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The clay season is officially open !!! New faces like Gaudio and Coria are in main draw, should be interesting to see if they still have it. Be back later with leans or picks.

2008 stats:
8W - 6L | +9.29u
 

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Might try out just backing selective dogs in this tournament. Gonzo looks classic fade material against fellow countryman, Capdeville.
 

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Cuevas @ 1.73

would take Monaco outright if my bookie had it
 

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where u have Cuevas @1,73? :eek:
Pinnacle. But it's offline now :confused: Anyway my bet is still pending so they didn't cancel it.

EDIT: And bwin now have it offline too. Someone must have put a billion on that match.
 

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Some of the dogs I am looking at:

Brzezicki @ 2.42 to beat Hernandez

Hernandez I reckon overachieved last year. I wouldn't put much in between these players - both your average baseline dirtballer. Will be a close one.

Capdeville @ 5.3 to beat Gonzalez

I get the feeling Gonzalez is above these MM clay tournaments and is only playing here because its on home territory. He wasn't playing well at all at Kooyong and the Aus open and seemed to be struggling with injury. I hope he lays down to his fellow countryman.

Fognini to beat Chela @ 3.4

Fognini is a rising young player who made the top 100 last year and had very consistent results on clay. Chela is always liable to throw in the odd shocker in MM events and hasn't been on form so far this year and he usually starts the season in Australia strongly. Has only won 1 match at Vina Del Mar in 4 attempts.

Stakes will be kept as low as possible for this tournament though.
 

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I feel that one of the two french underdogs (Patience @ Vassallo / Devilder @ Berlocq) will pass this 1st round... now I've got much more trust on Patience
 

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Berlocq started the year playing well (Final in SaoPaulo challenger, acceptable match vs Monaco in Australia) I dont see him losing to Devilder. but u never know with this man..
 

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Massu v Roitman

Escopeta seems to be a bit overpriced here. He was killing Massu 6-0, 5-2 in the qf here last year before retiring with injury after losing the 2nd set in a tiebreak. I'm not sure when the injury occurred or if there was a major choke involved but he showed the reult was no fluke when he beat Massu easily in Kitzbuhel (2&5). Massu has a great record here (twice runner-up) but he was hopeless on clay in Europe at the end of last year and shouldn't be this price. Roitman finished his year strongly winning a decent challenger in Buenos Aries. Perhaps he's just a journeyman who had a career year last year but he undoubtedly has some big weapons and might just be a late-bloomer.

Roitman at 3.00 (he's one I'd lay off sub 1.1. Capable of a choke and Massu will fight hard in front of his own fans)
 

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Mariano Zabaleta - Diego Hartfield

So Latino clay season is underway and chance for dirt ballers to climb in ratings. And today I really like Zabaleta. Even if they are very close in rating(#104 & #107), I see good chance for Mariano. He had long injury break in last couple of years but He made impressive comeback in first part of season 2007 - two challenger titles, two challenger finals and one ATP final in Houston. I would say decent stuff. Rest of season He played very rarely, but It is understandable as He played many matches in first part. I watched Zabaleta match in Australian Open and If start was pretty slowly and Mariano looked pretty uninterested then later He showed some guts and hit ball very well, find constancy from baseline and Luczak should play at his best to overcome Argie at home soil. On the other hand Hartfield is nothing impressive to be honest - spending most of career in challenger level with some shines there, but still I think Zabaleta has better quality here. Also his performance against Federer wasn't even close what He showed in first mutual meeting in RG. So all in all I can't see Zabaleta as underdog here, even with his sloppy last scorelines.

Pick: Zabaleta
Odds: 2.10
Bookie: Pinnacle
Stake: 5/10


see more @ Serve4cash.com
 

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Zabaleta - Hartfield 3 sets @ 2.15 10/10
Gaudio - Ventura 3 sets @ 2.08 10/10
Hernandez - Brzezicki 3 sets @ 2.29 10/10

GL :)
 

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I feel that one of the two french underdogs (Patience @ Vassallo / Devilder @ Berlocq) will pass this 1st round... now I've got much more trust on Patience
be aware that Patience is playing his only 2nd tournament since September (first being Aus open)
 
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