I’ve seen a few curious prices this week, but I have to think Nishikori as a $2.05 underdog is value against the unheralded Travaglia.
Nishikori hasn’t played much tennis of late, but he’s still one of the better players on tour, especially in a weakened field like this.
He has done quite well on clay in the past, going 26-9 for his career at Roland Garros and making the quarters 3 times.
He also looked fairly good in round 1, taking care of the seeded Daniel Evans in 5 sets.
Travaglia just doesn’t have the same level of top-end experience, recording just 12 career ATP wins despite being almost 29 years of age.
This 2nd round appearance is his farthest ever at a grand slam and he’s only really had success on the challenger circuit.
Overall, Nishikori is the far better and more accomplished player and I’ll gladly take plus money with him here.
I’ll take the flamboyant Frenchman Benoit Paire at $1.80 here against another unheralded player in Coria.
Paire has been a fixture on the ATP tour over the past decade and has done reasonably well at the French Open.
While clay probably isn’t his best surface, he still as a solid 12-10 record in 22 career matches at Roland Garros.
This is in stark contrast to his opponent Coria, who hadn’t won a grand slam singles match until a month ago.
He’s another guy who has largely grinded the South American challenger clay circuit, struggling to break through at top level.
This is probably the highest-profile match of his career and I can see a fair few unforced errors coming from his racket here.
It’s another case where I’ll take the more accomplished and experienced player at a good straight up price.