Mathieu should be a bother to Bedene
Zeballos can trouble Berlocq too
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.
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