With the ATP Tour back on the road this week, Derek Bilton highlights some wise investments in your tennis betting endeavours.
The ATP Tour is back this week with 250 events in Marrakesh and Houston.
At the Grand Prix Hassan II event Alexander Zverev is a red hot tennis betting favourite with the bookies. However his recent form has been little short of appalling and with his current odds around the 2/1 mark I really wouldn’t advocate backing him (even with stolen money) right now.
The young German has not been at it at all so far in 2019, and having lost three of his last four matches (the solitary win during that sequence coming via a retirement) Zverev looks a very uneasy favourite here. At the end of 2018 ‘Sascha’ looked on the verge of taking over the men’s game after winning the World Tour Finals and beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic along the way.
However he has posted a sub-par 10-4 return for 2019 so far and looked way off the pace at recent events in Miami and Indian Wells. He’s got a boat load of ranking points to defend during the European clay swing too so needs to get his act together sooner rather than later, but on current form he looks a major lay this week, even though the standard of opposition is hardly scintillating.
Pablo Andujar has bossed this event in recent years, winning last time out and also in 2011 and 2012. He was ranked outside of the world’s top 300 when he won last year, so you write the Spaniard off at your peril, especially given the fact he’s tried and tested over course and distance (15-2 lifetime at the event). He’s been playing well at Challenger level too in recent weeks so it would be rude not to have a little go at current odds of 50/1 with bet365.
A more likely winner could be Britain’s Kyle Edmund. The British number one made the final here last season and could profit in the top half of the draw if Zverev falters again. He’s comfortable on clay and has that equaliser in the shape of his huge forehand.
The 24-year-old did OK at Indian Wells (lost to Federer) and Miami, where defending champion John Isner proved too good. Edmund apparently first learned to play on clay in Goole (of all places) and he looks worth a go at 8/1.
In Houston, the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, one of the oldest running tournaments in the world, looks wide open. John Isner and Nick Kyrgios should have been the top seeds this week but both have had to withdraw due to injury, leaving two-time defending champion Steve Johnson as the 8/1 favourite. However he doesn’t make much appeal having won just four matches in the first three months of this season.
Houston is probably the quickest clay tournament on the Tour with the likes of Ivo Karlovic, John Isner and Johnson (twice) having won here down the years. Big servers usually go well and so it could pay to have a small interest on Jordan Thompson.
Thompson has been in a great form this season and it will be interesting to see if he can transfer his stellar recent showings on hardcourt to clay. He has a solid serve and is very mobile, which should give him every chance on this kind of surface.
In 2018 Thompson enjoyed a truly historic season. The Aussie won 52 matches on the ATP Challenger Tour, the second most in its history. He lifted three trophies at that level and is clearly a player on the rise.
In Miami last month he scored a couple of eye-catching wins over Grigor Dimitrov and Karen Khachanov. At 33/1 he could definitely be being overlooked by the bookies this week.
Bilko’s Banker: Kyle Edmund to win the Grand Prix Hassan II at 8/1 (bet365)
Best of the Rest #1: Pablo Andujar to win the Grand Prix Hassan II at 50/1 (bet365)
Best of the Rest #2: Jordan Thompson to win the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship at 33/1 (888 Sport)
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