Tennis Betting Advice - January 2021

4/1 Safwat to edge it in Turkey…

Monday 18th January 2021

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • ATP Challenger – Istanbul…
  • Safwat v Seyboth Wild…
  • Play starts 3pm…

The tennis news was pretty messy over the weekend.

To cut a long story short, 72 players are in ‘hard quarantine’ in their hotel rooms in Melbourne, after a handful of positive coronavirus tests on specially chartered flights for the Australian Open. That means those 72 players can’t leave their hotel room to practise.

The party line though is still very much that the first Grand Slam of the year will go ahead as planned on 8th February. And that will be good news for you & I.

4/1 Safwat to edge it in Turkey…

My focus this week is on the first ATP Challenger event of the year, a hard-court tournament taking place in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Challenger Tour is one rung below the main men’s ATP Tour. These tournaments run throughout the year. They tend to feature a mix of young players aiming to climb the rankings, and ‘journeymen’ types earning a modest living on this lower-tier global circuit.

This afternoon’s match between Mohamed Safwat and Thiago Seyboth Wild is a good example of that…

  • Safwat is 30 years old, ranked No.155 in the world, and has never been higher than No.130
  • Seyboth Wild is just 20 years of age, currently No.118, and tipped by many as a star of the future

I’ve watched a few Seyboth Wild matches. He’s certainly exciting to watch, pretty much always going for his shots – unloading a huge, blitzing forehand whenever he gets the chance.

Last season, the young Brazilian won his first main-tour ATP title, lifting the trophy on clay in Santiago, Chile – as a 50/1 outsider.

Seyboth Wild is one to look out for on clay this season. His career to date clay-court formbook shows a 93-63 match win record (60%). And 93 of his 102 victories have come on the South American’s favourite surface.

The problem for him today is, this Istanbul Challenger event is played on hard courts. And with previous winners of this tournament including Ugo Humbert (five career titles, all on hard courts), and Karen Khachanov (seven titles, six on hard courts), the omens aren’t good for a ‘clay-court specialist’ here.

Seyboth Wild is currently on a seven-match losing streak going back to the end of the 2020 season. He started 2021 with a narrow 1st round loss in Australian Open Qualifying in Doha (hard courts). Edged out 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 by the 33-year-old Robin Haase.

Today’s opponent Mohamed Safwat went one round better in the Aussie Open qualifiers, reaching the 2nd round.

The only Egyptian player in the men’s world Top 300, Safwat has got a long career’s worth of form behind him on the lower-tier Challenger and ITF circuits. His overall match win-loss records are 240-136 on hard courts (64%), and 243-162 on clay (60%).

After 24 title wins on the lowest-tier ITF Tour, Safwat finally claimed a first ATP Challenger Tour trophy last season. Winning on hard courts at Launceston in Australia, in February 2020.

Today’s Match Winner betting has the younger player as the favourite, with Seyboth Wild priced as short as 1/2 (1.5) for the win. Safwat is 11/10+ (2.1+), and a top price 6/4 (2.5) with Bet365.

With some potentially scrappy matches in store this week at the first Challenger event of the year – with many of these players taking part in the Australian Open qualifiers in Doha last week. I reckon we could certainly see a few surprises, and some rollercoaster score-lines, too.

It's not just a case of opposing the clay-court names on the hard courts, but that’s clearly a factor for me today in taking on Seyboth Wild.

Five of Safwat’s last seven Challenger-level matches have gone the distance to a final set…

In the Set Betting market, the Egyptian underdog can be backed at 9/2 (5.5) and 4/1 (5.0) for the 2-1 victory today. Those prices, along with the formbook, make that the most appealing option to me.

Ones to Watch:

ATP Challenger – Istanbul

Set Betting:

  • Mohamed Safwat to win 2-1 v Thiago Seyboth Wild is 9/2 (5.5) with Bet365, 4/1 (5.0) Ladbrokes, Coral, Sportingbet, Bwin

The match is scheduled for 3pm (UK time), but may start later if the matches beforehand run over. You can watch online, with bookies such as Bet365 and Skybet offering Live Streaming.

I’ll be back in the week with more from Istanbul, and I’ll keep you posted on the build-up to the Australian Open, too.

Want to get in touch? Email me at:

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch