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ATP Tennis Betting: Medvedev will relish the return to grass in Rosmalen


ATP Tennis Betting: Medvedev will relish the return to grass in Rosmalen

The clay swing is over and it’s grass court tennis for the next six weeks or so, starting at the Libema Open and Mercedes Cup, and Sean Calvert has two bets to consider in week 23.

The grass court season is upon us and this swing of the tour begins in The Netherlands and Germany, with two ATP 250 events in Rosmalen and Stuttgart.

Conditions

The quickest conditions this week can be found in Stuttgart, where conditions are meant to mimic those of Wimbledon, with the same balls and grass seeds, and there are more tie breaks here than in Rosmalen (53% compared to 44% of matches feature at least one on average).

It’s usually slower and higher bouncing in Rosmalen, so baseliners can operate here, but Gilles Muller and Ivo Karlovic have done well in Rosmalen in recent years, so there’s something in it for all playing styles.  

Draw and form – Libema Open

The bottom half of the Rosmalen draw looks the place to look for some value, with the top half packed with decent grass court campaigners, and the one I like at 17.0 is Daniil Medvedev.

The Russian has the best grass court hold/break numbers at main level of anyone in this half of the draw over the last 12 month (or 10 matches, whichever is the more matches played) and will relish a return to the grass.

All at sea on clay the flat hitting Medvedev struggled for form on the red dirt and only won one match on the clay this swing (oddly against Geneva champ Marton Fucsovics), but back on grass he should be a force.

Holding serve 86.3% of the time and breaking 19.9% of the time in his last 12 matches (8-4 win/loss) Medvedev just pips Richard Gasquet for the best hold/break numbers in this section of the draw.

Gasquet hasn’t played this event for 10 years (only played it once, losing early on) and he certainly has been given a nice draw upon his return to Rosmalen, with the likes of Malek Jaziri and Evgeny Donskoy holding weak grass records.

Stefanos Tsitsipas may be the threat if he takes to grass, but Gasquet looks strong in this mini-section, although his price of 5.0 is a bit skinny given that he’s made one final on grass since 2006 and is generally at his best at home in France.

Fernando Verdasco’s last 10 matches on grass have produced only three wins and seven losses and a hold/break total of 98.7 and his only final on grass was a decade ago in Nottingham.

The Medvedev section has been made tougher by the presence via qualies of Bernard Tomic and there’s also Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis and Robin Haase in there too.

Tomic’s level is anyone’s guess these days, but his hold/break stats on grass at main level in his last 10 matches are no more than okay, with a 100.8 total (5-5 win/loss).

Haase, for me, is too passive in his approach to be much of a force on grass and he’s 6-9 at his home event (exactly 100 hold/break total) and 4-6 in his last 10 on this surface (94.1 hold/break total).

Karlovic has held serve 98.3% of the time in his nine-match Rosmalen career and broken 6% of the time, which makes him more of a threat than Haase, but it’s Baghdatis that has better stats than any of the aforementioned trio.

Baggy is a 106.7 man on grass in his last 10, but he’s only 4-4 (104.2 hold/break) here in Rosmalen and his fitness is questionable after another retirement (at the French Open this time) and he’s only ever made one final on grass at main level (11 years ago).

Cases could be made for plenty in the top half, with Adrian Mannarino, Jeremy Chardy, Vasek Pospisil, Andreas Seppi, Gilles Muller, Matt Ebden, and Yuichi Sugita all capable of winning this on their best grass form.

Muller, despite his record here and on grass generally, hasn’t looked the same player since ending last season early due to elbow problems and I’m tempted to take him on with Sugita, who, like Medvedev, will be keen to see the back of the clay and get back to grass.

Last year’s Antalya champion should be too good on grass for the likes of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Aljaz Bedene (or Marius Copil) and there’s no guarantee that Muller will make it through this quarter.

Seppi and Mannarino both have decent chances on their grass form, but Mannarino’s record against big servers is weak (1-6 on grass, 12-25 overall) and Seppi simply doesn’t make enough finals.

Chardy won Surbiton on the grass on Sunday and will probably be a bit tired, while Pospisil had shoulder problems in Paris and his grass hold/break numbers at main level lately aren’t up to much (96.7 total in his last 10 at main level).

Draw and form – Mercedes Cup

Roger Federer makes his return to the tour in Stuttgart this week and he’s a warm order at 1.72 to win it, but I’m happy to take him on a bit here, given that he lost this time last year to Tommy Haas.

Even for Federer it’s hard to turn up with no match play for months and win a tournament first up and the likes of Nick Kyrgios (if he’s fit), Denis Shapovalov, Feli Lopez and perhaps even Mikhail Youzhny or Mischa Zverev could beat Fed if he’s not firing on all cylinders.

They’re all in his half of the draw and assuming one of them beats Federer, which is very possible in these circumstances (Fed’s just 2-2 win/loss in Stuttgart), I’m happy to take Philipp Kohlschreiber in the bottom half of the draw.

The German is usually at his very best at home and on the grass of Stuttgart he’s 8-3 win/loss (91.3% service holds/20.6% breaks) and lost in the final to Dominic Thiem a couple of years ago.

That bottom half of the draw looks very open, with last year’s champ Lucas Pouille looking really out of sorts at the moment, Milos Raonic suffering yet more injury issues that kept him out of the French Open, and Tomas Berdych struggling badly.

After another early loss, this time at the French Open, Berdych revealed he’s still suffering from back issues.

“It's still the same thing,” he said. “Sometimes it's fine, but it always comes back, and most of the time it's not a nagging pain, but rather a constant pressure that limits my movement.”

Marton Fucsovics and Benoit Paire can play on grass and are possible options, while Flo Mayer can too, and I wouldn’t rule any of those three out, even though Mayer is retiring soon.

At home in Germany on grass he might still be a threat, but Kohlschreiber looks the one that has a fine chance with doubts over the likes of Raonic, Berdych and Pouille.

Conclusion

There are plenty in with chances at both venues in this opening week of the grass swing, but I think 16-1 on Medvedev is not a bad price given his draw and ability level on grass.

He should have plenty left in the tank after an unsuccessful clay swing, while Kohlschreiber almost always goes well in Germany (and Austria) and has a draw that could see him go far on home soil again.

Best Bets

1 point each way Medvedev to win Rosmalen at 17.0
1 point win Kohlschreiber to win Stuttgart at 11.0


 


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Sean Calvert
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