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  • Chris Sobey

Tennis


Roger Federer continues to amaze this time by winning a record tenth Halle title against the unseeded Belgian Goffin (Advised EW @ 28/1) yesterday 7-6 6-1, which is perfect preparation for going for a shot at winning a record tenth Wimbledon title starting a week today. The Queen’s title was also won by a 37-year-old veteran, Spaniard Lopez, who has been producing some of the best tennis of his career in the latter years, which includes two Queens titles in the last three.

At last weeks ATP and WTA Tour grass tournaments the top five seeds performed better than the previous week mainly due to top seed Federer winning Halle, second seed Barty winning Birmingham and third seed Bencic reaching the final at Mallorca and the system just made a marginal profit this week.

As one of next week’s two grass court tournaments starts today at Antalya, Turkey i’m providing my weekly article today as well as an updated repeat tomorrow, which will include an update on my Eastbourne selections prices, who won this week’s grass tournament winners at Queens and Halle and an update on how the top five seeds got on at this week’s ATP & WTA tournaments.

On to next week’s ATP action and there are two ATP 250 events at Eastbourne and Antalya, Turkey before the big one the third Grand Slam of the season Wimbledon the following week. I’ll start by analysing and previewing Eastbourne first and the top two seeds don’t have a great record over the last decade.

The top-seed has won only won one of the last ten titles (Djokovic 2017) and they were a losing finalist only once during this period (F. Lopez 2014), which does not bode well for top-seed Pella’s chances this week. The second seed has only won one of the last ten titles (Tursunov 2009) and they were a losing finalist three times during this period (last Monfils 2017), which does not bode well for second seed Djere’s chances this week.

Seeded players from three to eight have a strong record at Eastbourne over the last decade and a player seeded no higher than eight won six of the last ten titles (Last Djokovic 2017). Also, a player seeded no higher than twelve was a losing finalist in eight of the last ten finals (last Monfils 2017). Unseeded players have experienced mixed success at this tournament over the last decade winning four of the last ten titles (last M. Zverev 2018) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (Last Lacko 2018).

From a betting perspective, past statistics suggest siding with a seeded player from three to eight who has some recent and/or long-term proven form on grass and I’ll also consider and include an unseeded player or two in the betting strategy. From the top half of the draw, eighth seed Albot (50/1) from Moldova has been in good form on quicker surfaces this year winning his first ATP Title at Delray Beach on hard courts in the USA.

He showed he can handle grass by beating Aussie veteran Ebden who is a proven performer on grass at Halle last week and he came close to beating one of my main Halle outright selections Goffin (advised 28/1) earlier this week and Goffin has franked his ability as at the time of writing Goffin had reached the Halle final.

He Faces a tricky opener against Britain’s Dan Evans who has been in great form on the Challenger circuit on grass winning the two tournaments in the build up to Queens Surbiton and Nottingham and at the time of writing he was still contesting the doubles at Queens but Albot won their only encounter on the ATP Tour on quicker hard courts and he should be a bit fresher than Evans having only played two competitive matches on grass this week, which will hopefully give him a competitive edge.

There’s one unseeded player from the top half of the draw who could spring a surprise at decent odds this week, French veteran Chardy (33/1) as he played well in his first grass court tournament of the season at Queens earlier this week when he should have beaten top-seed Tsitsipas in the second round after having match points but lost it on a third set tiebreak.

If he can build and improve on that form this week, he should be a lively outsider. British number one Edmunds would have been of interest if he was in form and fit but with neither being the case, I’m happy to oppose him this week. From the bottom half of the draw sixth French veteran, Simon would have been of interest but at the time of writing, he was due to contest the Queens final against Lopez as mentioned earlier and a result I think he would find it too difficult to reach back-to-back finals.

American veteran, Sam Querrey (25/1) who is unseeded usually performs well on quicker surfaces and has form on grass having won the ATP 500 Queens back in 2010, he reached two ATP 250 grass finals at Nottingham in 2015 and Newport back in 2009. There’s a question mark over is fitness having not played since reaching the semi-finals at Houston on clay back in April but it’s unlikely he would play if he wasn’t fully fit and a reproduction of his best grass form should see him go close to winning a second career grass title next weekend.

Antalya is a new grass tournament that commenced in 2017 and defending champion and fifth seed Dzumhur and 2018 finalist and third seed Mannarino both line up again for a shot at winning this year’s title. As Antalya is a new tournament there is not enough historical statistical data relating to past winners and finalists to help analyse the draw, so I will just highlight a couple of tournament selections based on current and/or past grass form and value.

Third seed Aussie Thompson (Win @ 8/1) is on an upwards curve this season and he lost the s-Hertogenbosch grass final in the Netherlands a fortnight ago against second seed Mannarino and if Thompson produces that level of form again this week he should go close to winning the title.


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