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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


Before I move on to providing my analysis for this week’s ATP Tennis action at Queens, London and Halle, Germany, which are both, ATP 500 events, Ill provide a quick recap of last weeks tournaments at Stuttgart, Germany and s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands and how the top five seeds performed at all ATP and WTA grass court main tournaments.

It was a case of close but no cigar for my tournament tips at Stuttgart and s-Hertogenbosh as sixth seed Raonic (advised 10/1) retired injured before his semi-final match against seventh seed NextGen teenage star Canadian Auger Aliasimme. At s-Hertogenbosch Wild Card and second seed, Coric lost his semi-final from a set up and on a third set tiebreak against eventual winner the unseeded Frenchman Mannarino, who eventually won his first ATP title in his seventh attempt having lost the previous six.

Aliassime met rising Italian star the unseeded Berrettini in Sundays final, which was Aliasimme’s first main ATP Tour final and the unseeded Berrettini’s fourth on the ATP Tour. It was a surprise both layers reached their first grass court final as they had little experience on the surface especially Berrettini as all his previous form was on the red clay of Europe.

My ATP & WTA grass court top five seeds record how well the top five seeds perform at each ATP and WTA grass court tournaments leading up to the third Grand Slam of the season Wimbledon started last week and the profit and loss figures were impressive at all four tournaments.

At ATP Stuttgart if you had laid/opposed all of the top five seeds (except when a top five seed played each other and/or they were a main selection) it made an impressive return of 16.25 points profit to a level stake to best prices as the, likes of top seed A Zverev, Kachanov, Medvedev, Basilashvili and Monfils who was one of my tournament selections wo was classed as void, never progressed past the second round.

At s-Hertogenbosch, the top five seeds didn’t perform any better than at Stuttgart as the likes of top seed Tsitsipas, second seed Coric (void as main tournament winner bet), third seed De Minaur fourth seed Verdasco and fifth seed Goffin all lost at or before the second round stage. If you had laid or opposed all five top seeds (bar Coric) it would have returned approximately at 17-point level stake profit to best prices.

On the WTA at s-Hertogenbosch and Nottingham, my system highlighted further profits even though top-seed Bertens reached the s-Hertogenbosch final (lost to unseeded Riske) and top seed Garcia and second seed Vekic contested the Nottingham final which is void under the rules of my system. If you had laid/opposed all the top five seeds where it qualified it returned 12.4 points profit to a level stake and best prices and at Nottingham it returned a profit of 6.5 points to a level take and best prices.

Moving on to this week’s ATP Tour action and there are two premium ATP 500 tournaments at Queens, England and Halle Germany which are the penultimate tournaments before Wimbledon which commences in a fortnights time. I’ll start with analysing and previewing Queens and 2018 defending champion fifth seed Cilic who is playing his first grass court tournament of the season and having disappointed so far this season given his ranking and ability it’s hard to have any confidence backing him to defend his title this year.

Top seed, world number six Greek NextGen star is the highest ranked player in the field and will look to improve on his early exit at s-Hertogenbosch (lost to Jarry) last week. Second seed Anderson ranked eighth in the world returns to the ATP Tour for the first time since reaching the quarter finals at the Miami Masters 1000 Series back in March and missing the whole clay court swing, which means he can’t be supported with much confidence due to possible injury and little competitive match player over the last few months. Fourth seed Medvedev is the next highest ranked player in the draw, he’s on a four-match losing streak including losing his only match at Stuttgart last week.

At Queens, the top-seed has quite a good record winning five of the last ten titles (last Cilic 2018), but they were never a losing finalist during this period, which statistically give Tsitsipas a good chance of success this week. However, in my view, he can’t be backed with much confidence if you compare him to previous winners over the last decade who were all experienced proven winners on the surface whereas Tsitsipas understandably has little elite level winning form on the surface.

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 never a losing finalist only once during this period (last 2008), which does not bode well for Anderson’s chances this week. Seeded players in-general have a strong record at Queens and a player seeded no higher than six won eight of the last ten titles (last Cilic 2018) and a player seeded no higher than ten was a losing finalist in eight times over the last decade (last Cilic 2018).

Unseeded have experienced mixed success at Queens over the last decade winning two of the last ten titles (last Lopez 2017) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Djokovic 2018).

From a tournament winner betting perspective past statistics suggest siding with a player seeded from one to six, not including the second seed and there’s only one player who appeals is sixth seed Raonic (11/1). I’ll also side with one unseeded player who has the advantage of winning a competitive grass court Challenger title last week at Nottingham, Wild Card Dan Evans (40/1).

Over at Halle nine-time champion and top-seed Federer plays his first grass court tournament since reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros just over a week ago. Second seed and two-time Halle semi-finalist (2016 and 2017) Alexander Zverev will aim to improve on his early exit at Stuttgart last week when he was upset in his first match of the tournament against qualifier German veteran Brown.

Third seed and 2017 Halle semi-finalist Khachanov also crashed out early at Stuttgart last week as the second seed against eventual winner Berrettini. Defending champion and fourth seed Coric who lost a nail-biting semi-final at Stuttgart last week and will hope to go one better this week and defend his Halle title or at least reach the final. Finally, fifth seed veteran Monfils will aim to improve on his shock second round early exit at Stuttgart this week and at least match his semi-final run at Halle back in 2011.

The top seed has a strong record at Halle winning three of the last ten titles (last Federer 2017) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last Federer 2018), which bodes well for Federer’s chances this week. The second seed does not have a great record at Halle over the last decade 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).

Seeded players, in general, have performed well at Halle over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than eight won five of the last ten titles (last Federer 2017) and a player seeded no higher than four was a losing finalist five times during this period (last A Zverev 2017). Unseeded players also have a good record at Halle winning five of the last ten titles (last Coric 2018) and they were a losing finalist five times during this period (last A Zverev 2016).

From a tournament winner perspective, past statistics suggest siding with a player seeded from one to four as they’ve reached nine of the last ten finals and won four of the last ten titles. Unseeded players also must be taken seriously again this year having won five of the last ten titles and they were a losing finalist five times during this period.

Fourth seed and defending champion Coric (22/1) resides in the top half of the draw with Federer and as he had a good competitive warm up last week reaching the semi-finals at s-Hertogenbosch, this should give him a competitive advantage over his rivals as this is either their first match on grass this season and/or they performed poorly at last week’s grass court events.

From the bottom half of the draw, I’ll side with two unseeded players as they have a good record at Halle over the last decade. German Struff (28/1) is having his best year on tour to date and if he can build on his semi-final run at Stuttgart last week there’s no reason why he can’t go one better this week and reach his first ATP final. Finally, another unseeded player who caught my eye last week and hinted at a return to his best form reaching the quarter finals at s-Hertogenbosch is Goffin (28/1) who lost to eventual winner Mannarino in a close three set battle.


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