Tennis Betting Advice - October 2019

Ones to Watch this week – including a 100/1 shot…

Sunday 20th October 2019

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Ones to Watch at big prices…
  • ATP Basel and ATP Vienna...
  • Play starts 1pm…

Russians, bridesmaids and returns to form…

I try not to say ‘in the right ball park’ too often. But last week, once again…

We were in the right ball park with our picks.

In Moscow – where we flagged up the home-players theme – both the men and women’s Kremlin Cup events saw Russians in the final. Andrey Rublev won ATP Moscow as a 12/1 shot. And in the WTA tournament in the capital, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (14/1) was runner-up, meaning six of the last 10 women’s finalists have now been Russian representatives. Our 22/1 pick Ekaterina Alexandova reached the quarter finals.

In Luxembourg, we had two young women on the Ones to Watch list, both at 16/1. Elena Rybakina was our best performer of the week, getting to the semi finals where she was out-played on the day by 2018 champion Julia Goerges. Fifteen-year-old Cori Gauff crashed out in the Luxembourg 1st round… only to go on and win the Doubles event alongside fellow American teenager, 17-year-old Caty McNally.

Elsewhere on the tour…

Andy Murray returned to winning ways, proving again that reports of his retirement were premature to say the least. Murray won ATP Antwerp (at 12/1), for his first Singles trophy since Dubai in February 2017 – and the first time since returning from hip surgery.

Adrian Mannarino was bridesmaid once again. The 31-year-old finally won his first ATP title this summer. But after losing to Rublev in Sunday’s Moscow final, the Frenchman’s career record in finals now stands at: won 1 lost 7. When the day comes to hang up his racket though, Mannarino should still be a happy man... his compatriot Julian Benneteau retired last year with a painful record in finals of: played 10 lost 10.

In Stockholm, there was a maiden title for one of our former Ones to Watch in 2018 players, with Denis Shapovalov winning his first ATP title (at 6/1). The Canadian was on our 2018 list, alongside Rublev. Expect more to come from those two – Shapovalov is still just 20 years of age, and Rublev is only 22.

Jelena Ostapenko – another of our former Ones to Watch teenagers – has found form this month. Since teaming up with former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli as coach, the Latvian has made back-to-back finals on the WTA Tour. Finishing runner-up in Linz (25/1), followed directly by winning Luxembourg (16/1) for her first Singles title for two years.

Here are last week’s full tournament results and prices:

WTA Luxembourg
Winner: J.Ostapenko (16/1)
Runner-up: J.Goerges (6/1)  

WTA Moscow
Winner: B.Bencic (8/1)
Runner-up: A.Pavlyuchenkova (14/1)   

ATP Stockholm
Winner: D.Shapovalov (6/1)
Runner-up: F.Krajinovic (14/1)   

ATP Antwerp
Winner: A.Murray (12/1)
Runner-up: S.Wawrinka (5/1)   

ATP Moscow
Winner: A.Rublev (12/1)
Runner-up: A.Mannarino (25/1)   

Roger the Swiss banker?

We’re starting our coverage this week with a look at the draws and Outright Winner markets for the two men’s indoor hard-court events in Vienna and Basel.

There’s one big stat you need to know about in Switzerland. Sticking with the home-player angle, it’s hard to look past the man they call the GOAT (‘Greatest Of All Time’)…

As a kid, Roger Federer was a ball-boy at ATP Basel. As a player, he’s won his ‘home’ Swiss tournament a record nine times, including four of the last five.

The bookies make the 38-year-old legend a 6/4 (2.50) favourite to win title number 10 this week. That’s not a ‘One to Watch’ price. And when it comes to betting, I don’t believe in ‘bankers.’ Federer is in the top half of the Basel draw, where he could meet fellow Swiss star Stan Wawrinka (11/1) at the quarter final stage.

We’ll look to the bottom half instead, where the prices are better – with the chance of a worthwhile Each Way payout in mind…

Serving up the value at 33/1 and 50/1…

Roger is the main man in Basel. We’ve established that. But if you’re in the bottom side of this 2019 draw, then you can’t face the World No.3 until the final. That gives us the incentive to go after a big price. A couple of men stand out.

Big servers have done well here in the past. That’s no surprise at an indoor hard-court tournament. The one man to break Federer’s dominance in the last five years was Marin Cilic, who won the title in 2016. Prior to that, the sledgehammer shot-making of Juan Martin Del Potro saw the Argentinean do the Basel double in 2012 & 2013. Last year’s runner-up was another ball-slapper, with Marius Copil a 100/1 finalist.

Cilic catches the eye this week at odds as big as 33/1. That price is largely due to a tough 1st round draw v David Goffin, where the 6’6” Croat is the bookies’ 6/4 (2.50) match underdog. However, Marin has won his last four meetings v Goffin, and his serve will definitely help him out against the 5’11” Belgian.

If he gets through that one, then Cilic’s price will drop significantly. In comparison, Goffin’s Outright price is 16/1 at best and as short as 11/1. That’s despite a poor result in his ‘home’ event in Antwerp last week, where World No.14 Goffin fell at the first hurdle, comprehensively beaten 6-3, 6-1 by World No.70 Ugo Humbert.

Goffin was a semi-finalist at Basel 2018, and runner-up in 2014. Cilic lost out to surprise package Copil last year. Before that, the World No.25’s record here reads: semi final – winner – quarter final.

For the bigger price, Cilic is the one to follow this week. He’s just reached 500 match wins on the ATP Tour, and also announced that his wife is expecting their first child in the New Year. With some of the court pressure off, it could be that Marin brings his A-game to Basel this week.

Another big (big) server on the bottom half of the draw-sheet is Reilly Opelka. The American stands a massive 6’11” and makes the most of it with his brutal serve. He’s ranked 2nd for the season for Most Aces, averaging 20 per match.

Aged 22, Opelka is on the up in the men’s game – currently at a career-high of No.37 in the world. He has the game to go higher, too.

Opelka’s indoor match win-loss record is 8-2 for 2019, on the back of a 9-0 record last year. The caveat there is that all those wins came in the USA, including a debut final & trophy win indoors at the ATP 250 event in New York back in February (at 14/1). However, Reilly showed form outside the States by making the semi finals in Japan on hard courts at the start of October. And standout odds of 50/1 for this week’s bigger ATP 500 event make him One to Watch for sure.

Cilic and Opelka are in the same part of the draw. The plan being to get one of them through to the quarter finals from that section, with a nice price to work with.

100/1 in Austria…

At ATP Vienna, Lucas Pouille was a 25/1 Ones to Watch winner for us in 2017. He’s not here this year. We’re on the hunt for big prices again, though…

The bottom half of the draw is the place to be here, too. The top section includes big names like Dominic Thiem (6/1 favourite) and two-time former runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (20/1), highly-rated youngsters Shapovalov (16/1) and Borna Coric (22/1) and newly-minted World No.11, Matteo Berrettini (8/1) – to name just a handful.

In the opposite side, the chunky prices are worth following as speculative picks with some noteworthy form and credentials…

Aljaz Bedene (top price 100/1) is priced with the rank outsiders here, but the Slovenian former British citizen has shown form recently. Bedene made the final indoors at Metz as a 33/1 underdog. And he’s come through qualifying in Vienna this weekend with two 2-0 victories.

If Bedene can get past the tricky left-hander Guido Pella in the 1st round – and Pella has a negative career match record indoors, won 12 lost 13 – then he could build up momentum again here. Bedene’s indoor career record is a more than respectable won 64 lost 37 (63%).

Another player to lookout for here is the 18-year-old Jannik Sinner. The Italian teenager made an impression indoors at Antwerp last week, reaching the semi finals. Before that, he made another indoor semi final, this time on the lower-tier ATP Challenger Tour.

Up to World No.119 and pushing to break the Top 100 soon, this youngster is set to go places in the years to come. While things are going well for him and the outsider odds are still frequently available, he’ll be on our radar. 50/1 this week fits the bill.

Ones to Watch this week:

  • Marin Cilic is 33/1 Each Way with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 25/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports
  • Reilly Opelka is 50/1 Each Way with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 33/1 Bet365, Skybet, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet

Latest ATP Basel odds here

  • Aljaz Bedene is 100/1 Each Way with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 66/1 Skybet, 40/1 Boylesports, 33/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral
  • Jannik Sinner is 50/1 Each Way with NetBet, 10Bet, 33/1 Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral, Boylesports

Latest ATP Vienna odds here

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Monday’s play starts from 1pm (UK time) in Vienna, and 6pm in Basel. Bookies suspend their Outright Winner markets during each day’s matches.

I’ll be back soon with more, including a look at the WTA Elite Trophy in China.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch