Rogers Cup betting preview: 10/1 Alexander Zverev looks huge to win in Toronto
The Rogers Cup gets underway this weekend, and our man Deggsy is here to help you bash the bookies with clever betting.
Three-time champion Rafael Nadal will feel he will probably never get a better opportunity to land another Rogers Cup, given the recent withdrawals of Roger Federer and Andy Murray, but the top seed is no banker for glory in Toronto this week.
The legendary Spaniard has enjoyed another fine season on clay, but it’s been a different story on hard courts and he’s only just returned to training in Mallorca after taking time off to go sailing.
If Rafa – the 15/4 betting favourite – is not one hundred per cent focused he could easily be sunk this week and he’s got a tough draw, with three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka or mercurial Aussie Nick Kyrgios among potential third round opponents.
Nadal, remember, has not hit a ball in anger since that epic semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, so could be one to swerve.
Djokovic is another player the bookies are keen to keep inside, and it’s easy to see why given he’s won four Rogers Cup titles since taking down his first title back in 2007.
After a turbulent few months on the ATP Tour Nole has re-established himself as one of the best in the world and his recent Wimbledon win means he is playing with a swagger again.
He’s been given an intriguing first round draw though, again rising star Hyeon Chung who famously beat Djokovic in straight sets at the Australian Open in Melbourne earlier this season.
Djokovic will go off as a big betting favourite but don’t sleep on Chung, who will be motivated to crack the world’s top 20 between now and the end of the season.
FIRST ROUND MATCHES TO 👀:
— Rogers Cup (@rogerscup) August 3, 2018
Nadal and Djokovic will be joined in Toronto by defending champion and second seed Zverev, who receives a bye into the second round.
The brilliant young German, who has been red hot in 2018, will play David Ferrer or a qualifier in round two. Zverev looks a frightening prospect and has targeted toppling Federer and Nadal at the top of the works rankings by the end of the year.
Whether he can pull that off is one thing but he’s certainly got the game and the confidence to defend his title here, and odds of 10/1 (he is as short as 5/1 in places) look too big.
Zverev is in the same quarter as Djokovic but won’t be fazed. He’s playing really consistent, impressive power tennis right now and the bookies are taking a real chance by chalking him up at double figure prices.
Juan Martin Del Potro will have his backers but after losing to Fabio Fognini at the Los Cabos Open final at the weekend, it’s clear the big Argentine is struggling to put it together on any kind of consistent basis.
So too Kyrgios, who is talented enough on hard to beat anyone, but after hitting the heights one day can look like a bag of rags the next and that’s why he’s as big as 28/1 to win in Canada.
In the other half of the draw Marin Cilic looks over-priced at 16/1. Much will depend on how Nadal goes early doors but if the Pearl of Manacor crashes out early things open right up for Cilic, who is a real handful on the type of fast tracks seen in Toronto.
Bilko’s Banker: Alexander Zverev to win the Rogers Cup at 10/1 (888 Sport)
Best of the Rest: Marin Cilic to win the Rogers Cup at 16/1 (Paddy Power)
Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev are big ATP Tour winners on finals Sunday
Aslan Karatsev won the VTB Kremlin Cup.
Emma Raducanu opens up on her coaching dilemma as she aims to shine in Romania
Raducanu is relaxed at the prospect of finishing the season without a coach.
Comment – Andy Murray has the answers he needs as he decides what happens next
Murray should appreciate that a chastening handful of defeats should offer him the ray of light he has been seeking.
WTA Transylvania Open draw: Potential Simona Halep and Emma Raducanu blockbuster semi-final looming
This way for your Transylvania Open draw.
Tennis icon Billie Jean King explains why she admires Ons Jabeur and why she wants the Tunisian to succeed
Billie Jean King is certainly a big fan of Ons Jabeur.
Disappointment for Emma Raducanu as she prepares to play in Romania
Raducanu had spoken about her excitement ahead of Transylvania Open.
‘They seemed to have a nice camaraderie’ – Tennis great urges Emma Raducanu to rehire her former coach
Should Emma Raducanu rehire Andrew Richardson?
WATCH: Rafael Nadal helps to create an ‘unforgettable’ birthday for 90-year-old with special message
A special birthday wish from Rafael Nadal.
‘It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritise my body,’ says Ashleigh Barty after ending 2021 campaign
The 25-year-old said she was ‘not willing to compromise my preparation for January’ and Australian Open.
‘Sport is a results business,’ says Andy Murray as he pinpoints where he needs to improve
“You need to be winning and winning matches maybe when you’re not playing your best,” says Murray.