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Felix Auger-Aliassime
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Tennis Best Bets for August 5

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: August 5, 2022, 4:05 pm ET

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We've made it to the North American hardcourt swing, which could be the most exciting part of the tennis calendar. After a smaller tournament in Atlanta last week which ran alongside a clay-court event in Umag, we've got the Citi Open this week as well as action in Los Cabos.

Without further ado, let's get into some picks.

Daniil Medvedev (-455) vs. Miomir Kecmanovic (+320)

He's improving, but World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev's greatest nemesis right now is slow courts. While he is going to be playing on a hardcourt on Friday night, these speeds in Los Cabos are incredibly slow. This doesn't suit Medvedev's style of finishing points with deep groundstrokes and it also lessens the importance of his all-world defensive skills.

Kecmanovic's right at home on slow courts and has been absolutely dominant this year on slower hard and clay. He likes to have time to line up his shots and has moved into the net brilliantly all week long. Despite entering with no form, the Serb has reminded us in short order of just how talented he is and how dangerous he was back in the spring.

Kecmanovic should not be an underdog of these proportions given these are not ideal conditions for Medvedev, and given how good and comfortable he's looked in his last two matches. He's run through some decent opponents rather easily.

Edge: Kecmanovic +4.5

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Cam Norrie (+102) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (-125)

Norrie and Auger-Aliassime have met four times, and the Brit has managed just one set off of the Canadian. Despite what many would think is a bad matchup for the error-prone Auger-Aliassime, Norrie's defense hasn't been enough to neutralize the power of this young star.

We noted above that these are slower courts, and I'd argue the last time these two played — on very slow indoor hardcourts in Rotterdam — is a good predictor of how this one will go. The two played two tight sets, but it was the serve of Auger-Aliassime that ultimately put too much pressure on the shoulders of Norrie, who succumbed to an onslaught of powerful groundstrokes.

All four meetings have taken place in the last three seasons, when both men have been at their best, and the fact that Auger-Aliassime won in straight sets back in Rotterdam this year and also won in straights on the slowest hardcourts around at Indian Wells three years ago gives me a ton of faith in him here. He looked brilliant against Steve Johnson and wasn't remotely challenged on serve.

Edge: Auger Aliassime -125

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.