Tennis Betting Advice - February 2021
Ones to Watch this week – at 18/1, 33/1, and 50/1…
Sunday 21st February 2021
In your Ones to Watch email today:
We tuned into the Australian Open men’s final expecting a classic. The first set hinted that we might get it. But after Novak Djokovic got his nose in front, it was one-way traffic from then on in.
The World No.1 was in scarily good form. Too good. Claiming a record ninth career Aussie Open title, sweeping aside Daniil Medvedev in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Looking back over yesterday’s match preview, Betway’s 4/1 special on Medvedev to smash his racket came true. But that’s about it.
We’re straight back into the serious markets today, with a first venture into the Outright Winner prices for next week’s four tournaments…
As I always say after our daily, two-week Grand Slam coverage – there’s no rest for the wicked. And after so many cancelled tournaments in the past twelve months, I for one am certainly not going to be complaining about a busy schedule…
This week’s tournaments are:
ATP 250 – Montpellier - indoor hard
ATP 250 – Singapore - indoor hard
ATP 250 – Cordoba – clay
WTA 500 – Adelaide – hard
I’m focusing on the three men’s events today…
Murray returns in Montpellier…
ATP Montpellier (AKA ‘Open Sud de France’) is notable for a couple of things. One, it marks the return to the main tour for Andy Murray. During week one of the Australian Open, the 33-year-old Murray was in Italy, where he reached the final of a lower-tier ATP Challenger event played on indoor hard courts (runner-up).
Inexplicably, at the time of writing on Sunday afternoon, Oddschecker don’t have Murray on their bet list for Montpellier. But with a bit of shopping around, I can tell you that Andy is 8/1 in general (Bet365, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral), and 10/1 with Skybet and Boylesports.
That’s too short for me. Although Andy is the kind of player that can make you eat your words. And it is worth noting that his last ATP title win also came indoors in Europe, at Antwerp in 2019, as a 12/1 shot.
Murray’s draw looks tough here, though. With Ones to Watch young guns Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz in his section of the draw. The 19-year-old Sinner has won his last two ATP events, and goes off as a short 7/2 (4.5) favourite here. Hurkacz won Delray Beach in January; he’s 12/1 and 10/1 this week.
The French connection…
The other thing to note for Montpellier is my go-to stat for men’s indoor tournaments in France: the home players usually do well. This tournament is no exception. Eight of the previous 10 Montpellier champions have been Frenchmen. Rising star Ugo Humbert leads the French contingent here, although at just 7/1 at best (Boylesports).
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (remember him?) was one of those past home winners, lifting the trophy here in 2019. Tsonga’s record in four entries at Montpellier reads: winner, semi final, semi final, semi final.
However, the now 35-year-old only played two matches on tour in 2020, losing them both – and has been battling injuries for some time. Tsonga is 33/1 to turn back the clock this week, which, if nothing else, is a lot bigger than Andy Murray’s price.
Ones to Watch at 18/1, 33/1, and 50/1…
It's experience v youth in the 1st round at ATP Montpellier though, with Tsonga drawn against Ones to Watch in 2021 name, Sebastian Korda. The 20-year-old ended last season with a first ATP Challenger title, and has carried that good form and progress into 2021…
The young American reached a debut ATP final at Delray Beach last month. And rounded-off January with another Challenger title, indoors at Quimper here in France. He’s up to a career-high of No.88 in the world.
Missing out on the Australian Open, Korda focused on Europe, also in action on indoor hard courts in Italy last week. That recent form and schedule can stand him in good stead for another deep run on the main ATP Tour this week. Korda is 18/1.
At ATP Singapore, another American with indoor credentials could put a run together...
Standing 6’6”, Maxime Cressy brings a massive serve. At the Australian Open, he held his own, with the world No.172 reaching the 2nd round, with no shame in a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Top 10 star, Alexander Zverev.
Aces are a big feature of Cressy’s game. The 23-year-old hit 26 of them in his 1st round match at the Aus Open. Before that, he hit 23 in his match at the Melbourne warm-up event. That one was also notable for 23 double faults. That tells you this guy is hit or miss. But he’s still young, and this Singapore field is not overly deep.
With more aces than doubles, he can put a few wins together here and make a case for himself in the quarter finals or semi finals, from a 33/1 starting price.
Fellow hit-or-miss player Alexander Bublik is a potential quarter-final opponent. He’s got into double figure for double faults in three of his last four matches. Bublik is the 6/1 second-favourite for the Singapore trophy. He’s talented – but very hard to trust at those odds.
Most of Cressy’s career formbook is made up of results on the lower-tier tours. Nevertheless, an indoor hard-court match win-loss of 43-18 is noteworthy (70%).
And down in Argentina, for the first clay-court tournament of the season, there are two clay-court players that catch my eye at big prices, available at 50/1 each…
Those names for ATP Cordoba are Gianluca Mager, and Thiago Seyboth Wild.
No fewer than 246 of Mager’s career 337 match wins have come on clay. The 26-year-old Italian was a 100/1 finalist at ATP Rio de Janeiro last February, beating two-time French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem along the way. A quarter final on hard courts at Delray Beach last month also show that this guy can compete at full ATP Tour level.
With the notoriously flaky and hard-to-predict Benoit Paire the highest seed in this bottom half of the draw (and 18/1 at best in the Outright betting), this side of the Cordoba drawsheet looks ripe for attacking with the big prices.
Top seed, 2020 Cordoba runner-up, and home favourite Diego Schwartzman is 5/2 (3.5) and 2/1 (3.0) to win the title. Crucially for our purpose, he’s in the top half, so can’t meet Mager or Seyboth Wild until the final. And at 50/1, these guys are at appealing Each Way prices…
Last year, the first four men’s clay events of the season – all held in February, and in South America – produced two finalists at 100/1, and a 50/1 winner. That 50/1 shot was Seyboth Wild, in Santiago, Chile.
The 20-year-old Brazilian possesses an absolute monster forehand. He’s exciting to watch. To date, 99 of his 105 career match wins have come on clay. After a slow start to the year, including some losses on hard courts. Thiago showed some signs of getting back into the swing of it on clay last week, reaching a Challenger quarter final in Chile.
With odds like this available, Seyboth Wild is one to follow here, and at future clay-court tournaments on the tour.
Ones to Watch:
Outright Winner picks – Each Way
ATP Montpellier (Open Sud de France)
ATP Singapore (Singapore Tennis Open)
ATP Cordoba (Cordoba Open)
Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.
Play starts from 4am UK time in Singapore, 10am in Montpellier, and 2pm in Cordoba. Bookies take down their Outright Winner markets during each day’s play.
I’ll be back in the week with more analysis for you, including any match picks that I spot for this week’s tournaments.
It was great to be able to write to you every day during the Australian Open. I hope you enjoyed it. How was it for you? It’s always good to hear back from members, new and old. You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the tennis…