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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


Before I move on to providing my analysis of this week’s ATP Tennis action at Queens and Halle I will give a quick rundown of last week’s action and an update on how the top five seeds got on at the ATP and WTA tournaments last week. Reigning Stuttgart champion and new World number one Roger Federer got his Wimbledon preparations off to the perfect start when he defended his title in assured fashion last week. On route to the title he defeated two of the games top younger players, fourth seed Kyrgios (advised 10/1) 6-7 6-2 7-6 in the semi-finals and seventh seed Raonic 6-4 7-6 in the final yesterday. The win was Federer’s ninety eighth professional title and it was made even more impressive because he had not played at this level since losing too Kokkinakis in the first round at the Miami Masters 1000 Series back in March.

At s-Hertogenbosch the final was an all French affair between second seed Gasquet and the unseeded Chardy (advised 14/1). The second seed became the fourth Frenchman to win the title over the last decade and he extended his winning head-to-head record against his compatriot too 5-1.

On the ATP Tour It was a good week for the top-five seeds at Stuttgart and at s-Hertogenbosch. At Stuttgart the top-seed won the title, the seventh seed made the final and the second and fourth seeds both reached the semi-finals. At s-Hertogenbosch the second seed won the title and the fifth seed made the semi-finals. On the WTA Tour at s-Hertogenbosch the top five seeds struggled and only top-seed Vandewhege made the semi-finals. However, the top five seeds at Nottingham did better and the top seed, third seed and fourth seed made the semi-finals and the top seed won the tournament and the fourth seed was a losing finalist.

If you had opposed all the top five seeds (no bet when two top five seeds play each other) at last weeks ATP and WTA Tour tournaments it would have yielded a 2.43 point profit to a level one point stake, which is about fourteen points down on last year.

Moving on to this weeks ATP Tour action and at Queens the news in the build up to the tournament has been dominated by the return of five time champion Andy Murray, who has been out injured since losing to Sam Querrey in the quarter finals at Wimbledon last year. Murray has been handed a tough opener against Stuttgart semi-finalist Kyrgios, who is also unseeded this week. Murray does lead the head-to-head 5-0 but it would be a surprise if he wins on his return because he has not played competitively since last July and he’s bound to be rusty. In addition to former world number one Djokovic receiving a Wild Card the tournament also handed them to three British players. Cameron Norrie, Jay Clarke and Dan Evans, who is back on the main ATP Tour after he served his drugs ban, all received Wild Cards and will along with seventh seed Edmunds and Murray they will hopefully make it a good week for British men’s tennis.

The top-seed has won five of the last ten titles at Queens (last Murray 2016), but they were never a losing finalist during this period, which bodes well for 2012 winner and 2017 finalist Cilics’ chances this week. The second seed does not have a great record at Queens having won only one of the last ten titles (last Murray 2011) and they were a losing finalist only once during this period (last 2008), which does not bode well for 2014 winner Dimitrov’s chances this week. Seeded players in general have a great record at Queens and a player seeded no higher than six won eight of the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than ten was a losing finalist in nine of the last ten finals (last Raonic 2016). Unseeded players don’t have a good record at Queens over the last decade having won only two of the last ten titles (last Lopez 2017) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Anderson 2015).

From a tournament winner betting perspective past statistics suggest top-seed Cilic (6/1) has a good chance of going one better than last season by reaching his fourth Queens final since 2013 and winning a second title. Third seed Anderson (10/1) who resides in the bottom half of the draw does appeal from a betting perspective as his big serve and aggressive style of player are very effective on grass and he has previous form at Queens having reached the final back in 2015.

Over at Halle nine time champion and top-seed Federer will aim to win an unprecedented tenth title and if he continues to play like he did at Stuttgart last week it’s going to be difficult to beat him. The top-seed has won four of the last ten titles (last Federer 2017) and they were a losing finalist only once during this period (last Federer 2010). The second seed does not have a great record at Halle, having only won one of the last ten titles (Last Federer 2014) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (Last Federer 2012) however, 2016 2017 finalist and second seed Zverev can buck this trend if he has fully recovered from his French Open disappointment and injury.

Seeded players in general have a good record at Halle over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than eight won six of the last ten titles and a player seeded no higher than eight was a losing finalist four times during this period. Unseeded players have also performed well over the last decade winning four of the last ten titles (Last Mayer 2016) and they were a losing finalist six times during this period (Last Thiem 2016).

From a tournament betting perspective, it’s hard to oppose Federer on current form and because he’s received a favourable draw however, third seed Thiem (16/1) could spring a surprise if he’s fully recovered from his French Open exploits, as he’s the only player from the top-half of the draw to have beaten Federer before, including on grass, at the semi-final stage at Stuttgart back in 2016. I also like the unseeded Khachanov’s (28/1) chances this week. He looked in good form at the French Open, he has form on grass and at Halle having reached the semi-finals last year and he has beaten some of the main dangers from the bottom half of the draw like seventh seed Nishikori and fourth seed Bautista Agut before.

From a first round match betting perspective at Queens and Halle there’s a few first round matches I like that will hopefully return a profit. At Queens its worth opposing Wawrinka against Wild Card Cameron Norrie (6/5) as the young Brit is playing well and will be at home on grass while grass is not Wawrinka’s favourite surface and he still looked injured and not 100% fit at the French Open recently. At Halle qualifier Kudla (price tbc) should beat qualifier Lacko as he leads the head-to-head 3-2 and the last win was two weeks ago at the Surbiton grass Challenger in straight sets.

Tournament selections

Queens

Cilic Win (6/1)

Anderson Win (10/1)

Halle

Thiem Win (16/1)

Khachanov (28/1)

Match betting selections

Queens

Norrie (6/5) to beat Wawrinka

Kudla (price tbc) to beat Lacko


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