The 11-day Masters 1000 Series event began yesterday with a number of low key clashes taking place before the big guns come out to play this weekend.
Historically, the California hard courts have played slowly, with ace percentages and points won on first serves historically low compared to other Masters Series hard court venues.
Back Alejandro Tabilo to win a set vs Denis Kudla
Tabilo, the world number 184, could surprise Kudla and take the match to three sets. Kudla will be looking to bounce back after straight sets defeats to Federico Gaio and Andy Murray, a truly forgettable campaign in San Diego last week. The tricky Chilean Tabilo’s return of serve may trouble the out of form American.
Backing Tabilo to win a set seems like a value bet to us.
Back over 23.5 games in Jordan Thompson vs Kevin Anderson
With both Thompson and Anderson coming into this fixture in poor form, expect a tentative affair with both men sticking to the basics and focusing on holding their service games.
Anderson leads the H2H series 2-0 and Thompson will have a point to prove after his humiliating straight sets loss against ATP debutant August Holmgren in the San Diego qualifiers last week.
Expect a tight affair with a high probability of tie-breaks and not many breaks of serve.