Rogers Cup Day One: Donaldson can repeat 2017 victory over Paire

Canadian Tennis Player Milos Raonic
Home favourite Milos Raonic is in action tonight...
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With 12 first-round matches on today's schedule, action at the Rogers Cup in Toronto starts with a bang on day one. Here to discuss the action is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

Home favourites Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil round off Monday's action in the night matches, with Raonic looking short against David Goffin at [1.59] - although again, Goffin's fitness and ability level in recent times hasn't been great - while Pospisil is an underdog, with the rapidly improving Borna Coric at [1.42]

12 matches on day one in Toronto

There's plenty for bettors to get their teeth into on the first day of the Rogers Cup, with action in Canada getting started at 16:00 UK time this afternoon.

It's in one of the early matches on the schedule that today's recommendation comes in, with Jared Donaldson looking solid value against Benoit Paire.

Donaldson can repeat last year's Rogers Cup victory over Paire

The 21 year-old, Donaldson, is currently available solid value at [1.73] on the Exchange, and this is considerably bigger than my model indicated. The duo actually met in this event last year (but in Montreal) and Donaldson won in straight sets in what was an even-money match, and since then, the American has continued his improvement as he progresses along the age curve.

This year on hard court, Donaldson has been pretty solid, winning 63.6% of service points and 38.1% on return (101.7% combined) while Paire has been markedly lower, running at 60.9% and 36.2% respectively (97.1%).

Paire's hard court level not close to Donaldson

In fact, we must go back to 2014 to find a year where Paire was above the 100% mark looking at this metric, illustrating that the temperamental Frenchman has never really justified his talent on hard courts.

In addition, Paire hasn't demonstrated full fitness, either physically or mentally, in recent weeks, and Donaldson here looks the bet of the day by some distance.

Fitness doubts abound on opening day

There's a lot of question marks about the form and fitness of some others who take to the courts on Monday, with Peter Gojowcyzk and Marton Fucsovics both looking solid value if they are fit, against Fernando Verdasco and Joao Sousa. Perhaps these are matches best assessed in play if either player starts relatively well, however, because a decent fitness level is far from a given for the duo. Verdasco in particular is now starting to demonstrate something of a clay-courter dynamic as he gets older, and his hard court data is nothing special whatsoever.

Another Spaniard who would have a decent chance at prices if in any sort of touch at all is Albert Ramos, against the limited Pierre-Hugues Herbert, but Ramos' level has been very poor indeed in general over the last few months, and I'm not even tempted enough by [2.74] about him here.

Ferrer and Carreno-Busta may tempt despite downswing

In what is a recurring theme about declining Spaniards here, David Ferrer may tempt at [2.20] against Challenger player Bradley Klahn - he's declined a lot but not 'that' much - while Pablo Carreno-Busta is a slight [1.66] favourite over Yoshihito Nishioka, in one of the more return-orientated clashes of the day.

Raonic and Pospisil with evening matches in front of home crowds

Home favourites Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil round off Monday's action in the night matches, with Raonic looking short against David Goffin at [1.59] - although again, Goffin's fitness and ability level in recent times hasn't been great - while Pospisil is an underdog, with the rapidly improving Borna Coric at [1.42]

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