Tennis - Weekly Preview
No joy for my outright selections last week but we got a fairly good run for our money with Herbert, Benneteau and Fritz all reaching the quarter-finals of their respective tournaments. It’s another busy week on the ATP Tour with three tournaments, two of which are ATP 500 hard court events at Dubai and Acapulco and the other is the final clay court tournament of the Golden Swing at Sao Paulo. Starting with Dubai and defending champion Andy Murray won’t be defending his title as he’s still recovering from hip surgery. There’s only one top ten player in the field, top seed Dimitrov and second seed Pouille, who was due to contest the Marseille final at the time of writing, is the next highest ranked player at eighteen.
The top two seeds have dominated the title over the last decade winning eight between them and the top-seed has won three titles in this period (last Murray 2017) and they were a losing finalist once in this period (2015 Djokovic). The second seed has the best record at Dubai winning five of the last ten titles (last Wawrinka 2016), but they were never a losing finalist in this period. Seeded players in general have a very good record at Dubai and a player seeded no higher than six has won the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than seven was a losing finalist seven times in this period (last Djokovic 2015).
Sao Paulo has not attracted any top 10 players this year, but has attracted a competitive field with a handful of clay court tournament winners like defending champion and third seed Cuevas, top seed Ramos-Vinolas, second seed Fognini and fourth seed Monfils. The top seed has performed fairly well at Sao Paulo over the last decade, winning four of the last ten titles (last Nadal 2013) and they were a losing finalist twice in this period (last 2010). The second seed has a poor record at Sao Paolo winning only two of the last ten titles (last Robredo 2009) and they were never a losing finalist in this period.
Seeded players in general have performed well over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than five won nine of the last ten titles (last Cuevas 2017) and they were a losing finalist four times during this period (last Ramos-Vinolas 2017). Unseeded players have not done well at this event in terms of winning titles over the last decade with just one win in 2014, but they were a losing finalists six-times during period. Finally, Acapulco is a fairly new tournament, which has been running for four seasons now and it’s attracted a top-class field with four top-ten players taking part, who are top seed Nadal, second seed Alexander Zverev, third-seed Thiem and fourth seed Sock.
I won’t be advising any outright selections this week and, from a match betting perspective, I’d consider opposing the players who contested last week’s finals and are taking part this week, who are Pouille and Khachanov at Dubai and Verdasco and Gojowzcyk at Acapulco.