Tennis Betting Advice - January 2021

It could be 10 in a row for Ernests...

Monday 25th January 2021

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • ATP Challenger, Quimper…
  • Gulbis v Gaio…
  • Play starts 6.30pm…

There’s not long to wait until the tennis gets underway in Australia.

January 31st will see the women start their Australian Open preparation on court. With two strong-grade WTA 500 events being held in Melbourne – the Gippsland Trophy, and the Yarra Valley Classic.

A third WTA 500 tournament has just been added, too. With the Grampians Trophy (3rd Feb) added to the roster, specifically to provide a competitive arena for the players currently sitting out ‘hard quarantine’ in their hotel rooms.

The men take to the court from 1st Feb, with two ATP 250-grade events in Melbourne – the Murray River Open, and the Great Ocean Road Open. Those two have been nudged backed one day from their original 31st Jan slot, again to assist the players in quarantine.

The ATP Cup team event then takes places from 2nd Feb, also in Melbourne.

And before all those, starting this Friday, there’s an exhibition tournament planned in Adelaide. With some of the Top 10 stars on the list, including women’s world No.1, Ashleigh Barty.

I’ll keep you posted on the Aussie Open build-up. And when those WTA & ATP tournaments begin, we’ll be straight back to our usual business of targeting attractive Each Way price in the Outright Winner markets.

This week we have two lower-tier ATP Challenger events to keep us occupied….

Last week I hit the bar a couple of times with my match selections. On Friday, Mohamed Safwat was given a Walkover by his opponent, Go Soeda – so bets void there (Safwat was our man).

Turkish youngest Ergi Kirkin came very close to reaching the semi finals in Istanbul. The match underdog was edged out in a final-set tiebreak by Jozef Kovalik, 6-7, 6-0, 7-6.

This week the Challenger Tour continues with an indoor hard-court event in Quimper, France. And a clay-court tournament in Antalya, Turkey.

On the clay in Turkey, our Ones to Watch in 2021 teenager Lorenzo Musetti is priced up as a short odds-on favourite to win his 1st round match today, at 2/7 (1.28) to beat Alejandro Tabilo.

It could be 10 in a row for Ernests…

Indoors in France, I’m interested in the headline match on day one…

Ernests Gulbis v Federico Gaio

Gulbis is the big name here – but his best days look well behind him now.

Latvia’s most successful ever male player, Gulbis is a former French Open semi-finalist (2014). He’s also won six ATP titles, five of which came on hard courts (two indoors). Although his last trophy win was back in 2014.

Now 32 years of age, Gulbis made a comeback of sorts in 2018, reaching the ATP Stockholm final indoors.

But overall, his career will be looked back on as one of somewhat wasted potential. Injuries, and a reputation as someone that enjoys the party-boy lifestyle a little too much, are usually cited as the reasons for that.

On the current form, Gulbis’ latest comeback attempt doesn’t seem to be building any momentum just yet. So far in 2021, he lost in the 1st round of Australian Open Qualifying in Doha. Then last week, fell at the first hurdle in the lowly qualifying rounds at the Istanbul Challenger.

Now ranked No.185, the former world No.10 has now travelled to France for this week’s Challenger event. Adding in the late-2020 form, Gulbis is on a nine-match losing streak.

On the one hand it’s admirable that he’s still putting in the miles. According to the internet, he certainly doesn’t need the money. So, if he loves the game and wants to keep playing on the pro circuit as long as he can, then good for him.

On the other hand, we have to question Gulbis’ playing level and ability to compete with any consistency these days.

Granted, indoor hard courts are good conditions for his big serve. But a nine-match losing streak is ugly, and in all due respect, most of those opponents have not been formidable. Only two of those nine victors were ranked inside the Top 100, and none in the Top 50.

Today’s 1st round opponent in Quimper is Federico Gaio. The 28-year-old Italian is ranked No.136. He reached the 2nd round indoors in Istanbul last week, losing to an in-form Mohamed Safwat.

As you’d expect for a ‘journeyman’ Italian on the lower-tier tours, Gaio’s best playing surface is clay. However, he won a first hard-court Challenger title in 2020. And can be expected to put up a stern test today.

Gaio is priced as the slight underdog, at Evens (2.0) or a shade over. With the Gulbis situation in mind, the Italian is the player I’m putting my trust in here.

Ones to Watch:

ATP Challenger – Quimper

Match Winner:

The match is scheduled for 6.30pm, UK time.

You watch live, for free, on the ATP Challenger TV page here. As well as on bookie websites.

I’ll be back in the week with more, as we get ready for our trip to Australia next month.

Need to get in touch? Email me at:

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch