We're approaching the business end of proceedings in Geneva and Lyon in this pre-major week and the upsets are starting to happen.
I said yesterday that Federico Coria may be decent against Pablo Carreno Busta and Coria won it two, while there were also underdog wins for Alex Molcan, Ilya Ivashka (our overs bet came in as well there) and Joao Sousa.
History suggests that there may be more to come on quarter finals day, as Geneva is yet to have a year where at least one of the quarter final underdogs hasn't won, with 38% on average being successful there in its six editions so far.
While some of the seeds have clearly decided that they don't fancy it this week (no surprise there) for other players it's been a breakout week and none more so than Yosuke Watanuki, who was 2-4 win/loss on the main tour prior to this week.
Now, he's in the quarter finals of Lyon as a lucky loser (he lost to Gregoire Barrere in qualies) and he takes on Alex De Minaur, who really had to fight to overcome Ugo Humbert on Tuesday.
Initially, ADM looked like he didn't fancy it against Humbert and the latter was a point away from a set and a break lead numerous times before his game fell apart under constant pressure of making one more ball from De Minaur.
It'll be a test of how much De Minaur wants a title this week
This one might be a long one, as Watanuki tends to adopt a similarly reactive style of play to De Minaur, so we could see some grinding rallies out there on Thursday and it'll be a test of how much De Minaur wants a title this week.
Alex Molcan was impressive against Karen Khachanov on Wednesday and his reward is a third career clash with Federico Coria and the lefty will be looking to avenge two career defeats at the hands of the Argentine - both on clay last year at Challenger level.
Molcan was ranked 180 and 258 for those clashes and now inside the world's top-50 he has to start favourite for this one and I broadly agree with that on their recent clay stats.
As I mentioned the other day, Coria's numbers are very decent at this level, but Molcan's stats on clay at main level this past year are superb: a hold/break total of 111 and a combined service points won/return points won total of 106, so he's been excellent lately on dirt at this level.
This will be a different sort of a test for Molcan, though, than the two matches he's played so far this week, both of which came against very attacking, big servers with big forehands in Tsonga and Khachanov.
Clay grinder Coria will make this a physical contest and I'd favour him if it went long, but the odds look about right with Molcan slight favourite.
The other match in Lyon that's priced up as almost a coin flip is top seed Cam Norrie against up-and-coming clay courter Sebastian Baez and on the main level clay stats over the past 12 months the odds movement towards Baez looks right.
He's ahead in both hold/break totals and in combined service points won/return points won over the last year and with Norrie having an injured ankle last week, too, I can't see any value in backing the Brit here.
Fast conditions at altitude should suit big-serving Opelka
Moving on to Geneva now and I said the other day that conditions should be perfect for Reilly Opelka if he's up for it this week and it looks like he's going to put in some sort of an effort on the evidence on Wednesday's win over Chris O'Connell.
And if that's the case, with conditions being hugely in his favour this week, I see no real reason why Opelka can't go on and win this title at a tempting price of 9.517/2 on the Sportsbook.
I couldn't have backed Opelka outright at the start because he so often fails to show for these European 250s on the clay, but he has pedigree on the surface if he's in the right mindset as a former Rome semi finalist and Houston winner a few months ago.
Opelka has pedigree on the surface if he's in the right mindset as a former Rome semi finalist and Houston winner a few months ago
Conditions are set to stay hot (barring a possible thunderstorm today after Opelka's match has finished) for the rest of the tournament and Opelka's serve should be so hard to touch at altitude, with his kicker rearing up out of most players' strike zones.
The obvious threat is Casper Ruud, but I'm not convinced about him against real power - he's been beaten five times by Andrey Rublev, twice by Matteo Berrettini and Nick Kyrgios dismissed him at Indian Wells recently.
While Opelka has only beaten Ruud once, he lost in a final set tie break to the Norwegian at Cincy last season and at this altitude I'm happy to chance Opelka at a tempting 9.517/2 as he'd surely be favourite for a final if he made it there.
We didn't get anywhere with Benoit Paire against Ruud on Wednesday and I'm not sure that a tired Thanasi Kokkinakis is likely to fare a great deal better against Ruud on Thursday.
Kokky was a set and 5-3 down to Federico Delbonis until the familiar Delbonis shakiness when serving out matches came back to haunt the Argentine and Kokky managed to edge it 7-5 in the decider in the end.
If that 2.5 hour match hasn't taken the legs away from Kokkinakis he might have a puncher's chance of making it interesting against Ruud, but Ruud should be much the fresher of the two and his solid game should be too much for the Australian.
Talking of players with suspect fitness, Richard Gasquet has had an interesting few weeks.
The Gasman lost to Alexandre Muller and Christopher Eubanks in back-to-back Challenger weeks and a week later he's beaten the world number two and he's into a main level quarter final and a winnable one at that.
In the circumstances it wasn't a huge shock that Gasquet beat Daniil Medvedev and if he's got anything in his legs for this clash with Kamil Majchrzak his clay court nous might have its day against the more powerful, heavy hitting of the Pole.
There's nothing between them on the 12-month main level clay stats (although Majchrzak has only played seven such matches) and with Gasquet's level very tough to read these days it looks pretty unappealing as a betting medium.
Finally, the man I picked at the start of the week in Geneva, Ilya Ivashka, is now second favourite behind Ruud to win the tournament and he faces what could be a tricky test against the streaky Joao Sousa.
Sousa won Pune earlier this year in quick conditions after a very long spell in the doldrums (his last quarter final prior to Pune was in the autumn of 2019 in Chengdu, which is also quick) and he's beaten Ivashka in both of their previous career meetings.
Ivashka was ranked 137 and 135 in the world at the time of those matches though and Sousa was well inside the top-100, so they should count for little and now it's Ivashka who has the better stats.
Since the start of the 2021 season, Ivashka is way ahead of Sousa on all categories of the main level clay stats (Sousa is 3-11 win/loss in this period), so the price is justified today, but as an Ivashka outright backer I'm wary of how streaky the Portuguese veteran can be when he gets on a run.
Ivashka should win it, but he'll need to stay at the same level we saw in the Shapovalov match or Sousa could take advantage.
So, a tricky day again on the match odds markets, but the bet today for me is half a point on Opelka outright at 9.517/2.