ATP Tennis Betting: Simon and Berdych can profit from wide open Rotterdam draw

Week seven of the 2017 ATP World Tour sees the players head to Rotterdam, Buenos Aires and Memphis on indoor hard courts and outdoor clay.

Last week’s outrights saw Richard Gasquet make the final of Montpellier and he was roughly an even money shot to win the title, but the Frenchman lost out to Alexander Zverev.

This week we have two ATP 250s and a 500 and we start in the Netherlands.

ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament

Tournament director Richard Krajicek was left scratching around for a big name for his Rotterdam ATP 500 when Rafa Nadal and Stan Wawrinka withdrew, but he’s drawn a blank and so Marin Cilic is top seed.

Played on a slow Proflex indoor hard court for the last few years after formerly being one of the quicker surfaces on the tour it was won by a real long shot last year in Martin Klizan.

The erratic Slovak became the first non-Grand Slam finalist to win here since Michael Llodra when it was played on a fast surface back in 2008 and without Nadal and Wawrinka the draw looks quite open again.

Indeed, the bottom half of the draw opened up even further when Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew citing an elbow injury and this part of the draw features high seeds that mostly went deep last week.

Grigor Dimitrov had an emotional title-winning week at home in Sofia, beating David Goffin in the final and the third high seed in this half is Zverev, who surely must be feeling the fatigue by now after Davis Cup duty too.

On paper the obvious pick is Dominic Thiem, but he seems out of sorts at the moment and said after losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili in Sofia: “ The courts were really fast, the sea level is higher than average, it was my first match since Australia and I am not really fit.”

In any case Theim’s stats are nothing to write home about on indoor hard, with 83.8% holds and just 16.5% breaks in his 38 main level matches in these conditions.

Add to that the ‘not really fit’ factor and I’d rather take a chance on a three-time semi finalist, whose form is improving after a poor time of it, and who took a week off after Davis Cup duty.

The man I refer to is Gilles Simon, who beat Andy Murray here two years ago en route to the semis and the Frenchman has no-one to fear in this half of the draw, with big hitters like Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opposite half.

He leads the career series with round one opponent Nicolas Mahut 5-2 and a tired Zverev or out of sorts Thiem in round two doesn’t appear to be an impossible task.

Simon has won both hard court meetings against Feli Lopez, while Marcel Granollers, Evgeny Donskoy and Pierre Hugues-Herbert shouldn’t present major problems either.

After that it’s seeded to be either Dimitrov or Goffin and there’s no guarantee that either will make it after last week’s efforts, but Simon leads the Dimitrov career series 5-3 and it’s 1-1 with Goffin.

In the top half I’ve picked out Lucas Pouille and Tomas Berdych as the two most likely and with Pouille struggling with injury of late I like the 10.0 about Berdych continuing his great recent record in Rotterdam.

The Czech has won 12 of his last 14 matches in Rotterdam and leads the career series’ against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and Richard Gasquet, who are the best of the opposition in the top half (with the exception of a fit Pouille).

Yet Berdych is a bigger price than Tsonga and the hopelessly out of form Cilic and gets the vote at 10.0.

Memphis Open

We’ve got some big servers in action in Memphis, USA in our indoor hard ATP 250 this week, with Ivo Karlovic, John Isner, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Kevin Anderson, and Reilly Opelka all ready to fire down the aces at the Racquet Club of Memphis.

It’s not the ideal playing conditions for attacking players though on a quite slow Latex-ite indoor hard surface using Robin Soderling’s RS Black Edition balls.

I wouldn’t have Isner as favourite here, with the big man holding just a 53% winning record in Memphis and having won only one match in his last three visits to this tournament.

Karlovic looks to have better credentials, but at a bigger price I’m going to take a chance on Ryan Harrison this week each-way at 17.0.

The American has been playing well of late and defeated the high seed in his section, Querrey, in their only career clash, while the other seed in his quarter is Steve Darcis, who must be feeling it by now after loads of tennis lately.

Harrison also beat Isner in their most recent meeting, which was on outdoor hard at the Rogers Cup last summer, so he really shouldn’t fear anyone in his half of the draw.

In fact, he’s also beaten Karlovic in their only career clash, so if Harrison is at his best he has a great chance at a good price.

Argentina Open

Unfortunately I was unable to stay in Buenos Aires for long enough to enjoy this tournament at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club and it looks a highly competitive event on the Golden Swing on the clay.

Kei Nishikori plays here for the first time since 2012 (he usually plays Memphis this week), but he’ll need to buck the trend of eight straight European winners of this tournament since David Nalbandian won here in 2008.

And I prefer the chances (and the price) of Pablo Cuevas to be the man to halt the trend of European winners, with a draw in the bottom half that looks good for the Uruguayan.

Cuevas won 72% of his matches on the clay in 2016 and other than a peak form Alexandr Dolgopolov (which we haven’t seen for a long time) he has a nice section, with Quito finalist Paulo Lorenzi having lost all five against Cuevas over the years.

He’s won four of five against Albert Ramos and three of five versus Pablo Carreno Busta, with a fit Leo Mayer perhaps the best alternative to Cuevas at a huge price.

Mayer didn’t seem fit enough to be winning titles when I saw him in Davis Cup though and he didn’t participate in the singles rubbers, plus he’s just become a father, so he’s overlooked too.

Cuevas hasn’t faced Nishikori for over five years and may have to beat him to win the title, but it’s not a given that Kei will make it, with a fired-up Fabio Fognini and David Ferrer (23-5 in Buenos Aires) to overcome in his first clay event since the French Open last year.

Best Bets
1 point win Berdych to win Rotterdam at 10.0
1 point each way Simon to win Rotterdam at 34.0
1 point each way Harrison to win Memphis at 17.0
2 points win Cuevas in Buenos Aires at 6.5