Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 13th
Four men remain at the Grand Prix Hassan II and even with only one seed remaining the matchups are really intriguing. Gilles Simon went down an early break in each set, but was able to fight back and beat Taro Daniel to advance to his second semifinal of the season. Simon’s opponent will be the defending champion, Pablo Andujar, who extended his winning streak to 13 with a walkover from Jiri Vesely. The second semifinal will be an all French affair when Jo-Wilfred Tsonga faces off against Benoit Paire. Tsonga easily beat Lorenzo Sonego and Paire brushed aside Jaume Munar.
Here are my best bets for the semifinal matches in Morocco.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (-250) vs Benoit Paire (+200)
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga is running through his draw having dropped just 21 games across six sets. Tsonga is still working to get his ranking back to where it should be, after missing time with an injury, so every win is crucial for the 17 time champion. Tsonga will look to advance to his second final of the season, he won the title in Montpellier, but will have to get through countryman Benoit Paire. This tournamnet perfectly captures the frustrating Benoit Paire. A person with loads of talent, but a lack of concentration, who when he puts it all together can run through a draw. Paire went down a set and a break to his first round opponent, but has cruised in his next two matches to get to his first semifinal this season. Tsonga leads the H2H 3-0, but the two have never played on clay and haven’t played since the 2015 US Open. I think this is one of those weeks where Paire focuses the whole tournament, so I think Paire gets the job done.
Gilles Simon (-125) vs Pablo Andujar (+100)
Gilles Simon is just two wins away from his 6th career clay title and 14th overall. Simon had a shaky 9-8 start to the season, that included two quarterfinals and one semifinal, but seems to have found form back on the dirt. Simon hasn’t dropped a set all week and will look to advance to his first final this season with a win over Pablo Andujar. It will not be easy as Andujar is currently on a 13 match win streak and won back-to-back Challenger clay court titles prior to this event. The Spaniard is now 44-17 on clay since the start of 2018 and will look to get back to his first final since winning the tournmanet here last year. Andujar leads the H2H 2-1, and is 2-0 on clay, but the two have not played since 2014. I’m going to keep riding the hot hand and take Pablo Andujar to advance to the final.
YTD Tennis Results: 62-40
Gran Prix Hassan Results: 9-2
Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 12th
The Grand Prix Hassan II quaretfinal field is now set and only one seed remains. The #4 seed Gilles Simon will take on Taro Daniel in the first match of the day Friday. They will be followed by, the hottest man on tour, Pablo Andujar taking on Jiri Vesely. At the conclusion of the Andujar/Vesley match Jaume Munar, who knocked out the #1 seed Alex Zverev, will take on Benoit Paire who has look impressive in Morocco. The final quarterfinal of the day will be Jo-Wilfred Tsonga taking on Lorenzo Sonego.
Eight men remain and after Friday we will have the final four. Here are my best bets for the Gran Prix Hassan II quarterfinals.
Pablo Andujar (-175) vs Jiri Vesely (+137)
Pablo Andujar is currently on a 12 match win streak and will look to make his first ATP semifinal since winning the title here last season. If Andujar wins this tournament he will have won five career ATP clay court titles and have won three straight tournaments overall after winning back-to-back Challenger titles leading up to this week. Jiri Vesely is having his best week on tour since Wimbledon last year and will look to get to the semifinals of an ATP tour event for the first time since Antalya in June 2018. Vesely leads the H2H 2-0, but this will be the first time the two meet on the dirt. I am a little worried about fatigue, but am going to continue riding the hot streak and take Pablo Andujar in this one.
Gilles Simon (-278) vs Taro Daniel (+220)
Gilles Simon advances to his third quarterfinal of the season, but is still searching for his first semifinal appearance this season. Simon, who has had mixed results on clay throughout his career, has barely had to break a set this week and will look to keep this form up as he is now the favorite to win this title. Standing in Simon’s way is Taro Daniel who has won back-to-back main draw matches for the first time since Winston-Salem in August 2018. Simon has to be happy with his draw and I like the Frenchman to easily advance.
YTD Tennis Results: 59-39
Gran Prix Hassan Results: 7-2
Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 11th
The Grand Prix Hassan II has its first four quarterfinalists set after Wednesday’s action. Lorenzo Sonego advanced to the quarters after defeating Robin Haase in straight sets. His quarterfinal opponent will be Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who knocked out Kyle Edmund in straight sets. The other quarterfinal matchup set is Taro Daniel, who defeated Adrian Menendez, taking on Gilles Simon who easily got by Guido Andreozzi.
The last four quarterfinalists will be determined on Thursday with the likes of Benoit Paire and Alex Zverev looking to advance.
Four matches on Thursday, so here are my two best bets.
Pablo Andujar (-120) vs Philipp Kohlschreiber (-120)
Pablo Andujar is currently 14-2 on clay this season and is in the midst of an 11 match winning streak. Before heading to Morocco Andujar won back-to-back clay Challenger events in Spain. Coming off a 29-15 record, on the dirt, last season Andujar has continued that momentum into 2019. His opponent on Thursday is six time clay court ATP champion Philipp Kohlschreiber. The German had two tough sets in the first round and will look to advance to the quarters in her first clay court event of the season. Kohlschreiber leads H2H 2-1, but it is tied 1-1 on dirt and I see Andujar getting the win on Thursday.
Juan Londero (-125) vs Jiri Vesely (-111)
Juan Londero won the first ATP tournament of his career, in February, at Cordoba and currently sits at 12-4 on the clay courts this season. Londero went 44-20 on the dirt last season and won two Challenger events on the surface. The Argentine has not had the same results since winning that title, so he will look to get back to that form this week. Jiri Vesely participated in the two Spain Challenger leading up to this event, but could only go 2-2 in those tournaments. The Czech has eight career Challenger/ITF clay court titles, but is still searching for his first ATP title on this surface. This is anyone’s match, but I like Jiri Vesely’s chances of getting to the quarters.
YTD Tennis Results: 53-38
Gran Prix Hassan Results: 5-2 (updated with Wed results)
Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 10th
The Grand Prix Hassan II really got going on Tuesday as there were 11 total matches and five total upsets. The big upset of the day was Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, who went off at +350, stunned Fernando Verdasco in three sets. Another notable upset was Jiri Vesely, who went off at +125, knocking out the #2 seed Fabio Fognini. The other minor upsets were Benoit Paire knocking out Aljaz Bedene, Lorenzo Sonego knocking out Laslo Djere and Pablo Andujar knocking out Federico Delbonis. A few other notable results were Alex Zverev comfortably advancing and Pierre-Hugues Herbert needing three sets to knock out Thomas Fabbiano.
Kyle Edmund vs Jo-Wilfred Tsonga is the headline matchup of the day, but there are a couple other intriguing matchups on Wednesday.
There are just four matches on Wednesday, so here are my two best bets on the day.
Gilles Simon (-175) vs Guido Andreozzi (+125)
Gilles Simon has seven career ATP tour clay titles and will look for number eight this week in Morocco. The Frenchman kick started his clay court season with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 result on Monday. Simon saw mixed results at the start of the 2019 season making three quarterfinal runs, but also suffering two first round defeats. Simon will look to make his fourth quarterfinal of the season, but will have to get through the veteran clay court specialist, Guido Andreozzi. The veteran easily knocked out Albert Ramos, in the first round, and finally got his first clay court win of the season, in his fifth attempt. Neither guy is in fantastic form, but I see Andreozzi getting through to the quarterfinals.
Lorenzo Sonego (-164) vs Robin Haase (+120)
Robin Haase and Lorenzo Sonego each cruised to comfortable straight sets wins in their first round matches on Tuesday. Sonego is now 9-5 on clay this season, after beating Laslo Djere, and will look for win #10, on clay, and win #20, on the season, Wednesday. With a win on Wednesday this would be the young Italians best result, in an ATP event, since reaching the quarterfinals in Budapest last April. Robin Haase used to be a very solid clay court title, winning two ATP and 10 Challenger titles, but has not had good record since 2016. Over the last three seasons the Dutchman has compiled a 14-20 record on the dirt and will look to get back on track in Morocco. This is the first meeting between the two on dirt, Sonego leads the H2H 1-0, and I see the young Italian advancing to the quarters.
YTD Tennis Results: 51-36
Gran Prix Hassan Results: 4-1
Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 9th
The Grand Prix Hassan II got underway Monday with five first round matchups. All five matches finished in straight sets, but there was one slight upset on the day. Guido Andreozzi, who went off at +139, easily handled Albert Ramos 6-2 7-6(5).
The rest of the first round will be played, on Tuesday, with the likes of Alex Zverev, Fabio Fognini and Philipp Kohlschreiber will all get this clay court swing underway.
With 11 matches set to be played, and an expected tightly contested tournament, there is plenty of value out there, so here are my three bests for Tuesday in Morocco.
Laslo Djere (-164) vs Lorenzo Sonego (+120)
Laslo Djere, who won his first career ATP title earlier this season at Rio, will look to continue his solid form on clay this upcoming week. Djere went 7-1 during the South American clay court swing that included that tile at Rio and a semifinal appearance in Sao Paulo. Since 2015 Djere has compiled a fantastic 114-64 record on the dirt. His opponent, on Tuesday, will be the young Italian Lorenzo Sonego. The Italian has won five career clay court tiles, on the Challenger circuit, and will look to translate some of that success to the ATP tour events. Sonego competed in the South American swing this season, but could not get out of the second round in any of the four tournaments he competed in. Djere will get past the Italian on Tuesday.
Federico Delbonis (-189) vs Pablo Andujar-Alba (+137)
Defending champion, Pablo Andujar-Alba, returns to Morocco on a ten-match win streak that includes back-to-back clay court Challenger titles. Andujar is currently 13-2 on clay this season and is riding the momentum that he built last season on the dirt. In 2018 the Spaniard won three Challenger events and one ATP events. For his career he has won four ATP titles, and six Challenger titles, all on dirt. The first opponent standing in his was of a repeat, in Morocco, is Federico Delbonis, who is also a decorated clay court player. The 2016 champion of this tournament has won two ATP clay court titles to go along with his nine Challenger titles on the dirt. This should be a good matchup and I like Pablo Andujar to win this first round matchup.
Aljaz Bedene (-139) vs Benoit Paire (+100)
Aljaz Bedene will be happy to get back on the dirt as he went 0-4 during the hard court swing to start the season. The Slovak did compete in the South American clay swing, earlier this season and advanced to the quarters at Cordoba and the semis at Rio. Bedene has done really well on the clay the last two season as he has compiled a 39-15 record on the dirt. For his career, Bedene has won 11 Challenger clay events and will look to push through and win his first ATP tournament this week. His first round opponent one of the most infuriating on tour – Benoit Paire. The Frenchman is a great talent, but he never seems like he wants to be on the court. Paire has won one ATP clay title, and one Challenger, and will look to turn around his 10-12 start to the season. Bedene had to pull out of his semifinal match in Rio, and fitness may be an issue, so I am going with Paire on Tuesday.
YTD Tennis Results: 46-33
Gran Prix Hassan Results: 2-0
Grand Prix Hassan Best Bets – April 8th
While 28 men start their clay season in Houston, 32 others head to Morocco to compete in Marrakech, Morocco all vying to kick off the clay swing with the Grand Prix Hassan title. Some of the top players in the world are getting their clay season started this week in preparation for the French Open in just over a month.
Pablo Andujar returns to Morocco, to defend his 2018 title, as an unseeded, but very dangerous player who has just finished winning back-to-back Challenger series events. The top five seeds are Alex Zverev, Fabio Fognini, Kyle Edmund, Giles Simon and Laslo Djere. Other notable entrents are Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Fernando Verdasco and Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Five matches get the tournament started on Monday, so here are my two best bets for opening round action in Morocco.
Gilles Simon (-278) vs Jozef Kovalik (+200)
Gilles Simon gets his clay season started, on Monday, as he looks to win his first clay tournament since 2012 Bucharest. The veteran Frenchmen has won five career clay titles and will look to improve his mediocre 9-8 start to this season. Simon will face the veteran Slovak, Jozef Kovalik, in the first round on Monday. Kovalik has played just five matches this season and has won just once. His most recent match was a first round loss to world #240 Enzo Couacaud in the first round of a Challenger clay event in France. The Slovak has won five career Challenger clay titles, but Simon advances on Monday.
Albert Ramos (-189) vs Guido Andreozzi (+137)
Albert Ramos started his clay season during the South American swing, in February, and had mixed results. He did make back-to-back quarterfinals in Buenos Aires and Rio, but finished just 6-5 during that swing. The Spaniard’s only ATP title came on the dirt, in Bastad, back in 2016 and he will look to advance past the quarterfinal stage in Morocco. His opponent is clay court specialist Guido Andreozzi. The Argentine has won 112 matches on clay over the past three seasons, but went 0-4 during the South American swing earlier this season. Andreozzi has never won an ATP event, but did win five clay court Challenger events last season and will look to get back to his normal clay form. I think Andreozzi gets back in form this week and gets the win Monday.
YTD Tennis Results: 43-30
Gran Prix Hassan Results: