- Chris Sobey
This week’s ATP and WTA tennis action at Stuttgart, 's-Hertogenbosch and Nottingham is now down to the quarter final stage and if you remembered to follow my usually advice at this time of the year, which is laying the top-five seeds at each grass court tournament, you will have already guaranteed a nice profit on the week.
At Stuttgart I predicted top-seed Federer (1.08) would struggle in his opening match, which he did, losing from a set up 3-6 7-6 6-4 against veteran Haas, who is one of only a handful of players older than him aged 39. Second seed Dimitrov (1.3) also lost as advised on Wednesday against Janowicz and fourth seed Pouille was extremely fortunate to reach the quarter finals against Struff winning the third set tiebreak 10-8.
Third seed Berdych has made it through to the quarter finals winning his only match so far impressively against Tomic 7-6 6-2. He faces a potentially tougher encounter today against veteran Lopez, the head-to-head stands at 6-6 and Lopez won their only encounter on grass and at the prices i’d prefer to be layer than a backer of Berdych. Fifth seed Johnson (20/1) who I advised pre-tournament was very unfortunate not to make it to this stage losing against Kohlschreiber 8-6 on a third set tiebreak, and given the German’s record on home soil it’s no surprise he’s now the tournament second favourite (5/1) behind Berdych.
At 's-Hertogenbosch four of the five top-seeds are still in action, Cilic, Zverev, Karlovic and Muller with fifth seed Darcis the only one not making it to the quarter finals. Top-seed Cilic struggled to beat veteran Tipsarevic yesterday and faces one of my outright selections qualifier Pospisil (40/1) today. Given the record of the top-seed five seeds at the grass court tournament’s since 2010 its worth opposing Cilic (1.25) from a match betting or trading perspective if you haven’t backed Pospisil for the tournament.
Second seed Zverev (1.14) is also worth opposing against the experienced veteran and Lucky Loser Benneteau today, given the record of the top-five seeds at 's-Hertogenbosch since 2010 and the uncanny habit of Lucky Losers doing well in tournaments, especially causing upsets. Third seed Karlovic faces my other outright selection qualifier Medvedev (50/1) for the first time today and the 38 year old Croatian Karlovic (1.4) is worth opposing, as Medvedev has great momentum having won four matches now and he definitely has the talent and game to beat Karlovic, but only if you haven’t backed him outright for the tournament.
Fourth seed and 2016 finalist Muller faces eighth seed Bedene today and while it would be great for the British number four to cause the upset it’s unlikely given Muller’s record on grass compared to Bedene’s.
On the WTA Tour at Nottingham top-seed and world number eight Konta is still in action and faces Australian Barty today for the first time. Second seed Sevastova (1.6) lost her first round match against McHale, as did third seed Davis (1.3) who lost against Nara from Japan. Fourth seed Riske lost yesterday against Rybarikova and fifth seed Safarova had to come from a set down and just scraped through to the quarter finals last evening on a third set tiebreak 9-7 against Su-Wei Hsieh.
At's - Hertogenbosch top-seed Cibulkova (1.2) crashed out in the first round against qualifier Lottner as did third seed Bertens (1.45) and fourth seed Vandewhege (1.26) against Petkovic and Witthoeft respectively. Second seed Mladenovic is still in action and faces seventh seed Tsurenko today. The Ukranian leads the head-to-head 4-1 and its worth opposing Mladenovic (1.56) based on this information and also because of the poor record of the top-five seeds at Grass Court tournaments since 2010. Fifth seed Konjuh is still in action and faces Rodina for the first time today. It’s worth opposing Konjuh (1.46) based on this week’s results and form and the record of the top-five seeds at grass court tournaments since 2010.