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  • Chris sobey


This week’s ATP action at Montpellier, Sofia and Quito is down to the quarter-final stage and its crunch time for some of my outright selections. At Montpellier Richard Gasquet (5/1) is still on course to defend his title and should progress to the semi-finals against compatriot De Schepper today as he leads the head-to-head 2-0.

My other outright selection at Montpellier Chardy (40/1) faces a much tougher opponent in NextGen star Alexander Zverev today, but he does lead the head-to-head 1-0 and with Zverev not looking at his best at the weekend in the Davis Cup or this week I would not be surprised if Chardy beat the young German again today.

At Sofia tournament favourite and one of my outright selections this week Dimitrov (11/4) survived a scare yesterday beating Janowicz in three sets. He faces another tough test today against Troicki and with the head-to-head at 2-2, Troicki winning the last two, the last three matches going the distance and Troicki winning the first set in each match I advise opposing Dimitrov to cover your outright stake.

My other selection at Sofia Muller (14/1) is also through to the quarter-finals and faces defending champion Bautista Agut today. Bautista Agut leads the head-to-head 4-2 and won both of their encounters last year on hard courts, including at this event last year at the semi-final stage 7-6 6-4. Muller is understandably the outsider again, but on current form he’s more than capable of recording his third win against the Spaniard who could be fatigued after playing a lot of tennis this year, including the Davis Cup at the weekend. If you’re following this match I would advise trying to cover your outright stake on Muller in-play if he trades at Evens or below.

At Quito all three of my outright selections third seed Lorenzi (7/1), fourth seed Belluci (10/1) and top-seed Karlovic (16/1) were still in action and at the time of writing, and Lorenzi and Bellucci were through to the quarter-finals. Lorenzi faces fellow veteran Ram today who has already knocked out fifth seed Dolgopolov and the high altitude quick conditions are clearly suiting his aggressive serve and volley style of play. Lorenzi leads the head-to-head 1-0, which came indoors at Vienna in 2015 and ended 6-7 6-1 6-4, and I expect this encounter will be just as close so I suggest backing Ram or laying Lorenzi to cover your outright stake on the Italian.

Fourth seed Bellucci faces qualifier eighth seed Olivio from Argentina today for the first time and I expect this to be a tough encounter for Bellucci as Olivio is an up and coming player who is verging on breaking in to the top-100 for the first time. I think Bellucci will prevail in three sets, but I suggest opposing him to cover your outright stake.

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