Tennis Betting Advice - October 2021

Ones to Watch in Antwerp today - at 25/1...

Monday 18th October 2021

In Ones to Watch today:

  • ATP Antwerp…
  • Indoor form at 25/1…
  • Popyrin v Van De Zandschulp…

We kicked off our week this morning with an Outright pick for ATP Moscow. As promised, we’re now heading straight over to Belgium, for the 2021 edition of the European Open in Antwerp…

We talked about Russians doing well in Russia. It might also be significant that French players have had success here at ATP Antwerp

Location and geographical familiarity may well be a part of it. I also think that the high number of ATP tournaments held every year on indoor hard courts in France – on both the main ATP Tour, and the lower-tier Challenger circuit – have something to do with it. French players get plenty of opportunities to hone their game inside, in fast conditions, and under the lights.

Since 2016, the European Open has been held here in Belgium. The roll of honour reads:

2020 – Ugo Humbert (France)
2019 – Andy Murray (Great Britain)
2018 – Kyle Edmund (Great Britain)
2017 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France)
2016 – Richard Gasquet (France)

Indoor form at 25/1…

Three out of five French winners is a piece of historical form that’s worth noting. I was interested to find that nugget, coming as it did after I’d already earmarked an upcoming Frenchman, Arthur Rinderknech as an outsider to look out for this week…

At 26 years of age, Rinderknech could be called something of a late bloomer on the ATP Tour. This season, he’s climbed to a career high of no.65 in the world. On the main tour, he’s had some encouraging tournaments in 2021. In March, Arthur made the quarter finals indoors on hard courts in Marseille. And has since followed that up with quarter finals and semi finals on clay.

On the ATP Challenger Tour, the 6’5” Frenchman has shown what he can do at indoor hard-court venues in Europe. Winning the title at Istanbul this season. And also reaching semi finals indoors in France, at Cherbourg and Rennes – with the latter coming just last month.

Each of Arthur’s last three tournament appearances have come at indoor events. And that should help him arrive here in the ATP Antwerp draw, tuned-up and ready to compete at a good level…

He’ll certainly need a big performance, drawn as he is in 3/1 favourite Jannik Sinner’s side of the draw. Rinderknech will take confidence from the fact that he beat the highly-rated Italian One to Watch on clay in Lyon earlier this year.

  • The Frenchman plays in the 1st round this afternoon, first on court in Antwerp at 3.30pm UK time, and priced as a 4/11 (1.36) match favourite to beat Federico Delbonis of Argentina. Rinderknech beat the 31-year-old 2-0 on clay in Austria earlier this season

In the Outright market, Rinderknech is an appealing outsider at 28/1 or 25/1.

Popyrin v Van De Zandschulp…

That’s the top half of the draw. In the bottom half, there’s one section where three men are battling it out – and it could be very close…

Ones to Watch regular Reilly Opelka is the big name here, at single figures for the title (8/1). The towering American has arguably the most lethal serve in the game. If he plays to his best ability, the 24-year-old could barge through the field this week. However, that’s a big if, with this tournament coming as it does outside of Reilly’s favoured home surroundings of the USA…

Opelka has won two ATP titles in his young career, and both came in the States, outdoors at Delray Beach in 2020, and indoors in New York in 2019. Before that, on the Challenger circuit, he won four trophies – with three of them coming indoors in the USA.

In comparison, at ATP Rotterdam indoors this season, Reilly crashed out in the very first round. If he reaches the 2nd round here in Antwerp, the American will play one of these two guys – and they’ve both posted wins against him this year…

Alexei Popyrin v Botic Van De Zandschulp is an intriguing match-up.

The 22-year-old Popyrin has been blighted by injuries, but when he’s fit – he can be very good. That was the case in February, when the Australian won ATP Singapore indoors as a 20/1 shot. Alexei has the serve and forehand to deliver in these conditions, along with an excellent competitive spirit. He’s 25/1 this week.

In March, Popyrin beat Opelka on outdoor hard courts in Miami. That’s a result that could prove noteworthy this week, should they meet again here in round two.

That’s very much an ‘if’ though, as Popyrin is priced as the underdog to beat Van De Zandschulp this afternoon. Age 26, the Dutchman – like Arthur Rinderknech – is proving to be another late bloomer on the senior tour…

Botic reached the quarter finals on outdoor hard courts at the Great Ocean Road Trophy in Melbourne in February, knocking out Opelka along the way. Van De Zandschulp then made big waves at the US Open in September, reaching the quarter finals as an absolute rank outsider.

The 6’3” Dutchman is up to a career-best ranking of no.61 in the world. As with Rinderknech, he has indoor form to point to. In 2019, Botic won four titles across the lower-tier Challenger and ITF circuits, with three of them coming at indoor hard-court events. Van De Zandschulp’s career indoor match win-loss record is 87-31, for a very credible 74% win-rate. He’s 20/1 in general to claim a first full ATP Tour title this week. BetVictor are a standout 30/1, with Unibet at 25/1.

Popyrin and Van De Zandschulp have no head-to-head form in the book. Today’s match will be their first meeting. Expect serve to play a big part. That being so, one area for us to target is markets that centre around there being a Tiebreak (7-6 Set Score):

  • 7 of Popyrin’s last 10 matches on hard courts – and 10 of his last 15 – have featured one or more 7-6 sets
  • When he won the Singapore title indoors this season, 5 of the 10 sets that Popyrin won came via a Tiebreak

As for the betting options…

I like a 1st Set Tiebreak at around 3/1. Alternatively, you could back each player to win 7-6 in the ‘1st Set Correct Score’ markets.

I wouldn’t usually put up two Outright Winner picks that are playing each other in the 1st round. But at odds of 20/1+ each, with a potentially vulnerable favourite in Opelka in this part of the Antwerp draw. And with the chance to recoup some of the initial stakes from the Tiebreak markets today. I’m getting behind both Popyrin and Van De Zandschulp.

Ones to Watch

ATP Antwerp – European Open

Outright Winner – Each Way:

  • Arthur Rinderknech @ 28/1 Bet365, 888 Sport, 25/1 Betfred, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betway, BetVictor, Unibet
  • Alexei Popyrin @ 25/1 Bet365, Skybet, 888 Sport, BetVictor, Betway, Betfred
  • Botic Van De Zandschulp @ 30/1 BetVictor, 25/1 Unibet, 20/1 Bet365 and in general

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

Alexei Popyrin v Botic Van De Zandschulp:

  • 1st Set Tiebreak – Yes @ 3/1 (4.0) BetVictor, 11/4 (3.75) Skybet, 5/2 (3.5) Bet365 (1st Set Total Games – Over 12.5), 9/4 (3.25) Ladbrokes, Coral

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch