A great start to the 2018 European clay court season for followers of my outright tennis advice. At Marrakech I advised Andujar (advised 66/1 best price 80/1) and he defeated British number one Kyle Edmund, who was contesting his first ATP final, in straight sets (6-2, 6-2). At Houston I went one better by advising both finalists! Sandgren (advised 40/1) defeated defending champion Johnson (advised 25/1) in straight sets although both sets went to a tie break. I will confirm the total level stakes profit in due course.
On to this week’s ATP tennis action and the European clay court swing moves on to the first Masters 1000 Series on the surface at Monte Carlo and the King of clay and defending champion Nadal returns as the top-seed and will attempt to win a mesmerising and unprecedented eleventh crown this week. Two-time Monte Carlo winner (2013 & 2015) and ninth seed this week Djokovic lines up this week as he continues his return from injury and he has reunited with long-time coach Marian Vajda after dispensing with the services of Agassi and Stepanek recently.
The past statistics for Monte Carlo point towards a player seeded five or below winning this year’s title as they’ve won the last ten titles between them, and a player seeded no higher than fifteen was a losing finalist during this period. The top-two seeds have performed well over the last decade and the top-seed has won three of the last ten titles (last Djokovic 2015) and they were a losing finalist four times during this period (last Djokovic 2013). The Second seed has won three of the last ten titles (last Nadal 2012) and they were never a losing finalist during this period.
On paper Nadal has been handed a tough draw with the likes of fourth seed Dimitrov, fifth seed Thiem, sixth seed Goffin and ninth seed Djokovic, but the form of this group of players has not been great so far this year and with Nadal looking fit and healthy again and back on his most dominant surface he looks more than capable of defending his title again this year, which his odds reflect. From the bottom half of the draw third seed Alexander Zverev stands out as a potential finalist as he’s got a strong record on clay having already won two titles on the surface including the Rome Masters 1000 Series last year. However, he will need to be at his absolute best if he’s going to make the final as there’s several seeded players like second seed Cilic, seventh seed Pouille, tenth seed Schwartzman and fourteenth seed Raonic, who on their day can beat the young German star.
From a betting perspective there’s nothing that appeals to me for the outright market and at the time of writing the Quarter winner markets were not available, so I’ll keep my powder dry this week and just focus on doing some first round match bets. Krajonovic (1.18) faces veteran Lorenzi in the first round and it could prove profitable to oppose Krajonovic as Lorenzi leads the head-to-head 2-1 and all three matches were on clay. Tenth seed Schwartzman is worth opposing for his first-round encounter against compatriot Pella as he leads the head-to-head 4-0 and all the matches were on clay. Finally, Edmunds is worth opposing for his first-round match against Dolgopolov as the Ukranian leads the head-to-head 2-0, but I only advise opposing Edmunds if he wins the title at Marrakech today.