The Italian Open starts today and it is the last clay tournament before Roland Garros, so it should give a good indication on who will challenge Nadal in Paris.
Of course, like nearly all big tournaments on the dirt, Rafa holds the record here with seven victories, nine finals and most consecutive titles (three).
He seemed unbeatable on clay this year too, that was until Dominic Thiem ended his 50 consecutive sets won on clay in Madrid quarter-finals last Friday.
The first bet we are slamming into is Andreas Seppi (+1.5) games v Lucas Pouille at 5/6. None of these guys are in good form, but we cannot ignore the fact that Pouille has lost his last five matches in the 2 out of 3 sets format.
He only performed during the Davis Cup game against Italy and he indeed beat Seppi in a five set match but, playing in front of his home supporters we expect Seppi to be inspired to win the match. However, we’ll be satisfied with (+1.5) games handicap just to be on the safe side.
The German is in good shape this clay season, he made a final in Munich where he lost against Alexander Zverev and he lost to Kevin Anderson in the quarter finals in Madrid, which is no disgrace.
On the other hand, Kachanov lost in the first round in Madrid to Dusan Lajovic. The head to head between the two is 1-1, however we expect Kohlschreiber to change that and to take the 2-1 lead after this Monday’s game.
* All odds correct at time of posting.