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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Mathieu should be a bother to Bedene

Zeballos can trouble Berlocq too

Paul-Henri Mathieu remains a canny performer
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ATP Rio Open continues on Sky Sports 2 from 7pm Tuesday

WTA Dubai Duty Free Championship continues on BT Sport 1 from 7am Tuesday 

As in all sports, it pays to look at the bigger picture in tennis and a couple of outsiders could offer a shade of value in their first-round outings.

Aljaz Bedene and Carlos Berlocq are popular orders to win their opening clashes in Marseille and Rio de Janeiro respectively, but until a couple of weeks ago both players had looked to be labouring.

Bedene is favourite to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in their Open 13 curtain-raiser in the south of France, but the Slovenia-born Brit is no world-beater while Mathieu remains a canny performer.

French players have a superb record in their homeland and bookmakers may be too short about Bedene. Mathieu could be value to progress, but the 4-7 about the experienced campaigner winning at least a set may be the best route for punters.

Prior to the Davis Cup, Berlocq had looked one to avoid but things have turned around for the player with a typically resolute effort in Argentina’s World Group first-round defeat to Italy and a runner-up berth in Buenos Aires last week.

Horacio Zeballos remains much less exposed than his countryman Berlocq though and he could be overpriced to set up a date with either David Ferrer or Buenos Aires champion Alexandr Dolgopolov. However, the best way of supporting Zeballos could be via the 4-6 that he wins at least a set.

It could pay to find a way to side with Mona Barthel in her all-German Dubai second-round clash with Angelique Kerber in the wake of the outsider’s first-round mauling of Jelena Jankovic.

But the oddsmakers are giving little away with a general total-games handicap line of 4.5 and anyone siding with the lower-ranked performer should be aware that the world number two is looking to answer her critics after a slow start to the campaign.

Recommendations
P-H Mathieu to win at least a set
1pt 4-7 Ladbrokes
H Zeballos to win at least a set
1pt 4-6 Ladbrokes 

the Slovenia-born Brit is no world-beater while Mathieu remains a canny performer
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