Lopez vs Pella (Approx 11:00pm AEST)
This is a fascinating match-up of styles for the clay, as two very different left-handers do battle for a spot in the third round.
Whilst Feliciano Lopez is probably not thrilled that no tennis on the grass will take place in 2020, I am sure he will take solace in the fact he is able to hold on to the rankings points he earned in 2019 for another year. He will need them all for as long as he can, as his performances in 2020 to date have not been to a standard we have expected. Coming off a surprising 4-set loss to Roberto Carballes Baena in New York in the first round, Lopez was able to respond in Kitzbuhel with a solid first-up win, defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-3 in just over 70 minutes. The Spaniard was relatively untroubled on serve for the match, saving both break point opportunities he faced, whilst converting 2/7 of his own chances.
The ease in which Lopez was able to hold serve on the clay will be incredibly short-lived however, with a significant step up in terms of returning ability today with Guido Pella on the other side of the net. Pella was also disappointing in New York, largely due to the quarantine restrictions that hampered his ability to train and prepare for the US Open. He responded on the clay in convincing fashion in round 1, dominating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-0 in 61 minutes. He won over 70% of points behind both his first and second serves, and didn’t face a break point for the match. With some potentially weaker draws at ATP level over the clay season, Pella is one of my players to watch.
Pella should be too consistent for Lopez on recent form on the clay, as points should be a little longer than we saw between Lopez and PHH yesterday. To me, the -3.5 game handicap here looks to be a solid option for Pella. As it is not widely available however, I will record this at -4.0 games. He should be far too consistent in the conditions.
1 unit Pella -4 games vs Lopez at $1.84 at Topsport
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