Open de Nice Cote d'Azur Betting: Top half of the draw the place for Nice value

20May 2013



With just a week to go until the 2013 French Open the ATP Tour moves on to Nice and Dusseldorf for a final chance for some clay court match practice. Sean Calvert runs  the rule over the contenders in Nice...


Last week's tactic of backing players in the bottom half of the draw in Rome proved to be the right one.


My choices of Juan Martin Del Potro and Richard Gasquet would both have made a profit on that basis, but I'm really disappointed that neither made the semi final and  particularly in Delpo.


The big Argentine had a virtual walkover to the last four, but when you pick loses to an inspired run from Benoit Paire of all players you know your luck is out.


The week before the French Open sees the big names taking a week off, which in the case of the Open de Nice Cote d'Azur has seen number one seed Tomas Berdych withdraw  from the tournament.


What Berdych was thinking in entering in the first place I'm not too sure, but he's out and that leaves an opportunity for someone at a handy price to make the final  in this ATP 250 clay court event.


The home players always get raucous support here in Nice and Gilles Simon in particular as a Nice-born star is always well-backed by the crowd here and he's likely to  go well.


But Simon is in the much tougher-looking bottom half of the draw that also features John Isner, Lleyton Hewitt, Andreas Seppi, Pablo Andujar, Gael Monfils, Fabio  Fognini and Santiago Giraldo amongst others.


In contrast, the top half has Sam Querrey and Marcel Granollers as the highest ranked players and surely there is a real opportunity here this week if we can find the  right player to side with.


Undoubtedly, the draw has been kind to Denis Istomin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin after the bizarre decision to replace Berdych at the head of the draw with Montanes,  who gets Berdych's bye through to the second round. Number eight seed Istomin was beaten 6-2, 6-2 by Ricardas Berankis on Sunday though and that section represents an  opportunity for Roger-Vasselin.


Others in with chances in that top half of the draw include Albert Ramos and Carlos Berlocq, but once again this par are drawn to face each other early, and surely  Paul-Henri Mathieu has to come back to form at some point too.


Granollers should be itching to do better after taking a beating from Benoit Paire in Rome and Querrey can't be advised on clay having not bettered the second round on  the dirt since winning Belgrade in 2010.


The bottom half of the draw has a far more competitive feel to it, with Fognini perhaps my favourite given his relatively easier draw, although he may have to face  Isner in the last eight, which could be a spoiler.


Andujar will be a popular choice after his good run in Madrid, but he's been priced accordingly and 22.0 seems short for a player who hadn't been past the  second round of any tournament since Cincinnati last summer prior to La Caja Magica.


Hewitt continues to enjoy wild cards as his career winds down and he hasn't been past the quarter finals of any European clay court tournament since the now defunct  Portschach event back in 2007.


Seppi is very up and down at the moment but mainly down and he's won just two matches on the tour this season on clay. A thumping loss to Fognini at home in Rome last  week won't have done much for him either and he looks lacking in confidence right now.


Simon should go well this week at home, but he's too short in the betting for my liking and hasn't sparkled at all lately, while Monfils looks to be struggling with  his fitness still and will be tired after a run to the final at the Bordeaux Challenger that ends today.


Others that may take advantage of players who don't want to exhaust themselves ahead of Roland Garros are Robin Haase and Paulo Lorenzi, but the big names won't be  going all out for this title and I like the idea of siding with Roger-Vasselin this week at around 51.0.


On home soil, the wild card could go well and he's been unlucky in recent weeks on clay being drawn against David Ferrer, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and even last week  in Bordeaux he drew eventual champion Monfils.


This week his draw has been much kinder and with only Querrey and the qualifiers to concern him now that Istomin is out on day one and surely 51.0 is too big  under these circumstances.


Recommended Bet

Back to lay Roger-Vasselin at 51.0



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Keywords: Open de Nice, value

Source: Betfair

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