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tennis | Tuesday, April 5, 2022 7:52 AM (Revised at: Monday, April 11, 2022 11:11 AM)

Tuesday's ATP Houston Best Bet: April 5th

Tuesday's ATP Houston Best Bet: April 5th
Contributor: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

ATP Houston: McDonald vs Kyrgios Best Bet

Tuesday, April 5th, 21:00 (UK Time)

The tennis tour is now entering the clay swing. This week, both the ATP and WTA tours remain in America, before permanently heading to Europe in preparation for the second Grand Slam of the year. My best bet for Tuesday comes from Houston – a tournament that includes a mix of South American clay specialists and others who are not so comfortable on the ‘dirt’.

Nick Kyrgios is one of those individuals that doesn’t particularly enjoy playing on clay courts. The maverick Australian hasn’t made an appearance on clay since he was infamously disqualified from his match against Casper Ruud at the Rome Masters back in 2019. He has also stated that Houston is the only clay tournament he will be involved in this year.

Kyrgios was in excellent form before his meltdown against Jannik Sinner last week. Everybody is fully aware of Kyrgios’ excellence on serve, but the most impressive part of his recent performances has been his return game. In his matches before the fourth-round defeat to Sinner in Miami, Kyrgios won 43% of the points when returning, which is way above his career average of 33%. Similarly, the previous fortnight in Indian Wells saw him win 39% of the points on return as he reached the quarter-final stage. 

The obvious question with Kyrgios is can he transfer and maintain this level on the clay courts? If the answer is yes, he will be dangerous, even on his least favourite surface.

Regardless of this, his first-round opponent in Houston will be no pushover. Although he is also not renowned for his ability on clay, Mackenzie McDonald has shown that he is capable on this surface. In 2021, the 26-year-old American emerged with a 12-5 win-loss ratio on the clay courts, which included taking clay specialist Christian Garin to five sets at the French Open – a match he was unlucky to lose. 

The doubts over Kyrgios’ level on clay provide question marks as to whether he should be as short as 1.44 with some bookmakers. With this in mind, and considering McDonald’s solid all-around game, I’m happy to back the American with a +2.5 game handicap.

  • Selection: McDonald +2.5 games handicap
  • Best Odds: 2.01 (MarathonBet)
  • Stakes: 6/10

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