Close but no cigar again for my outright tennis selections last week as eighth seed Sock (20/1) and second seed Nishikori (9/1) both failed to win their respective semi-finals against 15th seed Anderson and 5th seed Zverev at Washington while Sousa (22/1) lost the Kitzbuhel final against Kohlschreiber. It was another good week for the experienced veterans of the ATP Tour again with Kohlschreiber aged 33 winning Kitzbuhel, Querrey aged 29 winning the title in Los Cabos and Anderson aged 31 reached the final at Washington.
On to this week’s ATP Tennis action and the tour visits Montreal, Canada for the Rogers Cup Masters 1000 series. The tournament has been dominated by the world’s elite players over the last decade with Djokovic (4), Murray (3) and Nadal (2) winning nine of the last ten titles and Tsonga seeded 13 was the only player to break this dominance during this period.
The quality of this year’s event has been diminished by the withdrawal of world number one Murray, defending champion Djokovic and world number four Wawrinka for the first time in many years. As a result new world number two, Australian Open finalist and French Open champion Rafa Nadal is the top-seed while Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion and world number three Roger Federer is the second seed and tournament favourite. With Murray withdrawing Nadal can regain the world number one spot for the first time since June 2014 if he reaches the semi-finals or better however, Federer cannot this week, although winning the event or reaching the final would put him in prime position over the next couple of months.
The top seed has a good record at the Rogers Cup winning three of the last ten titles (last time Djokovic 2016) and they were a losing finalist twice in this period (last Djokovic 2015), which bodes well for Nadal’s chances this week. The second seed has won two of the last ten titles (last Murray 2015) and they were a losing finalist once in this period (last Federer 2014), which doesn’t bode to well for Federer’ chances this week. Seeded players in general have a strong record at the Rogers Cup and a player seeded no higher than 13 has won the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than four has won nine of the last ten titles. A player seeded no higher than 14 was a losing finalist in nine of the last ten finals (last Nishikori 2016) and only one unseeded player has reached the final over the last decade (2008).
It’s hard to look past Nadal and Federer on current form with only fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who won the Washington ATP 500 title last week, showing any world class form of late. I’ll keep my powder dry from a tournament betting perspective this week as neither Nadal nor Federer appeal at the prices and there are no first round matches that stand out from a betting or trading perspective.