After hitting the crossbar with Kohlschreiber (12/1) at Stuttgart and Querrey (10/1) at s-Hertogenbosch last week I proved again why following my Tennis blog is a must if you are serious about increasing your betting profits. I advised teenager Alexander Zverev (40/1) at Halle on Monday and the German future star repaid my faith in him by reaching today’s final where he will face veteran compatriot Florian Mayer, who reached his first ATP Final in five years.
Halle was Zverev’s second ATP final this year (previous lost to Thiem at Nice), and on route he dethroned eight time Halle Champion Federer in Saturday’s semi-final 7-6 5-7 6-3. Zverev has now firmly established himself as the best teenager on the ATP Tour ahead of Borna Coric and I predict he will become a future top-two player and Masters Series and Grand Slam winner over the next 5-6 years, barring any serious injury problems.
I also advised Andy Murray (6/4) on Monday to win an unprecedented fifth Queen’s title and third in a row. He faces arguably his sternest test so far this week, third seed Milos Raonic, who now has the great John McEnroe in his team. This will be a good test for both players on the eve of Wimbledon and should provide us with a good insight in to their chances of winning the third Grand Slam of the season. They have never met on grass before, Murray leads the head-to-head 5-3, has won the last four and Raonic’s last win came back in 2014.
Before I move on to this week’s ATP action it’s worth rounding up how poorly the top-five seeds (barring Andy Murray) did at both ATP and WTA grass tournaments this week based on the Profit/Loss tables I posted the last two Monday’s.
At Queen’s second seed Stan Wawrinka (1.3) lost his first match as did fourth seed Gasquet (1.18) while fifth seed Cilic lost at the semi-final stage against Murray. At Halle top-seed Federer (1.28) lost at the semi-final stage, second seed Nishikori withdrew injured (rib) at the second round stage, third seed Thiem (1.2) lost at the semi-final stage, fourth seed Berdych (1.33) lost his first match and fifth seed Goffin lost to Federer at the quarter-final stage.
On the WTA Tour at Mallorca top-seed Muguruza (1.14) lost her first match, second seed Jankovic (1.55) lost at the semi-final stage, third seed Ivanovic (1.59) lost at the quarter-final stage, fourth seed Mladenovic (2.10) lost her first match and fifth seed Putinseva (2.00) also lost her first match. At Birmingham top-seed Radwanska (1.36) lost her first match, second seed Kerber (1.25) lost at the quarter-final stage, third seed withdrew, fourth seed Bencic (1.36) and fifth seed Kvitova (1.27) lot at the second round stage.
In relation to the performance of the top-five seeds over the last six seasons at this week’s ATP and WTA Tournaments at Nottingham and Eastbourne the below tables illustrates the combined Profit/Loss for each year and overall total for all such players.
The Profit and Loss figures are to a level 1 unit stake and going back 6 years ie 2010-2015. Profit and loss returns have been omitted for matches where the top-five seeds played each other, for walkovers and in-play retirements.
On to this week’s ATP tournament action and there is one remaining tournament to analyse before the third Grand Slam of the 2016 season gets underway at SW19 next week. Over the last decade Eastbourne and now Nottingham has been won by big servers and proven grass court specialists like Gasquet, Karlovic, Llodra, Roddick, Lopez and Querrey reached the final in 2015.
The top two seeds traditionally have a poor record at this event; the top seed winning none of the last ten titles and they were a losing finalist once in this period (last 2014) and the second seed has won one of the last ten titles (last 2009) and they were a losing finalist once in this period (last 2013).
Seeded players in general have performed well over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than eight won five of the last ten titles (last 2014) and a player seeded no higher than twelve was a losing finalist eight times in this period, including the last six. Unseeded players have also performed well at this event winning over the last decade winning five of the last ten titles (last 2015) and were a losing finalist twice in this period (last 2009), but none of the last six.
The statistics don’t bode well for top-seed Kevin Anderson or second seed Pablo Cueva this week, but with seeded players no higher than twelve having a good record over the last decade it’s worthwhile highlighting one or two players who could challenge for the title this week.
Fifth seed and 2015 finalist Sam Querrey (9/1) has performed well on grass again this season, reaching the semi-finals at s-Hertogenbosch a fortnight ago, where he just lost to eventual winner Mahut (6-7 6-4 6-4) and has to be respected again this week. However, with the top-five seeds not having the best of records at this event over the last six years I will look elsewhere in the draw for a potential winner/finalist.
Sixth seed Steve Johnson performed well at Queen’s last week reaching the quarter-final. He defeated fourth seed Gasquet, Mannarino and pushed fifth seed Cilic close losing in three sets and if he can continue where he left off last week he has a good chance of reaching the final this week. Eighth seed Gilles Muller (11/1) has been in good form on grass this summer reaching the final at s-Hertogenbosch and the quarter-finals at Queens and if he can repeat that level of form this week he should go close to winning the title this week.
Finally, with unseeded players having a good record at this event it’s worth highlighting a player who can potentially reach the final this week. Home hope Kyle Edmunds (40/1) looked in great form last week beating eight seed Gilles Simon and pushing Andy Murray close for two sets in the quarter-finals. He’s well at home on English grass courts and with a few matches under his belt on the surface he could spring a surprise at decent odds.