ATP Tennis Betting: Cecchinato could surprise out of sorts Simon

It’s back to the ATP World Tour beat this week, with three ATP 250 tournaments on grass and clay for our punting pleasure in week 29.

We’ve got the last knockings of the grass swing at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, while by the seaside in Umag and Bastad we have the Croatia Open and the Swedish Open.

Week 29 stats and trends
We've seen a lot of underdog winners and big priced victors in Newport over the years, with 70 betting underdogs wining in the 183 matches this decade at a rate of around 38%.

Some of that is probably down to the playing conditions, which are rare these days, and some is likely to be players coming here demotivated off the back of a major and being beaten by younger, hungrier, lower ranked opponents, who sniff an opportunity in this tournament.

Surprisingly, given the quick, slick conditions, fewer than half of the 183 matches in Newport this decade have featured tie breaks (85) and there were only nine tie break matches of 27 last year in a field that featured Ivo Karlovic, Gilles Muller, Rajeev Ram, Steve Johnson, Frank Dancevic, and Sam Groth.

In Umag it’s usually very hot at this time of the year and the matches start later in the day. The event has seen few tie breaks this decade, with an average of only 25% of the matches featuring a tie break, so it should be 1.33 for ‘no tie breaks’ in this event.

There’s usually a few retirements in Umag (nothing to do with the party atmosphere I’m sure) and there have been a decent amount of underdog winners too, with 56 this decade at a rate of 31%.

In the last three years in Bastad there have been a lot of underdog winners – 38 in only 79 matches at a rate of 48%, which is very high indeed (again, I’m sure this is nothing to do with the nightlife). Going back to 2010 it works out at 71 in 186 matches, which is the same as Newport’s 38% rate.

As you’d expect, the tie break rate is about the same as Umag, at 26%, so ‘no tie breaks’ should be around 1.35.

Monday’s schedule sees a couple of round one matches scheduled in Umag, six in Newport and one in Bastad after the rain in Sweden delayed matters somewhat on Sunday.

Newport’s field this year is really poor, with only three players with main level service hold/break marks on grass of 100 or more in the tournament, and one of those (Denis Kudla) is in there from stats from one and two years ago.

Their card on Monday looks a total minefield, but one of the two in Umag is worth a small risk to start the week.

Marco Cecchinato vs Gilles Simon

You can say what you like about Gillou, but at least he’s one of the few players who tells it pretty much as it is in his interviews, with the Frenchman sounding like he’s considering quitting the game in his latest.

Beaten by Dominic Thiem at Wimbledon is hardly a disgrace, but Simon has been poor this season, with only 10 wins and of those victories the average ranking of the opposition is 88.

 And that’s made better by a final set tie break success over an injured Gael Monfils in Madrid and that’s one of only three top-50 wins that Simon has had in his last-16 attempts.

“Once again, I did not manage to get rid of my stress.,” Simon said after the Thiem loss. “It's always the same thing. I work on it. It's difficult. I will continue on this path and hope that it works.

“Either I manage to leave the stress that is always with me, or I cannot and then it will be the end. When you spend a lot of time thinking, the results must follow. They are the ones who decide. I will not go back to Challengers for three years.”

The results have not been following at all and clay is the surface where Simon has had most problems, with his 11 matches on the dirt over the last 12 months yielding four wins and seven defeats and some very mediocre stats.

The Frenchman held serve only 65.5% of the time and broke serve 27% of the time for a 92.5 total, which is well down on his peak years and his level this season has been dismal at times.

He might get away with it versus Cecchinato, who has an appalling 2-16 record on clay at main level, but the Italian has been playing well in Challengers and Bundesliga lately.

Cecchinato made the final of the Todi Challenger last month and the semis of the Milan Challenger the week later and on both occasions he was beaten by a decent opponent in Federico Delbonis.

Only a few days ago he defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in Germany in Bundesliga and the week prior to that he beat Ricardas Berankis, so despite very average stats at main level the Italian should be confident and has a shot versus a declining Simon, who seems very much out of sorts mentally.

Given Simon's poor form on clay, tendency to start slowly and that he's changing surfaces from grass to clay backing Cecchinato to win set one looks decent at

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the talented, but somewhat lightweight, Mikael Ymer surprised Henri Laaksonen in the only main draw match in Bastad today, but if ever there was a day for minimal wagering it’s today.

Best Bet
1 point win Cecchinato to win set one at 2.38