ATP Betting Preview: Time To Shoot Straight In Qatar
Well, our boy Chung gave us a run for our money Tuesday night in a match that he very well could've won had a few more balls bounced his way.
After breaking the former US Open champion in the first set at 2-2, Chung got broken right back and eventually dropped his serve again at 5-6 to hand Čilić the tightly contested opener.
Much of the same for Chung in the second set, trading breaks with the world no. 13 before faltering in the decisive tiebreak.
As for our second play – Borna Ćorić got it done in two, like we needed, playing a very strong match against American Austin Krajicek, who was outmatched from his opening service game.
And although tonight's slate includes a lot of overpriced favorites, there are two clashes that I'm honing in on at much more reasonable prices:
Chardy -220 over Marchenko
Illya Marchenko has put together a nice little run here in Doha.
After handing the No. 4 seed David Ferrer an early exit in the first round, we saw the Ukrainian carry that momentum into his second round matchup against the gritty Teimu Gabashvili.
He will need to raise his level even more to get past Frenchman Jérémy Chardy – a feat I simply can't see happening tonight in Qatar.
From my experience, Chardy is one of the most reliable players on tour, rarely dropping matches where he is a -200 or more favorite.
Both Chardy's serve and groundstrokes have looked sharp thus far this season, and I don't think he'll have much difficulty breaking Marchenko, who will look to hit with him from the baseline.
If Chardy plays aggressive and looks to shorten up points at the net I have a feeling this will be a quick match.
Prediction: Chardy in two sets (6-4 6-3)
Rosol +150 over Paire
Benoît Paire was certainly one of the feel good stories of last year.
After hitting what appeared to be rock bottom last July – amidst a flurry of tanking accusations – Paire responded powerfully, producing some of the best tennis of his career before finishing the season with a career-high ranking of 19.
Having said that, I worry that such a streaky player such as Paire might've lost some of that momentum he was riding late last season during the time off.
Instead, I like the idea of Lukáš Rosol, at an inviting price of +150 – whose smash mouth style of tennis should present an early test for the Frenchman in his first match of the season.
Rosol's game relies heavily upon his strong serve and a dynamic forehand.
He has the ability to switch gears and play at an extremely high level, albeit in bursts (think back to his match last season against Rafa in Bercy).
If Rosol can jump out to an early lead, there's always a chance that the volatile Frenchman could check out, mentally, and lose some of his desire.
Prediction: Rosol in two sets (7-5 6-2)