Last year’s US Open had record setting retirements. It is forecasted to be extremely hot again and with the usual suspects coming in injured and even the likes of Djokovic not fully fit, we are in for surprises. Reassure yourself that you bet at the bookmaker with your preferred retirement payout rule.
The list of potentially too injured to compete players is worrying long. Djokovic, Wawrinka, Nadal, Monfils, Sock, Anderson, Vesely, Kyrgios, Fritz etc..can all not be considered fully fit. This makes the market volatile and uncertainty is high. Murray is probably the fittest of them all at the moment and his 2.75 to win it all is probably close to the real price. However, after his scrappy performances at the Olympics, I am not convinced Murray is worth a punt. Djokovic can also be taken on, with the Serb visually still in discomfort with his wrist injury.
Previous winners Cilic and Delpo have therefore shortened up extremely in the past weeks and it is now too late to jump on them.
Where to look for value. Again I have to settle for the quarter betting with the poor quarter of the injured Wawrinka looking the most appetising.
Third Quarter Winner
Kyrgios his attitude and commitment is always questionable but less so in Grand Slams. I like his 9.00 available at William Hill as the word from himself and his camp is positive and he will be hard to beat if he can serve well and keep double faults at minimum.
The same quarter can see a different upset and i am happy to side with Winston Salem winner Carreno Busta at 101 at ladbrokes. This is a generous price in a quarter without any of the main favourites for the title.
Back Nick Kyrgios for 9.00 at William Hill
Back Pabl0 Carreno Busta at 101.00 at Ladbrokes
After an interesting tournament in Toronto, which saw the re-emergent of the all conquering Djokovic, our outright each way prediction Kei Nishikori did reach the final as to net a nice profit. This week has the single ATP tournament in Atlanta on schedule due to Olympic duty starting midweek in Rio.
ATP 250 Atlanta Open
With most top players playing in Rio, the field in ATL is weak. Our top seeds are three time consecutive winner Isner and Kyrgios in the bottom half.
The top half is undeniably the stronger side of the draw with Isner having to fend off Mannerino, Fritz and Anderson to reach the final. He is expected to do so, but I do not see enough value to back him.
The bottom half has all the value with Kyrgios coming off another off day against Shapovalov in Toronto. He did not seem to be able to energise himself for a Master event, let alone a 250 event in the heat of Atlanta. Once we look past Kyrgios there is no obvious second choice. It is my expectation Dolgopolov is in for a run, after losing thight matches earlier this US hard court swing. His road to a final, includes beating Verdasco and possibly Kyrgios but I like his chances to reach a final here and with current price available the each way has enough value to back theDog.
Back Alexandr Dolgopolov €10 each way at 17.00 available at StanJames
Last week was a busy ATP schedule with 4 events. Lorenzi won his well deserved first ever ATP tournament and Monfils won his first ever ATP 500 event, while Lopez and Fognini were favourite winners. Fognini was surprising as he had not gone deep in a tournament for nearly a couple of years. Weak opposition had something to do with it but perhaps his recent marriage will have him more focused on winning matches. Same can be expected from Monfils who has cut his dreads and played a very good tournament in which he comfortably reached the final. His final wobbles seemed to continue but with perseverance he came through after saving match point.
Master 1000 Rogers Cup
New found focus and reliability from enigmatic players Fognini and Monfils has not been upon Kyrgios yet. The young Australian lost his first round against an exciting prospect Denis Shapovalov. The bottom draw looks wide open without Murray and Federer. Cilic is a possible finalist but my eye is caught by Nishikori who said he had a good training week in Florida and is not hampered by his abdominal injury that saw him give a walkover at Wimbledon in the last 16. The bottom draw has Cilic and Wawrinka as main contenders and Nishikori has value each way at 13.00.
The top half of the draw is topped by Djokovic, who after his recent loss at Wimbledon can not be taken backed yet for such a short price. Other contenders in this half are Monfils and Goffin. Monfils could very well build on his success as his partnership with coach Tillstrom will start to provide results now after 9 months. Goffin has a stellar season and will have a chance against anyone including Djokovic. However, I find their quarter difficult to predict with home favourite Roanic included.
Kei Nishikori Each way €10 at 13.00 at BetVictor
Last week, our picks performed lamentable,with Zverev losing at the off against Cervantes and Joao Sousa getting beat in the 2nd round by lower ranked fellow Portuguese Elias. I felt Zverev needed to get over that first round to make a push but his one week stint on clay was too much to ask. He is back on hard court for the ATP 500 in Washington, which is played two weeks earlier than usual. Due to the Olympic tennis tournament the usual ATP calendar in July and August is shaken up.
ATP 500 Washington
Interesting field, which reads like a competitive draw, much better than the weak dispersed fields for the three ATP 250 events on clay in Europe this week.
Big servers are all present here and they are on the top of the favourite’s list. Last weekend Davis Cup can give us guidance, who will do well in Washington. High seeds Isner and Sock both lost on Sunday to give Croatia the win in their Davis Cup tie. Besides fatigue this mental blow will affect them in Washington. The other two main favourites, Zverev and Monfils are easily passed, with Monfils back from a viral infection and Zverev expected to struggle to cope with heat and change of surface.
Who to like in this field?
With the heat expected to play a major factor for the day games, it will be wise to side with a player who stated many times, he loves to play in the heat. Marcos Baghdatis, has performed well in the US hard court swing in the past and is playing good tennis, free of injury. His top half of the draw looks very winnable and I happily back Marcos this week.
In the bottom half, Sam Querrey stands out. This goofy looking lad took a week off after Wimbledon, were he famously beat No1e Djokovic. His confidence has to be sky high and having been overlooked for Davis Cup, he will be out to make a mark.
Back Sam Querrey €10 Each way at Paddy Power at 17.00
Back Marcos Baghdatis €10 Each way at Betfred at 34.00
ATP 500 Hamburg
Clear favourite with good value as he never won a tournament before.
His draw is favourable and each way has all the value.
This is his home town tournament and reached his first semi final back in 2014. Zverev has had a terrific season so far and showed no problem adjusting from one surface to another. He will be strongly buoyed by the home crowd and I do not see any serious obstacle before the final.
Alexander Zverev €10 Each way at Bet365 at 4.5
ATP 250 Bastad
Weak field of 32, where we could see a big price winner. My selection is from the bottom half in which Joao Sousa seems to be destined for a run to the semi final and I really like his chances against Verdasco in the windy conditions in harbour town Bastad.
Sousa made a semi final here two years ago and he claims himself to be happy to be back in Bastad and loving the tournament in general. This makes good reading in a field where he will be confident he can claim a title.
Joao Sousa €10 Each way at Ladbrokes at 9.00
Grass court tennis enjoyed a prolonged season with an extra week of preparation for the second year. The illustrious Wimbledon Championship is here now to cap the season in which we have seen surprising grass tournament winners in Thiem, Mayer and Johnson. The extra week of grass tennis will help to increase the title contenders in the upcoming years. However, in 2016 it is hard to see past another Djokovic v. Murray final. Let’s hope we get to see a competitive tournament in which Djokovic and Murray are tested along the way.
With Djokovic and Murray hard to ignore for a final berth, value can first be found at the outright quarter betting. Two serious contenders to Murray and Djokovic are arguably Roanic and Kyrgios. These two grass court specialist are both expected to face the nr 1 and 2 in the world in 4th round match ups. This means the other two quarters of the draw are much more likely to see an upset winner, with Federer the fav in quarter 2 and Wawrinka the fav in quarter 3, and I am happy to take them two on.
Quarter 2 Outright Tip
Steve Johnson is on a nice run, after winning Nottingham. With Federer too short a fav at 1.83 in this quarter of the draw, someone like Johnson can be a steal at 41.00. Johnson has the serve to hold comfortably and he found his love for grass court tennis this season. His half of the quarter, has Federer, but before facing Federer he will be favourite in match ups against Chardy and Simon. Beating Federer would not be a longshot and I find the players in the bottom half of this quarter more dangerous than Federer, with Cilic, Nishikori, Karlovic and Muller all contenders to make the quarter final.
Back Steve Johnson at 41.00 at Bet365 (no each way option)
Quarter 3 Outright Tip
This quarter is wide open. I look forward to a likely 4th round between Zverev and Thiem and Wawrinka can already be eliminated in Round 2 against Del Potro. The Argentine can even come out of this quarter after showing signs of a full return in the past months.
Odds are out again after Thursday’s full day of play. And as predicted this quarter is wide open. Thiem has fallen and some of the players left are too short to back. The player who took out Thiem, Jiri Vesely is in with a real chance to be the surprise in this quarter. With his strong serve he is hard to break and he showed against Thiem his noticeable mental strenght when it comes to tie breaks. He is available at 26 at Skybet.
Back Jiri Vesely at 26.00 at Skybet (no each way option)
Grass court season enters its last week before Wimbledon. The top guns are not in contention for this ATP 250 tournament. However, those players outside the top 10 are keen to get some more competitive grass tennis in before heading to London. Draw with 64 players and round one is about concluded after Monday’s play.
Last week saw two outsiders reach the final in Halle, while two favourites battled it out at Queens. I am happy to take on two long shots for Nottingham which was won by Istomin in 2015.
Estrella Burgos got through his first round and I love his fighting spirit. He has the grass court experience and could upset the likes of Verdasco and Anderson, both who I expect to be more keen on performing at their best next week where they had good results in the past. With fitness an issue for especially Anderson.
Victor Estrella Burgos €10 at 101 Each way available at bet365
Young Englishman Edmund has improved noticeably on grass and by his own account is more comfortable on the surface. He worked Murray well last week at Queens and will take Nottingham as a real chance to go deep in an ATP tournament. His bottom of the draw is clearly weaker than the top half and this explain his rather low price at 29.00. His first round showing proved that it is worth a gamble.
Kyle Edmund €10 at 29.00 Each way available at Coral