Feb 07, 2023

ATP Cordoba Futures Analysis 2/6 - 2/12

ATP Cordoba Background Information

Court Type: Clay

Location: Cordoba, Argentina

Weather: High temps of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the week, partly cloudy, winds between 10-15 mph, some humidity

Past Results:

  • 2022 finals - Albert Ramos Vinolas def Alejandro Tabilo 4-6 6-3 6-4
  • 2021 finals: Juan Manuel Cerundolo def Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-0 2-6 6-2
  • 2020 finals: Cristian Garin def Diego Schwartzman 2-6 6-4 6-0

The Cordoba Open is the first clay court tournament in the South American Golden Swing. Some of the players have been grinding on clay court challengers leading up to this event, and other players are coming in without having played a clay court match in a long time. This makes for interesting opportunities in the futures market. If you may recall, Iga Swiatek last year did not lose a single match during the clay court swing leading up to Roland Garros. However, she decided to play her home clay event after Wimbledon, WTA Warsaw, and was a -300 favorite to win… but she was upset by Caroline Garcia, and cited lack of clay preparation as one of the factors in her loss. That was after only a two month layoff from clay. Some of the favorites coming in to this tournament have had an even longer layoff.

Below, I will preview the favorites, and a couple other players which should be given special consideration for futures betting.

Disclaimers: This write-up is being done on Tuesday after several first round matches have already been completed, futures odds reflect updated odds. Odds pulled from BetOnline. ELO rating pulled from tennisabstract.com

#1 seed: Diego Schwartzman

  • futures odds: +450
  • Clay ELO: 1848.6 (#1)
  • Clay record in last 3 months: 0-0 (has not played on clay since last July)
  • ATP Cordoba previous results: 2020 finalist, 2021 QF (L to Ramos Vinolas), 2022 SF (L to Tabilo)
  • Thoughts: Avoid. Despite a high Clay ELO this is over-inflated because he has not played on clay recently. His level has dropped off significantly on hard courts. He’s also never won this event.

#2 seed: Francisco Cerundolo

  • futures odds: +600
  • Clay ELO: 1787.5 (#3)
  • Clay record in last 3 months: 0-0 (has not played on clay since last July)
  • ATP Cordoba previous results: 2021 2R (L to Coria), 2022 1R (L to Taberner)
  • Thoughts: Better value than Schwartzman, but… Another inflated clay ELO. His level on hard courts has been good, so his form is better than Schwartzman’s. However, his previous results here suggest he may not be a guy who hits peak clay level on the first tournament of the Golden Swing. Tough first match against the winner of Tabilo/Delbonis. Don’t like the value here.

#3 seed: Albert Ramos Vinolas

  • futures odds: +650
  • Clay ELO: 1706.8 (#5)
  • Clay record in last 3 months: 0-0 (has not played on clay since September)
  • ATP Cordoba previous results: 2021 finalist (L to Juan Manuel Cerundolo), 2022 winner (def Alejandro Tabilo)
  • Thoughts: Interesting. He doesn’t have any recent clay matches, but he historically plays well here. He seems bettable. Personally I’m staying away, because his first round match against Lajovic scares me.

#4 seed: Sebastian Baez

  • futures odds: +450
  • Clay ELO: 1834.5 (#2)
  • Clay record in last 3 months: 0-0 (has not played on clay since july)
  • ATP Cordoba previous results: 2022 QF (L to Tabilo)
  • Thoughts: Another inflated clay ELO. Baez has been in even worse form than Schwartzman on hard courts. Since Baez played his last clay match in July, he has a record of 1-11 (not including his 3 Davis Cup losses). Hard to imagine Baez will suddenly find his peak form as soon as his feet touch the Argentine clay in Cordoba. There’s no way I can take Baez at these odds. If he ends up winning, I will eat my hat.

Unseeded Dark Horse: Juan Manuel Cerundolo

  • futures odds: +650
  • Clay ELO: 1745.2 (#4)
  • Clay record in last 3 months: 21-4
  • ATP Cordoba previous results: 2020 dnp, 2021 Winner, 2022 dnp
  • Thoughts: JM Cerundolo has the 4th highest clay ELO in the field, and the three guys above him haven’t played on clay since last July. Their clay ELOs are inflated, while JM Cerundolo’s clay ELO is completely legitimate. Personally, I rate JM Cerundolo as the best clay court player in the draw at this very moment. He has already defeated Pablo Andujar in the first round and next faces Schwartzman. I kind of expect him to beat Schwartzman. JM Cerundolo is on a tear on clay right now, he’s won this event in the past, and the futures odds are giving him a ton of respect. I like this bet. With that said, 2 of his past 4 losses on clay have come to other players in this draw: Hugo Dellien and Federico Coria.

Overall Impression

There is no clear favorite, and there are 10-15 players with a legitimate chance to win this. Based on my analysis I believe Juan Manuel Cerundolo is the the best player in the draw right now, but the betting market is already kind of aware of how good he is, so there’s not too much value left in betting JM Cerundolo. However, if you’re going to bet on JM Cerundolo, you have to do it before he plays Schwartzman, because everyone will be on notice if he wins there. Below are some other players with longer odds who deserve some consideration.

Other players to watch

  • Cristian Garin (+1400): Garin is a complete wild card here. His clay ELO is #6 in the field, almost even with Ramos Vinolas. He won in 2020 when he was one of the best clay court players in the world, but hasn’t shown the same consistency since then. Hasn’t played much on clay recently. He did show good form at the Rome Masters and Roland Garros last year, and his ceiling on clay remains high enough to win, if he can find it.
  • Alejandro Tabilo (+2000): Finalist last year, he was on a roll coming into the tournament last year, kind of like JM Cerundolo this year. This year, he doesn’t have nearly the same momentum coming in, but he’s 4-2 on clay in the past month coming into a tournament where he’s had past success.
  • Federico Coria (+2000): Coria just won the Concepcion Challenger on clay last week, beating Delbonis and Dellien (convincingly) along the way. He was a semifinalist in 2021 (L to JM Cerundolo), and he’s one of the few players to beat JM Cerundolo on clay in the past 3 months. His clay ELO of 1679.6 is #8 in the field. He also has a tough matchup against Monteiro in the first round, who actually has a higher clay ELO than him as #7 in the field, but that feels a bit inflated as he hasn’t played on clay in a while.
  • Dusan Lajovic (+3300): In the past, Lajovic has skipped Cordoba and gone straight to Buenos Aires, as he was consistently in the top 50. But now, he’s on the verge of falling out of the top 100, so here he is. Lajovic won the Maspalomas Challenger last November/December, and just beat Varillas in the first round. He is a dangerous opponent and a threat to go deep. However, he faces Ramos Vinolas in the first round. Something’s gotta give.
  • Hugo Dellien (+4000): Dellien is coming off a SF run in Concepcion (L to Coria 6-1 6-2). He then had to come through qualifying here, where he played two 3 setters. He is favored to beat Cachin first round, but with the extreme heat in Cordoba, you have to wonder if his body can hold up for many more rounds. Losing to Coria 6-1 6-2 the other week is also not promising.
  • Pedro Cachin (+6600): Cachin didn’t play here last year because his ranking was #246 and he was grinding on clay court Challengers. Now, he is ranked #66, and his clay ELO is 1679.2, #9 in the field. He is another guy that may have an inflated clay ELO though, as he struggled during the post-USO hard court season, and hasn’t played on clay since September. However, there’s an additional factor to consider here, which I believe makes Cachin an compelling value pick. Cachin is originally from Bell Ville, Argentina, which is in the province of Cordoba. His current residence is Cordoba City. This is as close as a home tournament as it gets for Cachin. While some of the higher seeded players may be using Cordoba as a warm up for Buenos Aires, I think Cachin (who is the 5 seed) will put forth a special effort to try to win this tournament in the brutal heat (Cachin should be used to this weather though). We saw Kokkinakis last year win his home tournament Adelaide 2 as a longshot right before the Australian Open where the top seeds may have been looking ahead to the next week.

What is everyone’s thoughts? Anything you disagree with, anything to add? Stop by the DegensClub discord to discuss! Also feel free to participate in DegensClub’s Pick the Draw and Odds Competitions to test your betting ability against other degens.