There are three tournaments taking place this week on the ATP Tour and hot from a 12/1 winner last week, Andy Schooler has previewed them all, with 50/1 and 66/1 picks among his selections.
Tennis betting tips: ATP Tour
0.5pt e.w. Tallon Griekspoor in the ABN AMRO Open at 50/1 (General)
0.5pt e.w. Marton Fucsovics in the ABN AMRO Open at 66/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, BoyleSports)
1pt e.w. Marcos Giron in the Delray Beach Open at 20/1 (BoyleSports)
1pt e.w. Alejandro Tabilo in the IEB+ Argentina Open at 30/1 (BetVictor)
Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook
ABN AMRO Open
- Rotterdam, Netherlands (indoor hard)
Two weeks on from his Australian Open triumph, Jannik Sinner returns to action in Rotterdam.
Sinner, a pick of this column in Melbourne, fully deserved his maiden Grand Slam triumph, continuing impressive form which stretches back through the second half of last season.
However, I’m surprised to see him at just 13/10 to win this week and certainly have no interest in backing him against what is a strong field, including six of the world’s top 13.
You can never really tell how a player will react mentally to such a major breakthrough and anyone could be forgiven for basking in the glory for a little while to fully appreciate the achievement.
There were certainly celebrations in Rome and while we do know Sinner was practising back home in Monte Carlo (on outdoor hardcourts) last week, his draw alone suggests 5/4 is an overreaction by the layers.
Home hope Botic van de Zandschulp will be determined to put on a good show in front of the Dutch fans in round one, while two-time champion Gael Monfils could follow.
Alexander Bublik, the recent winner in Montpellier, is a potential quarter-final foe, while Hubert Hurkacz or Ugo Humbert – both of whom bedded in well on the indoor hardcourts with deep runs in Marseille over the past week – could await in the last four.
That’s tough and shows the difficulty of these 500-level draws.
In short, there are plenty of alternatives in the top half, although I’m not sure conditions will work for several of them.
Rotterdam’s Proflex courts have proved sluggish in the past while the Dunlop balls used here are the ‘fluffy’ ones which came in for much criticism last season, notably from the man who won here, Daniil Medvedev.
It should certainly play slower than in Marseille, which won’t help the likes of Bublik, Hurkacz and Humbert, for whom the serve is a key shot.
Monfils could handle that and his record here warrants respect. However, his form has been disappointing so far in 2024.
Another player who has proved he can play in these conditions catches the eye at a big price though and that’s Dutchman TALLON GRIEKSPOOR.
He made the semi-finals here 12 months ago, defeating Alex Zverev en route to the last four.
After making two ATP finals during the summer, he added late-season indoor wins over Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe.
More good signs have been shown so far in 2024, Griekspoor beating Roman Safiullin and Arthur Fils at the Australian Open, while he’s already settled into the European indoor swing by notching two victories in helping the Netherlands reach the Davis Cup Finals.
That tie was in Groningen, meaning Grieskpoor has now spent a few weeks in his homeland. He lives close to Rotterdam and such home comforts should help.
The 27-year-old is in the same quarter as Humbert – a 12/1 winner for these pages in Marseille last week – and Hurkacz.
But as already stated, conditions suit both men less here than they did in the south of France and I think that Griekspoor is worth a punt at 50/1.
It is an event which has thrown up the odd surprise – Martin Klizan winning the title in 2016 springs to mind – and while the field is a strong one, there are reasons to take on some of the market leaders.
Examples in the bottom half include Grigor Dimitrov, the other Marseille finalist. He’s now 32 and a three-hour semi-final on Saturday added to his workload and he could well be a bit jaded for this week. There’s no first-round bye either.
Holger Rune is another I’m struggling to trust a lot at present.
While I do expect him to improve, last week he suffered the loss of Boris Becker from his coaching team so things look rather up in the air again for the Dane, who suffered a surprise early loss to Arthur Cazaux at the Australian Open.
He made a quick return in Montpellier where he was last seen retiring from his semi-final due to a problem with his right arm.
A first-round encounter with Roman Safiullin subsequently looks rather tricky.
The Dimitrov/Rune quarter looks ripe for a surprise and the man I’m going to side with is MARTON FUCSOVICS.
The Hungarian is another with a proven track record in Rotterdam, making the final here in 2021. He’s also reached two other quarter-finals, meaning he’s progressed to the last eight on three of his four visits.
Including qualifying, Fucsovics holds an 11-4 win-loss record at the event and that warrants more respect than odds of 66/1 are giving him.
His flat, hard-hitting game has the ability to cut through the sluggish surface and he looks capable of outperforming such quotes.
Fucsovics also played Davis Cup recently, posting an impressive victory over world number 24 Jan-Lennard Struff in his only rubber.
That should set him up nicely for a return to a venue which will provide good memories.
I like his chances in this quarter, although perhaps the problem will come after that with Alex de Minaur and Adrey Rublev both in the bottom quarter.
Both should be OK with the conditions. De Minaur started the season well Down Under, with a victory over Novak Djokovic already on his 2024 CV, while Rublev made the Australian Open quarter-finals and has an excellent record in these ‘500’ events, one which includes a title here in 2021.
Both hold decent claims but I’m going to go with the long-shot punt on Fucsovics to small stakes.
Delray Beach Open
- Delray Beach, USA (outdoor hard)
The top four seeds on the Florida coast this week are all from the world’s top 20 but I’m not that keen on backing the market leaders here.
Taylor Fritz is a worthy favourite following his run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open but he was not without his struggles in Melbourne and didn’t seem to be at the top of his game.
This will be his first run-out since losing to Novak Djokovic but he is the defending champion so does know what it takes to succeed in what are often windy conditions.
The Plexipave court tends to favour the big servers too – another tick in the Fritz box – with Hubert Hurkacz, Reilly Opelka, Sam Querrey and Ivo Karlovic all winners here in the past decade.
However, a price of 5/2 just doesn’t make a great deal of appeal.
Tiafoe is more easily overlooked.
He’s won just five of his last 15 matches and has won back-to-back just once since the US Open.
Tommy Paul looks a better option in the bottom half. He’ll arrive here off the back of a final run in Dallas, where he upset Ben Shelton, but he has never been to back-to-back finals on the ATP Tour, while the last time he achieved that feat at any level was on the Challenger Tour in 2019.
He also in a tricky section which includes Dan Evans and Jordan Thompson, both of whom I considered backing.
Evans (25/1) is a former finalist in Delray Beach but he suffered a calf injury at the end of last season and looked a little rusty in Australia.
With a couple of weeks training behind him, perhaps he can make an impact here but drawing Thompson in round one isn’t ideal.
The Aussie has been a good form so far this season, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Brisbane semis, while last week he made the last eight in Dallas where he pushed Shelton to a deciding set.
Thompson at 14/1 almost got the nod but a 0-3 record (all in straight sets) against Evans is rather off-putting and so I’m going to put all my eggs into one basket here by backing a player who caught the eye in Dallas and that’s MARCOS GIRON.
At time of writing, the American is due to play in the final in Texas where he’s really impressed on serve, holding onto his own delivery throughout the first four rounds.
While moving outside will present something of a challenge, if Giron is able to continue that serving form here, conditions should allow him to keep on winning.
He’ll open against wild card Emilio Nava which should give him some wiggle room in terms of settling into outdoor conditions, while a rematch with Adrian Mannarino – the other member of those top four seeds – could follow.
Giron crushed the Frenchman for the loss of only four games in Dallas and you have to wonder whether that result could be turned around in such quick time.
Giron could meet Fritz in the last four but the underdog would not be fazed by that match-up.
The pair’s last three meetings have all gone to a deciding set with Fritz winning twice.
However, Giron beat the likes of Holger Rune and Casper Ruud on outdoor hard in 2023 and given his current form, would fancy his chances.
It’s not a bet to get hugely involved with but at a best price of 20/1, I feel Giron has a decent chance this week.
IEB+ Argentina Open
- Buenos Aires, Argentina (outdoor clay)
Carlos Alcaraz is the headline act in Buenos Aires this week and it’s no surprise to find the world number two installed as the odds-on favourite.
He won here last year in what was his first claycourt outing of the season and it would shock no-one were he to repeat the trick.
The Spaniard did lose to Alex Zverev in the Australian Open quarter-finals, proving upsets can happen, but you have to wonder who is likely to defeat him on his favourite surface this week, given there’s no-one of Zverev’s quality in the field – the next highest-ranked player is Cam Norrie (19).
The betting approach here is surely to try to find the finalist from the bottom half of the draw.
It’s led by the aforementioned Norrie, the man who lost to Alcaraz in last year’s final.
He’s the second favourite but could find early problems given he’ll be playing on clay for the first time since last year’s French Open and has landed in the same quarter as Federico Coria, Sebastian Baez and Luciano Darderi. The latter is into the final in Cordoba, while the other two lost in the semi-finals there.
Clearly all three are in decent form on the clay, although the thing to remember is that those who played in Cordoba are coming down from an altitude above 400m to play at sea level where conditions are some of the slowest on the tour.
My pick won’t be affected by that change though.
I backed ALEJANDRO TABILO last week in Cordoba but that bet was voided after he didn’t show up following his Davis Cup exploits – Tabilo won two rubbers to help Chile reach September’s Finals group stage.
The official reason given was a back injury but that was almost certainly a case of fatigue and prioritising what is important, and rest won the day.
He’s now won 23 of his last 26 matches at all levels, including a surprise ATP Tour title on the hardcourts of Auckland prior to the Australian Open.
Tabilo also won on clay at sea level in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on the Challenger Tour towards the end of last season and I’m sure he’ll be keen to keep his good form rolling.
He opens against Yannick Hanfmann, a player whose best results have come at a higher altitude, with the winner facing Arthur Fils or Dusan Lajovic.
Fils is a player I seriously considered backing – those who read my season previews will know he’s a player I’m expecting a lot of in 2024 – but facing the wily Lajovic in your opening claycourt match of the season is tricky.
In addition, Fils was beaten by Tabilo during the Chilean’s Auckland title run last month so ultimately I baulked at the 16/1 on offer.
The other seed in this quarter is Francisco Cerundolo. He made the final here three years ago but he’s won just two of his opening seven matches of the season.
The Argentine would have hoped a return to the clay would have helped correct that but instead he’s gone 1-2 on his favourite surface since returning to South America, including a straight-sets loss to world number 278 Timofey Skatov in the Davis Cup.
To me, Tabilo holds decent claims in this section and each-way odds of 30/1 appeal about him, albeit we’re only getting a third of the odds for a place in the final due to Alcaraz’s short price.
Posted at 1550 GMT on 11/02/24
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