We're in Switzerland and France this week on the ATP Tour, with the players that have opted to have one more week on the clay getting that chance at the Geneva Open and the Open Parc Lyon.
Given that these two tournaments are staged just a week before the French Open it'll come as no surprise that both events rank reasonably well in terms of underdog winners (Lyon is equal 12th and Geneva equal 17th in the rankings) with players often putting in less-than-committed efforts on occasion this week.
Lyon's four years on the ATP Tour so far have averaged 36% underdog winners, with an average of 38% in round one and 39% in round two, and if you'd backed every underdog in every main draw match in Lyon in those four years you'd be in profit by just over £100 to a £10 stake.
Geneva hasn't been quite so profitable, with a loss of £42 to the same stake if you'd backed every underdog in its main draw in the last six editions.
Geneva averages 34% underdog winners in the last six editions, with round one averaging 37% and round two averaging 30%, but what's interesting in Geneva is that 39% of the underdogs have won in the quarter finals and semi finals combined in the last six editions.
That suggests that some favourites (probably the higher-ranked players) may have decided by the latter stages of this week that they'd better save their legs a bit for Paris, which begins only a couple of days after the Geneva and Lyon finals.
It's not always the case, of course, with Stefanos Tsitsipas winning in Lyon in 2021, despite having played 15 matches on the clay swing before even getting to Lyon (he went on to make it all the way to the final in Paris, losing in a fifth set to Novak Djokovic).
Conditions likely to be on the quick side this week
The first thing to note at both of this week's tournaments is the conditions, with the very hot spell that's been happening in mainland Europe all week set to continue for the next few days and so, combined with the slight altitude at both tournaments, it should play quick while it remains hot and sunny.
With this being a pre-slam week, play began in the main draw on Sunday, and Monday's play in Geneva and Lyon consists of 12 matches.
In Geneva, the two underdogs that look to have the best prospects are Ricardas Berankis and Benoit Paire.
Berankis takes on the struggling Federico Delbonis, who's now lost nine of his last 10 matches and who was rated as big as a 4.03/1 chance against Pablo Carreno Busta last week in Rome, compared to his previous price against PCB of 2.68/5, which came on the clay of Hamburg last summer.
That price tempted me in to taking Delbonis on the handicap, but watching the match you could see that Delbonis wasn't right physically (he had support tape on his upper leg) and so unless he's suddenly improved in a week I'm not sure he should be 1.351/3 to beat wild card Berankis in these conditions.
Berankis wouldn't regard himself as much of a clay courter, but he may not need to be at 375m of altitude on a sunny day in Geneva, and in any case he took a set off Delbonis in very slow clay conditions in Belgrade last season.
Berankis will be keen to justify his wild card here in playing conditions that should suit him over Delbonis, who prefers time on the ball
The Lithuanian has been in good form this season, but his absence since making the final of the Lille Challenger at the end of March is a bit of a mystery, with his withdrawal from his next event, the St Brieuc Challenger being put down to a "flu like syndrome."
One can only assume that he's over that now and he'll be keen to justify his wild card here in playing conditions that should suit him over Delbonis, who prefers time on the ball that he may not get here, so I'm happy to lay the 2-0 to Delbonis at evens.
The other underdog possibility is much riskier and that's Benoit Paire, who has very good form in pre-slam weeks, with his last three main level finals coming the week prior to a major and if he finds his best form (he played pretty well in Madrid at altitude) he could shock Emil Ruusuvuori, who finds clay a real test of his patience.
Monday's card in Lyon looks pretty sparse in terms of value, with the only price that could be considered appealing that of Lucas Pouille at 3.02/1 against Oscar Otte.
Pouille has been unable, so far, to come close to recapturing his best form since a long injury lay-off, but he did show a good level as a wild card in Madrid two weeks ago when he beat Karen Khachanov in round one.
But then he lost to Martin Cuevas at the Bordeaux Challenger as a 1.261/4 chance last week, so the Khachanov victory hasn't kickstarted a return to form for the Frenchman, but with another wild card in his hand at a main level event - and at home this time - we might again see the best of Pouille.
He's been too inconsistent for me to back him here though, so I'll just take the Delbonis lay (a one point wager) on Monday.