Elite Tennis Preview: Value In Frenchman Richard Gasquet At Montpellier

by Dan Scotti
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Tuesday sucked.

Chung match was on at like 5 am, so I'm not really sure what happened there. But -- judging by the scoreline -- nothing good, apparently.

Still, after seeing Chung go down, surely both of our young, prodigious -- decently favored -- phenoms wouldn't lose to mediocre players, at best...right?

Wrong. They did. I'm not quite sure what the f*ck happened. Ćorić was up 4-2 in the first set, got broken back, and then got passed twice after being stuck in no man's land in the tiebreak -- up 5-3 -- to lose the first set.

Second set was more of the same, seeing the 19-year-old Croatian get taken to the woodshed by a player in the twilight of his career. It was a really pathetic sight, honestly, and it just goes to show how far Ćorić still needs to go before he becomes a dependable player on tour.

Nightmare of a morning, yesterday, honestly. Thankfully, Estrella -- the king of high altitude -- cruised to a straight set victory over Guido Pella, securing us a nice winner at +140 stakes.

I'm still trying to shake that sh*t off and regain some type of clarity before today and tomorrow's matches. But, seriously, what the f*cking f*ck, man. Hopefully today brings some better luck.

Today, I see most of the value coming in France -- at Montpellier -- at the hands of two French players ranked in the top 25.

PS: Chelsea FC. If you're looking for some more daytime action: back the famous Chelsea football club. That's my bonus pick for the day. Gotta change sh*t up.

As it stands...

Season totals: 26-19 (58%) +6.08 units

Gasquet -190 over Gulbis

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I could only assume this line is a result of questionable fitness on the Frenchman's end, being that Richard Gasquet hasn't played a match since the last tournament in France, which came last November in Bercy.

But I'm willing to take the risk on Gasman today, hoping he's fit enough to pass a moderate test in Gulbis. Gulbis showed glimmers of his old self toward the end of last season, but he's still been generally dreadful over the better portion of the past calendar year plus.

Gasquet is capable of beating pretty much anyone in the bottom half of the top 10, and unless he's still seriously being hampered by an injury, I can't see Gulbis playing a clean enough match to beat the World No. 10.

Gasquet's beautiful backhand should be too much for Gulbis' ugly forehand, and -- with the the Frenchman playing essentially a home match -- I look for this match to go Gasquet's way, despite the relatively cheap odds.

Back Gasman at -190.

Prediction: Gasquet in three (6-4, 5-7, 6-2)

Paire -175 over Mathieu

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Aside from beating Ymer yesterday, in the opening round of Montpellier, Mathieu has honestly gotten off to a relatively grim start of the 2016 campaign. He got dogged by GGL at the Aussie. Although they were exhibitions, he got washed by Baghdatis and Almagro in Kooyong. In Doha, an off-form Chardy beat him 6-2 6-4.

Tomorrow morning, he meets a fellow countryman who's also not on the greatest form himself -- in Benoît Paire. Obviously, we all saw him fall in straight sets to the “Pride of Long Island” Noah Rubin in Melbourne, and his Auckland run was cut down early by the likes of Lukas Rosol.

Still, I fancy Paire, the World No. 21, to right the ship Thursday morning against an aging PH Mathieu. Mathieu looked decent Tuesday against Ymer, but there is a pretty stark disparity in the quality of tennis between the Swedish teen Ymer and the top-25 talent of Paire.

If Paire can get an early lead -- which is entirely possible -- I think he'll be able to use the crowd support to play with confidence and tenacity, which is always important when it comes to the volatile Paire.

Paire usually fairs well in French tournaments -- and I expect him to win a few matches in Montpellier, starting with his first round contest tomorrow.

Prediction: Paire in two (6-2, 7-6)