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Ramos can continue dominating Sousa and anchor ATP treble

| 19.02.2014

The ATP tour has reached the round-of-16 stage at its three events around the world and below is a treble with selections from all three from Delray Beach, Rio and Marseille. A £10 stake rolled-up on all three picks will pay out the handsome sum of £60.

Rhyne Williams to beat Marcos Baghdatis @ Evens

2006 Australian Open finalist, Marcos Baghdatis has been in freefall since seemingly breaking through eight years ago with a mixture of injury and poor performances leaving the popular Cypriot languishing at 155 in the world.

The odds reflect just how much things have changed for the former world number 8, who has only been installed as marginal favourite to beat limited hitter Rhyne Williams.

And even overcoming the world number 146 may be beyond the 28-year-old in their first ever meeting as the American will arrive in much the better mindset following a productive start to his 2014 campaign.

The 22-year-old won three matches to qualify for the main draw at the Australian Open for the second year in a row and hasn’t dropped a set in three matches in Florida.

Conversely, Baghdatis has been in horrible form, losing his first three matches of the year before finally getting off the mark against journeyman Rajeev Ram in Memphis. That ‘run’ was quickly extinguished by Lleyton Hewitt next up and there can’t be many players on the tour questioning their game more than the former crowd-pleaser.

Back Williams to continue his strong start to the campaign and accelerate his career trajectory, one that is sadly going in the opposite direction of his opponent’s.

Albert Ramos to beat Joao Sousa @ 1/2

Spain’s Albert Ramos is in fine fettle at present and can cement his dominance over his ATP Rio round-of-16 opponent Joao Sousa.

Ramos was the underdog going into his first round match against Leonardo Mayer but the scoreline didn’t support that tag with the world number 87 dropping only two games on his way to a third win from his last four on the clay this year.

The 26-year-old lost out to eventual winner David Ferrer in the quarter-finals of Buenos Aires last week but that won’t have bothered him and he will arrive with plenty of confidence of making the last-eight again.

His opponent, Sousa is ranked 39 places above courtesy of an excellent finish to 2013, where he lifted his maiden ATP title in Kuala Lumpur alongside a semi-final in Saint Petersburg the week before and deep runs in Valencia and at the US Open.

However, despite being recognised as a clay-court operator the 24-year-old has not managed to win two matches in a main draw of an ATP tournament on the dirt in his last nine attempts.

No encouragement can be found in his personal record with Ramos either with their three meetings going with the Spaniard – soon to be extended to four.

Ivan Dodig to beat Tobias Kamke 2-0 @ Evens

Tobias Kamke has only managed to beat two players this season so far and they were ranked 144 and 322 – so it would be fair to say world number 34 Ivan Dodig represents a significant rise in challenge.

Dodig hasn’t had the easiest start to the year but he is a cut above the likes of Kamke and it would be a surprise if the self-made professional wasn’t able to reach the quarter-finals within the minimum distance.

His German opponent will understandably look to their head-to-head record which he only trails 3-2 with all but one of the matches requiring a deciding set.

However, Kamke’s two victories both came in challenger events and there will be no chance that Dodig will let his focus slip with an ATP last-eight berth at stake.

Expect the gulf of 55 places between the two to show.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster