Casper Ruud will hope to continue his incredible breakout season this week at the Paris Rolex Masters against the unpredictable Alexander Bublik. Ruud is firmly in the hunt to qualify for the ATP finals, and will almost certainly do so if he earns more points in Paris than Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz.

But motivation has never been an issue for the ultra-focused Ruud, who proved this year beyond a doubt that he will excel on all surfaces during his career. Still, there is no question that his best tennis is played on a slower surface. Luckily for Ruud, his match is scheduled on Stadium Court, which plays much slower than the smaller, more compact outer courts, for whatever reason.

According to the oddsmakers, Ruud is listed as a -280 favorite and projected to win by 3.5 total games.


Ruud owns a whopping 51 wins on the season.

Ruud owns a whopping 51 wins on the season.

Betting on a Bublik match, in either direction, is not the most profitable strategy. But it’s definitely safer to bet against him than for him, as he is notorious for attempting an ill-advised underhand serve during the most important moments in a match. The last time I bet on Bublik, against Kevin Anderson in Newport, he went for an underarm serve at 5-5 30-40 in the third set, missed it, then buried a second serve in the bottom of the net to seal the match.

Bublik has the tools to disrupt Ruud’s rhythm-based game, but the gap in on-court discipline, combined with Ruud’s incredible tennis in 2021, makes this bet one worth placing. There's nothing Bublik can do to compete with Ruud from the baseline, especially on a slow court, so he will almost surely go for broke on the serve and return, which should put the Norwegian in a comfortable spot from the get-go.

The Pick: Casper Ruud -3.5 games