ATP Tennis Betting: Monfils not to be trusted as favourite on grass in Halle

The ATP World Tour stops off in London and Halle in week 25, with ATP 500 action on the grass at the Aegon Championships and Gerry Weber Open.

The grass at Queen’s Club and the Gerry Weber Stadion is usually of the quick, low-bouncing variety and just over half of the matches (just under in Halle) at Queen’s over the last three years have featured at least one tie break.

We start on Monday with five round one matches at each tournament and as is so often then case on the first day of the week the pickings are slim, but one bet is worth a risk at the prices.

Gael Monfils vs Richard Gasquet

I wouldn’t normally entertain the prospect of a wager on a match involving this pair, but on grass we have to take grass-hating Monfils on as favourite against an opponent highly skilled on the surface.

Monfils has never made much of a secret of his dislike for this part of the season and no doubt we’ll see him spend a fair bit of the time on the floor staring quizzically at the court as if it’s some sort of otherworldly substrate.

Consequently, his service hold/break stats are far less impressive on grass than any other surface, with a combined total of 98.6 on this surface in his last 10 matches at main level.

Around the 100 mark is about the career total for Monfils on grass and the only reason surely that he’s favourite to win this match are the question marks over the fitness of Gasquet (again).

According to Gasquet his back his better now (not sure I believe him there) but it’s the thigh that was the latest physical issue that saw him limp out his French Open date with Monfils a fortnight ago.

That thigh injury saw the Gasman skip Rosmalen to instead practice with his mate Nick Kyrgios last week and I’d imagine he’s been putting more into those sessions than Monfils (and indeed Kyrgios) has been in his.

An infinitely more adept grass court exponent than Monfils, Gasquet has hold/break stats of over 110 in his last 10 matches on the surface at main level and the 2015 Wimbledon semi finalist has to be good value as underdog here, with Monfils also having lost 11 times as favourite on grass and three times in his last five matches.

Elsewhere in Halle there’s a clash between two players who generally prefer to avoid the grass in Andrey Rublev and Albert Ramos, and I’m not sure I could back Ramos as a favourite on grass against many players.

The Spaniard has four wins on grass in his whole career, while Rublev has played one match, so that one is of little interest really.

Dustin Brown often plays well here and can beat Vasek Pospisil, while Joao Sousa brings a 2-0 career series lead into his 11:00 UK time clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

What’s surprising about that head-to-head is that both wins for Sousa came on hard courts, but on the familiar grass of Halle, where Kohlschreiber is a former champion, it should be a win for the German.

Denis Shapovalov will be hoping he doesn’t get defaulted this time against Kyle Edmund like he did during their last encounter, while Nick Kyrgios should have far too much firepower on grass for Donald Young.

I’d be tempted by the ‘no tie breaks’ there, but the price isn’t up to much, and I’m not hugely tempted by any of the underdogs (Gasquet aside) either.

Maximilian Marterer isn’t up to it at this level at the moment and is still looking for his first win in what will be his ninth match on the ATP World Tour main draw when he faces Dominic Thiem on Monday.

It’s hard to see past a Thiem win there and after his feeble showing last week against Alexander Zverev I’m not going to take another chance on Adrian Mannarino, who would otherwise be an underdog with a shot versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Mannarino beat Tsonga on clay a few months back and on a good day could possibly go close again, but Tsonga should get too many free points on serve in these conditions to see off Mannarino.

Grigor Dimitrov faces a Ryan Harrison who’s lost 10 of his last 11 main level matches on grass, so the Bulgarian should avoid another early exit after Jerzy Janowicz beat him last week in Stuttgart.

So, not a day to get too excited about from a betting perspective and it’ll just be one point risked on Gasquet, as his fitness is a little bit taken on trust.

Best Bet
1 point win Gasquet to beat Monfils at 2.18