Whilst I have stopped short of predicting the upset here from Thiago Monteiro, I do feel as though the Brazilian is capable of keeping this game a little closer than odds currently suggest.
Dan Evans isn’t quite in the same form that we saw him display in patches at the start of the year. After finishing 2020 with semi finals in Antwerp and Vienna, and starting 2021 with the Murray River Open title the week before the Australian Open, it has been an up and down year for Evans. His best tennis since February came in Monte Carlo, and with losses to Nakashima, Bublik, Schwartzman and Gasquet in the last month, for only one win against Lucas Pouille, it is hard to see a confidence player like Evans turn that around into a dominant performance here.
Monteiro has a very underrated first serve, and it may help him keep this match close. He reached an ATP level semi final on hardcourt himself in Melbourne this year in the Great Ocean Road Open, and looked solid in the conditions in Winston Salem last week on the way to the third round, losing a tight match to Frances Tiafoe. I also feel the left handed Monteiro doesn’t match up as badly against Evans as many others, with the potential to attack the backhand of Evans out wide on the ad side.
The Brazilian is more serviceable than the total currently suggests, especially in warm conditions. Just a 1 unit selection here, but I see Monteiro being able to take at least a set here on the recent form. The total of 35.5 games looks to be a touch low, so I am happy to kick things off on day 1 with a small play on the overs.
1 unit Evans/Monteiro total games over 35.5 at $1.90 at Bet365
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