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Welcome back! After a slow week in tennis, we're back with some picks with two ATP tournaments starting up. Both are worth 250 ranking points, though both are many miles apart — one in France, and one here in San Diego.
Let's get into some picks.
Steve Johnson (-164) vs. Alejandro Tabilo (+135)
There's surely some home-court advantage baked into this line here with Johnson, who was a standout at USC, which is not too far from San Diego, but should there be?
Alejandro Tabilo is a player who always seems to have an audience no matter where he goes, with Chileans turning out for just about every tournament where one of their players is involved. The big, menacing left-hander should come close to leveling the crowd support, and with that I really like him.
These are slow hardcourts, particularly at night, and that is perfect for Tabilo, who was bred on clay but who is very capable on slow hardcourts. He's had himself a decent enough summer with a win at the Davis Cup, a win at the US Open and a heck of a fight against American JJ Wolf in the second round there.
This kid can play, and I really like the matchup with his looping forehand countering the low backhand slice from Johnson. The American is average at best, and Tabilo has more talent.
Edge: Tabilo +135
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Mitchell Krueger (+180) vs. James Duckworth (-233)
Once again, I'm fading an American tennis player in America. This time, it's Mitchell Krueger. While he did wind up the winner in his first-round match against Chris Eubanks after coming through qualifying in two tough three-setters, I still don't really love his chances here on Wednesday.
James Duckworth is a legitimate top 50 player when healthy, and it appears he's working himself back into that category. He has finishing ability off of both wings and a big enough serve to separate himself from Krueger, a player without any sort of weapon and who doesn't pack a huge punch on serve.
Duckworth has now won five of his last seven matches with Krueger hardly playing at all this summer. There's a large discrepancy in talent and form.
Edge: Under 22.5