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Arthur Rinderknech
MUHAMMAD FAROOQ / Contributor - Getty Images
Odds and Ends

Ducey's Tennis Best Bets for Jan. 11

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: January 11, 2022, 1:02 pm ET

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The 2022 ATP season has arrived. As a gift to us all, there are two tournaments going on at once on the men's side, with some of the top names in the sport doing battle. With that in mind, it's hard to whittle things down to just two bets, but I've done that below and picked out my favorites.

Arthur Rinderknech (-125) vs. Soon-Woo Kwon (+100)

I'm going to head to the first match in Adelaide for my first bet of the night. Why? Because Arthur Rinderknech has picked up right where he left off last season.

All Rinderknech, a Texas A&M Aggie, did in his third year as a full-time pro is go 54-30 across all competitions. He began the year by qualifying for the Instanbul Challenger and winning the tournament with wins over the likes of Brandon Nakashima and Benjamin Bonzi. He went on to pick up some impressive wins on the main draw, proving himself on all surfaces with a win over Jannik Sinner in Lyon.

The Frenchman has a massive serve and forehand which have only become more and more dangerous, and so far in 2022 they've looked better than ever. Rinderknech started slow with a pair of losses but has come through his last two in strong fashion and looks to be the man in this meeting with Soon-Woo Kwon.

While Kwon's put together a few nice wins so far this season, I was slightly disappointed with his consistency against Lloyd Harris and his ability to win service points against a bad returner. Furthermore, it appeared to me Harris' focus was gone and his level wasn't quite up to snuff, which has me questioning the magnitude of Kwon's win.

It's always hard to rate players based off just three or four matches, but so far in 2022 Rindernech appears to be the stronger of the two youngsters. Kwon's struggles on serve won't do against the big-serving Frenchman who should do well to hold on to any advantage he may take in the match. Kwon's misfires off of both wings last night also have me questioning just how many points he can win from the back of the court.

Edge: Rinderknech -125

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Maxime Cressy (-200) vs. Dusan Lajovic (+158)

From one French import to another, I'm taking Maxime Cressy to blow by Dusan Lajovic on Tuesday night.

Cressy has been a revelation so far this season, capitalizing on his momentum from late 2021 and winning a boatload of matches in the first week of the season. He qualified for Melbourne and proceeded to march all the way to the final, where he gave Rafael Nadal a great fight and even led the second set by a break. He proceeded to pick up right where he left off on Monday with an impressive, hard-fought win over Adrian Mannarino.

Normally I'd be looking to fade a player who has taken part in so many matches, but this certainly isn't the spot. Dusan Lajovic's game isn't built for this kind of surface, and he's historically had a lot of issues when the speed has ramped up. Furthermore, he injured his foot against Cristian Garin at the ATP Cup last week and I'm not quite sure he's 100%.

Lajovic's win over Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina on Monday seemed to be the result of some rust on Davidovich-Fokina's part, considering the Spaniard was out in front of that match and lost the big points late in sets. It was awfully close, and Cressy will certainly be a step up in competition.

The serve and volley of Cressy should force Lajovic into some uncomfortable situations and force him to be a shot-maker here. He's certainly not that, and prefers to grind out points from the back of the court. The American should roll.

Edge: Cressy -2.5 Games

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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.