Wednesday BNP Paribas Open Tennis Picks: Best Bets for ATP Qualifiers (Oct. 6)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Pictured: Enzo Couacaud hits a forehand at the 2021 French Open.
While the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open gets underway on the WTA Tour, one more day of qualifying must commence on the men’s side.
The qualifying draws of Masters and grand slam tournaments are incredibly underrated, as players compete for valuable chances at main-draw opportunities in hopes of boosting their ranking and earning prize money.
Here is where I see the value Wednesday, and as a reminder, here’s how you can stream qualifying matches.
Maxime Cressy (-174) vs. Enzo Couacaud (+138)
6 p.m. ET
In a matchup of players with two very different approaches to the game, I favor the one that is being underpriced.
Enzo Caucaud comes into this meeting in solid form. By no means has he been lighting the tour on fire, but in nine matches on hard courts at the Challenger and ATP qualifier level, he’s 6-3. One of those losses? A three-set defeat to Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round of qualifying at the US Open. The Dutchman would go on to make the quarterfinals of the main draw.
Maxime Cressy had an even better showing in New York, racing by the qualifiers and pulling off a stunning upset against Pablo Carreno Busta from two sets down.
Outside of that event, though, Cressy has struggled to put anything consistent together. Of course, most players will trade average, consistent non-slam results for a main draw win at a grand slam tournament, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Outside of the US Open, on hard court tournaments since Wimbledon at all levels, Cressy hasn’t won more than 1 match consecutively. A first-round qualifying match against Hiroki Moriya, in which he dropped a set, does nothing to convince me that the statistic will change against an extremely consistent player in Couacaud.
The Frenchman attacks from the baseline really well, utilizing power off both wings to battle through points. Cressy relies on a rare serve-and-volley tactic that is nearly gone from the tour. He can do it with the best of them, but there’s a reason that serve-and-volleyers struggle in the modern game. The quality of strokes that players have on tour is simply too good for S&V players to thrive.
With the form that these two are in, getting Couacaud at +139 odds is a great number that should be taken advantage of.
Pick: Enzo Couacaud +138 via FanDuel
Andrea Arnaboldi (-150) vs. Renzo Olivo (+110)
6 p.m. ET
This type of match is what can make qualifying battles great. These players have been grinding on tour for years, and a berth in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event would be massive for both competitors.
However, the circumstances for the match aren’t those that you would expect for the pair. Andrea Arnaboldi and Renzo Olivo are clay-courters that rarely move away from the surface, but when big events are played, they often find themselves in qualifying draws. If they were to face off with a main draw berth in any Masters 1000 event on the line, you likely would’ve pegged it to be Rome, Monte Carlo or another clay court Masters event. Not Indian Wells.
Yet, here we are. After Arnaboldi picked up an upset against Federico Gaio and Olivo found one against Shintaro Mochizuki, the two have a phenomenal opportunity. They have only met once in the past, which is a bit shocking, but Arnaboldi defeated the Argentinian in the first round of qualifying back at the 2015 iteration of Wimbledon.
If there’s one thing that you know you will get in a Renzo Olivo match, it’s intensity, and I think that will be what separates him from the Italian this time around. Olivo, who took a set off another qualifier who made a run at the US Open — Oscar Otte –has just a touch more hard court pedigree than his foe, and I believe that his fitness and pure ability to work as hard as possible will push him over the line into a massive victory.
Pick: Renzo Olivo +110 via Bet365