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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


It was a good week for the Next Gen and younger players on the ATP Tour last week as Tsitsipas (advised 7/1) won his first ATP Tour title at Stockholm who beat a resurgent veteran Gulbis who came through qualifying. At Moscow Russian fans were treated to a top performance from their number one player third seed Khachanov who cruised to the title this week, and he thrashed Mannarino in the final 6-2 6-2. This was Khachanovs third ATP Title of his career, including second indoors, and there’s sure plenty more to come the better he becomes. Finally, British number one Kyle Edmunds fought an epic battle in the Antwerp final against veteran Monfils yesterday and he made big strides mentally winning 7-5 on a third set tie break to land a first well overdue ATP 250 title at Antwerp.

On to this week’s action and there are two ATP 500 indoor tournaments in Basel, Switzerland and Vienna, Austria before the last ATP Masters 1000 Series of the season at Paris next week. Seven time Basel Winner and defending champion Roger Federer returns as the top-seed this week and will attempt to win a record eighth home title. History is on Federer’s side as well as the top-seed has won six of the last ten titles at Basel (last Federer 2017) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Federer 2012).

The second seed does not have a great record at Basel winning two of the last ten titles (last 2012) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period, which does not bode well for second seed Sascha Zverev’s chances this week. Seeded players in general have a strong record at Basel and a player seeded no higher than four won the last ten titles (last Federer 2017) and a player seeded no higher than seven was a losing finalist nine times during this period (last Nadal 2015). In fact, only four active players won the last ten titles Federer (6), Cilic (1), Del Potro (2) and Djokovic (1). Unseeded players don’t have a good record at Basel and they have never won the title over the last decade and an unseeded player was a losing finalist once during this period (last Nishikori Wild Card 2011).

From a betting perspective past statistics suggest siding with a seeded player no higher than four to win the title as they’ve won the last ten and possibly a higher seed to reach the final given their good record at Basel over the last decade. Top-seed Federer (13/5) and third seed Cilic (8/1) are the only two previous winners lining-up this year and given past statistics they are both worth backing to win the title this year, especially as there in opposite halves of the draw.

At Vienna 2017 winner Pouille does not return to defend his title due to injury and top-seed Thiem, who is still chasing a place in this season’s year end finals at London. The statistics are on his side as the top-seed has won five of the last ten titles at Vienna (last Murray 2016) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Ferrer 2014), which bodes well for Thiem’s chances this week especially as he’s playing on home soil. The second seed has not performed as well at Vienna over the last decade winning two of the last ten titles (last Murray 2014) and they were a losing finalist once during this period (2011), which does not bode well for Andersons chances this week.

Seeded players in general have a good record at Vienna and a player seeded no higher than seven won eight of the last ten titles (last Murray 2016) and seeded player no higher than eight was a losing finalist six times during this period (last Tsonga 2016). Unseeded players have experienced some success at Vienna over the last decade having won two of the last ten titles (last Pouille 2017) and an unseeded player was a losing finalist four times during this period (last Johnson 2015).

From a betting perspective past statistics suggest siding with the top-seed as they’ve won six of the last ten title and/or a player seeded no higher than eight as a potential finalist. Its also worth putting up an unseeded player or two as at least one has made six of the last ten finals. Home hope Thiem (8/1) has been playing well enough to challenge for the title this week especially as many of the potential challengers aren’t peaking currently of the season. Unseeded players that could go well this week are Raonic (16/1), Schwartzman (50/1) and Johnson as Johnson has good indoor form, he play’s aggressive tennis and the quicker conditions should give serve some extra zip as well and Schwartzman has a good record indoors as his semi-final run at Antwerp last week proves.

Selections:

Basel

Federer Win (13/5)

Cilic Win (8/1)

Vienna

Thiem Win (8/1)

Schwartzman EW (50/1)

Johnson Win EW (125/1)


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