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Tennis betting tips: Pella the pick to take Khachanov scalp in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal gets his Barcelona Open campaign under way today against Leonardo Mayer whose two career titles came on the clay courts of Hamburg.

Nadal holds a 5-0 lead against Mayer in the head to head and has never dropped a set against the 31-year-old Argentinian on clay, but with the tennis odds a bit on the short side we're sidestepping the 11-time champion.

Instead, our three tennis betting tips come from Wednesday's other matches at the Barcelona Open, starting with the clash between Guido Pella and Karen Khachanov.

Wednesday's tennis betting tips

Here are our tennis predictions for today:

[All odds correct at time of publication]

Guido Pella vs Karen Khachanov

Pella has had his best season on the ATP Tour having finally landed his first main tour title at the age of 28 by winning the Sao Paulo Open in Brazil.

Last week, the Argentinian reached the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo where he took Nadal to an opening-set tie-break but ultimately fell short.

A semi-finalist at the Argentina Open, clay is clearly a surface to Pella's liking and although Khachanov has a decent record in Barcelona as a quarter-finalist in 2017 having made the fourth round as a qualifier the year before, he lost in the opening round in Monte Carlo and his game looks all over the place in general.

Last week's defeat by Lorenzo Sonego means the world number 13 has been eliminated from the opening round in five of his last six tournaments, so Pella gets our tennis predictions for today under way to win as a slight underdog at evens.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Fernando Verdasco

Dimitrov is another out-of-sorts player but his poor form stretches back more than a year and looks a very shaky 8/11 favourite to beat 2010 champion Verdasco.

The 35-year-old Spaniard recently became a dad for the first time which meant missing the whole of March and he admitted after his 6-4 6-3 first-round win over best friend Felicianio Lopez, in windy conditions, that he has taken some time to get back to his natural rhythm, but said: "I am getting better and better every day."

The players have three wins apiece in the head to head, but Verdasco leads 2-1 on clay and beat Dimitrov in straight sets in their latest encounter at last year's French Open.

Dimitrov has shown signs he can get back to the sort of level which saw him win the 2017 ATP Finals in London, but Verdasco should shade this one at 21/20.

David Ferrer vs Lucas Pouille

Ferrer will bring a glittering career to an end at next month's Madrid Open having won 27 titles, alongside a French Open final appearance six years ago.

The 37-year-old Spaniard loves clay but struggles to play back-to-back matches these days and his record against Pouille does not bode well.

The Frenchman won both of their meetings in 2016, one of which came in straight sets on the Rome clay.

Ferrer reached a career-high third in the world rankings in 2013 but has dropped to 155 since then and even though Australian open semi-finalist Pouille has lost his last four matches, his fitness levels may prove too much.

A 6-3 6-1 victory over Mischa Zverev in the opening round looked comfortable enough for Ferrer, but we're siding with Pouille at 5/4 to reach round two as the last of our tennis betting tips.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

Verdasco didn't look too fit in the first round and his recent performance on the tour has been poor having only won two matches in a row twice this year. We could argue the same about Dimitrov but he looked fit in Monte Carlo but was unlucky to meet Nadal at an early stage in the tournament. We think the Bulgarian player has a clear edge and offers decent value.

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Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Tennis