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We've reached the semifinal stage of the two ATP events in Lyon and Geneva, two small clay-court tune-ups prior to Roland Garros next week. I've got two plays in Lyon that I really like.
Alex De Minaur (-145) vs. Alex Molcan (+120)
We need to be respecting Alex De Minaur a bit more in these streets. Sure, I had my doubts about the Aussie's ability to play on clay a few months ago, but he's done well to erase those concerns this spring. De Minaur has been one of the hardest outs on tour, and has only gone down at the hands of Alexander Zverev, Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev on the dirt this year.
That's quite the list! It's also proof enough that De Minaur should not be -145 here. Alex Molcan has enjoyed a great week, but he's disposed of two crummy opponents in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ans Federico Coria and one disinterested one in Karen Khachanov.
Molcan lost to Roberto Carballes Baena in qualifying for Madrid, and I see this matchup as a very similar one. De Minaur will get a ton of balls back to Molcan, who should eventually grow tired and make errors. He's simply not a very disciplined tennis player, and he's not of the quality that De Minaur is.
Edge: De Minaur -145
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Cameron Norrie (-170) vs. Holger Rune (+120)
Rune's famous for his errors off of both the forehand and backhand wings. While he has a forehand and a work ethic that has earned him many Instagram followers, it's done little so far in his young career. Rune surely has a bright future in this game and has had some nice moments in 2022, winning his first career tournament, but this form he's in right now is fool's gold.
Rune hasn't had many impressionable wins, and the one which defined his 2022 season came against a disinterested Alexander Zverev in a small tournament he likely flew to to collect an appearance fee and leave. Regardless of his past, this couldn't be a worse matchup. Norrie is arguably the best defender on tour not named Novak Djokovic, and is excellent at getting errors out of his opponents.
The Brit's determination and resolve is never in question, and Thursday's win over a very tough and talented Sebastian Baez was proof of this. He's going to be competing from start to finish, and should easily take out his young, erratic opponent.
Edge: Norrie -2.5
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