Djere double helps us go four from four
I'd like to say it was never in any doubt, but after going 2-0 down against countryman Miomir Kecmanovic, Laslo Djere rallied back to win in five sets to give us our fourth consecutive winner on the men's side, and Djere has now contributed two of those. On Saturday, Djere faces Alexander Zverev, whose straight-set win against Roman Safiullin was arguably closer than the scoreline suggested. Our third quarter outright selection, Casper Ruud, eased to a three-set win, while there were also wins on Wednesday for the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori, who got past Karen Khachanov in a four-hour epic.
Bagnis capable of getting past Struff
One player who comes into the event in decent form is the Argentine, Facundo Bagnis, after getting to the final of the Oeiras Challenger recently.
An underdog loss to Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in that final in Portugal is nothing to dissuade from that notion, and Bagnis eased to a three-set win over Benjamin Bonzi in round one.
Today, Bagnis faces Jan-Lennard Struff, who caused arguably the shock of round one on the men's side by beating Andrey Rublev as around an 8.007/1 underdog, and I can't help thinking that this is influencing the market in their pricing of this clash. Struff's win over Rublev was a five-setter lasting almost four hours, and unusually, both players won the same number of points in the match as well, and I am wondering how much that huge victory may impact on Struff in terms of fatigue.
Considering this, and Bagnis' good clay numbers anyway (albeit at a lower level, but they translate well enough to being reasonable on the main tour), I like the 2.6813/8 about Bagnis to get an underdog victory here this afternoon.
Seppi win over Auger-Aliassime also influencing market
Another player who got a heavy underdog win was Andreas Seppi, who defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in another long match in round one. While Seppi's win was an even bigger price than Struff's, in my view there were considerably higher expectations on Rublev than Auger-Aliassime this year in Paris, and it will be fascinating to see whether Seppi can back up this performance.
Opponent Soon-Woo Kwon is not a noted clay courter, but does have better numbers than the ageing Seppi over the last couple of years on the surface. I'm a little surprised he's not shorter than the 1.794/5 currently available.
Berankis among potentially vulnerable short-priced favourites
In terms of upsets, I also wouldn't be surprised if Federico Coria tested the inconsistent Nikoloz Basilashvili in one of the early matches, while Taylor Fritz could also be vulnerable against Dominik Koepfer. Ricardas Berankis hasn't shown an abundance of talent on clay in his career so far, so I'm also surprised to see him as short as 1.434/9 for his clash against the Australian, James Duckworth
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