Weather heavily impacted the Tuesday order of play in both Estoril and Munich, so we have an even bigger hump-day schedule at our disposal.
Because of the disruption in Munich, the match between John Millman and Egor Gerasimov was pushed back until Wednesday. Additionally, there are three more matches where I believe there’s an edge present.
Here are our best bets for the Wednesday slate of matches.
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Botic van de Zandschulp (-175) vs. Brandon Nakashima (+140)
5 am ET
While this may seem like a lopsided matchup on paper, I don’t believe that the Dutchman is worthy of the price that he’s receiving.
Botic van de Zandschulp registered just one ATP main draw win on clay last year, and it came against a player in Hubert Hurkacz that was severely lacking in confidence. Hurkacz also had an insufficient understanding on how he could best convert his game to clay.
Thus far this calendar year, van de Zandschulp put together a few good performances on clay, but he hasn’t picked up a win against any ball-striker that’s willing to be aggressive. Rather, he’s excelled against players that take a deep position on the court and offer a bit of extra time.
Brandon Nakashima picked up a win against Nicolas Alvarez Varona in Barcelona before falling to Casper Ruud, but he showed his potential on clay in 2021, putting together a few good showings and even dropping a tight three set match against Carlos Alcaraz.
In Barcelona, Nakashima actually amassed four break points while Ruud totaled six, but the Norwegian’s conversion rate was 66% while Nakashima’s was 25%.
With this price against van de Zandschulp, I’m more than happy to put my faith behind someone that has the ability to match the US Open quarterfinalist’s power off of both wings.
Pick: Brandon Nakashima +3.5 games (-120 via DraftKings)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (-280) vs. Barnabe Zapata Miralles (+210)
8 am ET
While Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is coming off of the best ATP tournament that he’s ever played in Monte Carlo, he’s going to have a difficult first matchup in Estoril against Barnabe Zapata Miralles.
The Spaniard Zapata Miralles fell to his fellow countryman Pablo Carreno Busta in Barcelona after getting through the qualifiers, and he matched his wins last week already in Estoril.
Davidovich Fokina, another Spaniard, took a week off in Barcelona to recover and get some rest over a grueling event in Monte Carlo, but he’s getting thrown straight back into the fire here.
Keeping the same intensity after a week like that won’t be easy, but he’s going to need it from the jump to get through this match. Zapata Miralles has won six of his last seven matches against ATP opponents, dropping just two sets to Carreno Busta in the process.
While Zapata Miralles can be a very inconsistent player at times, it appears that he’s found a bit of the range that saw him reach a higher level in 2021. Consistent ball-striking from deep positions should cause Davidovich Fokina some issues if he allows himself to drop in level from what we saw in Monaco, and going from a Masters event to a 250, I believe that’s very possible.
And though Davidovich Fokina has a 3-0 record against Zapata Miralles, their last matchup came in 2021 in Montpellier, where Zapata Miralles pushed ADF to three sets.
For the Monte Carlo finalist, a big key to Zapata Miralles’ success was serving well and executing off of his first serve points. In each of his matches di lui bar his opening match with Marcos Giron, ADF was above 70% first serves in and he won 63% or more of those points in each match.
If that doesn’t return in Estoril, Zapata Miralles could cause some issues.
Pick: Barnabe Zapata Miralles +3.5 games (+110 via Caesars)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas (-245) vs. Soonwoo Kwon (+180)
2:20 pm ET
Soonwoo Kwon has quietly leveled up on the ground over the last 18 months, becoming a consistent hitter that is capable of taking the initiative in points against a majority of players on tour.
We saw last week against Carlos Alcaraz how potent he can be when feeling good as he took a set off of the eventual champion and rising star. Though most of his clay success di lui on the season has come against Benoit Paire, Kwon garnered an equal amount of break points against Alcaraz as the teenager did against him, a rare feat for anyone at this point.
Alcaraz has only had one other match where he conceded more break points than he earned this year, that coming against Jaume Munar in Rio.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas has been clutch thus far in his European clay exploits, winning three-set matches against Cameron Norrie, Tallon Griekspoor and Jordan Thompson but the latter two players aren’t ones that he should be struggling with that significantly.
Against Thompson, Ramos-Vinolas struggled to find traction on return, allowing the Aussie to top 70% of his points won behind his first serve and 60% of his points behind his second.
Kwon has been executing well behind his serve, and the conditions in Estoril are well-suited to his aggressive game.
If he comes out at a good level, Kwon could quickly take the racket out of the defending champion’s hands.
Pick: Soonwoo Kwon +3.5 games (-120 via DraftKings)