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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.
Gregoire Barrere (+160) vs. Mikael Ymer (-200)
Barrere is quite a boring player. He has a big serve, but he does little else well. He's a weak baseliner and really struggles when players put his ball back into play. This is why I find a hard time believing he can dig his teeth into this match.
He doesn't normally get a ton of support, even in his home country of France, because of his nondescript game. He will also be up against a very strong returner in Ymer who is a better player and one who is really in the ascendancy these days, picking up some wins and gaining form.
Barrere has come through some pretty weak competition in Jurij Rodionov, Marton Fucsovics and Oscar Otte, all three of whom are not playing anywhere close to their best tennis right now. On top of that, Otte served for both sets in Tuesday's encounter and had very limited movement.
Ymer will wear down the Frenchman and win in two sets.
Edge: Ymer -1.5 Sets
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Lorenzo Sonego (-250) vs. Gilles Simon (+195)
We really have to pay attention to how Gilles Simon is playing. He's been super competitive for the last two months as he embarks on the final run of his career, winning an epic three-setter against Michael Mmoh in US Open qualifying from a set and two breaks down and winning some matches at the Challenger level against some good opposition.
Simon is playing here in front of home fans in France and should have overwhelming support. He just dismantled a rather talented David Goffin on Monday and along the way made very few errors, playing a match that was close to perfect. Sonego, meanwhile, came in on a two-match losing streak, and won against Aslan Karatsev despite being the worse of the two players all match.
Sonego has hardly played at all this summer, while Simon has worked hard to find the best level he can at his age. I think this is a mismatch, and the former World No. 5 is ripe for an upset. I'll take set spread, however.
Edge: Simon +1.5 Sets