Feliciano Lopez to beat Benoit Paire – 11/10
This selection has little to do with Feliciano Lopez on arguably his worst surface and has everything to do with the fact his opponent the ridiculously unpredictable Benoit Paire.
The man has flattered to deceive almost the entirety of his career with seemingly only a handful of his more deluded fans actually still believing in him. Despite the stacks of ability he possesses, Paire has only one ATP Title (a 250 in Sweden) as we approach his 29th birthday next month.
He lost in his first round here last year to then 39-year-old Tommy Haas winning just five games.
Feliciano admittedly has a terrible record at Monte Carlo, winning only twice in his last seven visits.
However, on closer inspection he has been handed very tough opponents early with his losses coming against heavyweights like Alex Zverev, Murray, Ferrer (twice), Goffin, Wawrinka and Berdych.
If Benoit has one of his very rare good days he wins this, but we’re backing against him and hope to see the endlessly handsome Deliciano struts his way to victory.
Diego Schwartzman to beat Guido Pella – 1/2
It was rumoured that when Diego was in school the other kids bullied him by putting him in their lunch box.
However, there is no bulling the little Argentine on a tennis court these days, especially on clay.
Schwartzman has already picked up a clay court tournament this year in Rio de Janeiro against some stern opposition, without even dropping a set. Pella is no slouch, but Diego should get the upper hand here.
Pablo Cuevas to beat Fernando Verdasco – Evens
Cuevas had quite the run making here last year, taking down Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets on the way to a quarter-final appearance.
Verdasco, who made the final in Monte Carlo back in 2010, has struggled in recent visits and looked in poor touch in Houston, with a straight sets loss to Denis Kudla.
Cuevas has won six of the nine sets they’ve previously played on clay and we are backing him to turn around is early season slump to get it done here.
* All odds correct at time of posting.