his is the day the lord has made, let us rejoice and stack more chips. It’s been a fun week. A much needed week for me, at least. But it appears that barring a total catastrophe (always possible), Indian Wells will end up being a 5-figure tournament. Looks like I won’t have to sell my car after all.
What makes me happy about this tournament so far, is that I am not on a pre-match picking heater. All I am doing is playing the condition angle, live-betting big underdogs (bless you Gael, Daria, Iga, Miomir) and ALWAYS HEDGING. If you have a chance to cash out for profit, you simply must. No tournament has been more conducive to blown set/break leads than Indian Wells. A risk-free watch is the best watch.
Before we get started, remember that a $500 win at the Phoenix Challenger pays the same as a $500 win in Indian Wells. After watching Liam Broady play Miomir Kecmanovic, I advise everyone to bet him. He is playing at a legitimate top-50 level, and was lefty peak Roger Federer for about 9 games in that Kecmanovic match.
At first glance, I think today could be a very good day for underdogs.
Yesterday was a fine day, we split our two main ATP plays. I’m not sure it’s possible for Alex de Minaur to play better tennis than he did against Tommy Paul. It’s always better to lose money due to incredible performances than it is when your pick lays an egg. I’m also not sure it’s possible for Diego Scwhartzman to beat a seven-footer on these courts. When a standard kick-serve is more effective than a flat serve, the servebots have a monumental advantage.
I want to urge everyone to think long and hard about the Carlos Alcaraz vs. Gael Monfils matchup. I have been burned many a time blindly betting the young Spaniard, and as incredible as he is, he is still 18. If there is one thing we know for sure about Monfils, it’s that he LOVES pace. The Frenchman loves nothing more than tracking down hard-hit shots to the corners, hitting impossible shots, and bathing in the “Ooohs and Ahhs” of the crowd.
I really think this is a bad matchup for Alcaraz, who has a tendency to become impatient. Monfils is playing some of the better tennis of his career. He’s been playing tennis far longer than Alcaraz has been alive, and I bet he has a few tricks up his sleeve. You beat Monfils with patience and smart tactics, not by ripping the ball to corners. Alcaraz is one of a kind, but so is Monfils, and he's never faced a player who can move and defend like La Monf.
I think that John Isner has a fantastic chance to extend his head-to-head lead over Grigor Dimitrov.
This match will take place in mid-afternoon, and Isner’s serve will bounce far above Dimitrov’s suspect one-hander. Isner appears to be moving and striking in slow motion, but lucky for him, the conditions are so slow that he’s actually timing the ball quite perfectly. The only outcome that would surprise me is a Dimitrov beatdown. Isner knows to bail out of points that don’t suit his style, and I am happy to fade Dimitrov after a dominant win against a player in Bublik who didn’t want to be there.
I also really want to bet Taylor Fritz today, as Jaume Munar was my dark horse pick this tournament. The Spaniard played shockingly great tennis all week, and Fritz was lucky to win that one. After surviving a 7-6 in the third, oftentimes a player is able to swing more confidently and freely. Tommy Paul and Katie Boulter used to “hang out”, so I understood Demon’s laser-focus and determination yesterday against TP. If my girlfriend used to hook up with a more attractive man than me, and I played that man in a tennis match, I’d want to kill him. Never underestimate primal motivation. All that said, fading Demon after his level yesterday is bold.
I also believe that if Rafael Nadal is finally going to lose a match, it’s going to be to Reilly Opelka on this Looney Tunes hardcourt.
Opelka downplayed his chances (love to see it) when asked about this matchup. “Do you think you have a chance against Nadal?” asked the interviewer. “No, not really,” said Reilly. We gamblers love a reverse jinx, and this is the tennis player version of one. Reilly will have to rip it, of course, but Nadal’s forehand will not bounce out of his strike zone. I am expecting a battle in these conditions, and this might be Opelka’s best-ever chance to notch a win over a GOAT. If things do get tense, Opelka’s free point disparity will be very important. Do NOT bet a large amount against Nadal, but it’s a fun and juicy play that should have some legs, as well as hedging possibilities if Nadal starts slow for the fourth straight match.
My kick-serve tweet was quote tweeted by many a Nadal stan, and they were freaking out, perhaps for good reason. I love few things more than being quote-tweeted in another language, and clicking the "translate tweet" button. Really cool when you think about it. One of the few major positives of social media.
I think that right now, on these courts, if Miomir Kecmanovic and Matteo Berrettini played 10 baseline games, Kecmanovic would win 10 of them.
If (big if) the Serb is able to engage the Italian in rallies, he has the advantage, plain and simple. This is the perfect tennis court for Kecmanovic’s game, and he’s beaten a red-hot Broady, Marin Cilic, and Botic Van de Zandschulp. That’s not an easy draw. I don’t trust Berrettini on these courts, and his performance against Lloyd Harris was not too inspiring. If at any point you hear “IDEMO” from the mild-mannered Kecmanovic, place a live bet on him. If Kecmanovic is up a set and break, you simply must hedge your bet.
Last but not least, I have some great thoughts on the Cam Norrie vs. Jenson Brooksby encounter. Pay attention, this advice is worth its weight in gold.
I have no fucking clue, and neither do you.