marchenko, this is an excellent position for the underdog.
Back Marchenko to get the job done and advance.
Pick: Illya Marchenko +120 via FanDuel
Arthur Rinderknech (-160) vs. Dusan Lajovic (+125)
8:30 a.m. ET, European Open
Simply put, Lajovic is not a player that is suited for hard courts. The Serbian excels on clay and on slower surfaces, resulting in poor results on fast hard courts and grass throughout his career. Lajovic has a 38% main draw win rate on the surface, and a 2-3 record on the year points to a player that doesn’t seek out these tournaments.
Rinderknech doesn’t have an extensive resume on indoor hard courts, but he does have a 23-10 record across all levels of the ATP in 2021. The Frenchman only faced one break point in his first round match against Federico Delbonis. Though the Argentinian isn’t too fond of fast hard courts himself, he’ll serve as a solid warmup for Lajovic as the two play with very similar styles despite having different primary hands.
If Rinderknech is able to maintain a solid level, Lajovic will have a very tough time taking the initiative in points, particularly on return. The world number 65 won 85% of the points behind his first serve against Delbonis, and it isn’t surprising to see that number.
He’s won 87% of the service games he’s played on hard courts throughout 2021, as most opponents have struggled to gain traction against the big serve he possesses.
Rather than pay for the price on Rinderknech’s moneyline, I would opt for a game spread of -1.5 at -140 or better. There won’t be many chances for Lajovic to break, so a set that he busts open is hard to see.
Pick: Arthur Rinderknech -1.5 games -130 via BetMGM