Jake’s Challenger Piracicaba Preview: Mager vs Giannessi

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Gianluca Mager produced one of the more impressive clay-court runs at Uruguay last week, winning six matches on his way to the trophy.

Some of you may remember the hard-hitting Italian from the ATP tour in 2020-21, but he’s been knocking it around in the lower grades for the last couple of seasons.

There’s no doubt the quality is there as he made a final at Rio in 2020, and took a set off Jannik Sinner at Roland Garros in 2021.

At 29 years of age, it’s feasible to imagine the 29-year-old can recapture some of that form and find his way back to that level, I just don’t know if he can sustain the quality at a new competition this week.

Alessandro Giannessi is another Italian who fancies the dirt, but hasn’t been at his best since European clay-court action at the beginning of last year where he won Zadar Challenger, beating a solid list of opponents along the way: Piros, Cazaux, Ofner in the last three rounds.

He hasn’t won a match since November last year, but had to face John Millman in the opening round of Australian Open qualifying before running into Juan Manuel Cerundolo at Uruguay last week, losing in three sets.

He started around the 2.8 mark against Cerundolo which is substantially shorter than what Mager started against the Argentine.

The market has wound its pricing in for Mager substantially after a week of really solid play, and while that’s understandable, he would not have been going around this quota against Giannessi seven days ago.

A lot of value can be found going with the ugly duckling, and going against the recent trend, and while I’m pulling for Mager to get his career back on track, there looks to be a pretty dangerous speed hump waiting in Brazil.

The tally is 2-2 in the H2H history, and I think Giannessi will be slightly hungrier and fresher to take a series lead.

Suggested Bet:

1 unit Allessandro Giannessi to WIN @ $2.50 with SportsBet

Over 18s Only (21+ in some jurisdictions). 1 unit = 1% of bankroll. Please enjoy your betting responsibly. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and do not chase a loss.