Three exciting ATP tournaments await us in Week 31 of this year’s tennis season, with the event in Hamburg being the obvious highlight.
The Spanish legend, Rafael Nadal, is the number one favourite to win the clay court tournament in Hamburg and it is quite natural that most punters will flock to back him despite the fairly short odds, but those of us who have been following Nadal in recent months do know that he’s rather vulnerable these days. There’s the mental thing of having to face him on clay that gives him a decent head-start against many players, but, if you step away and look only at the quality of his game, he’s just nowhere near his best that has allowed him to win the French Open on so many occasions.
With that, we think that Fabio Fognini is the shrewdest bet of them all. He’s won this tournament before and he’s also already beaten Nadal on clay in this season, so, if he gets his act together, he will be a serious contender for the title and one we’re happy to back at a decent price. As far as the first round is concerned, Gulbis is definitely worth a shot against Monaco at odds against in the battle of two out-of-form players.
John Isner, the world’s number eighteen, will be looking to complete a tournament hat-trick in Atlanta and, well, we think that he has a very good shot at doing that. He feels at home in this event, he’s been pretty solid throughout the entire season, and his draw doesn’t look particularly tricky either with Jack Sock being the toughest possible opponent before the finals, so all the right ingredients for an Isner win do indeed seem to be there.
In the first round, we rather fancy Gilles Muller to defeat the struggling Donald Young, who’s on an absolutely dreadful run at the moment and who doesn’t have enough defensive capabilities to deal with Muller’s giant serve. Muller usually follows that with a big shot or a volley and it’s hard to believe that the American will be able to get a lot of those shots back into play.
This year’s tournament in Gstaad will have to do without Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, but we should nonetheless get to see some cracking matches. David Goffin, the number one seed, looked injured in the last match he’s played, so he might not be the greatest bet in what feels like a pretty open field. Considering that, Pablo Andujar, the defending champion that’s already produced some stunning performances on clay in the current season, looks worth a bet to us at the current odds.
Those of you who are looking for a piece of the first round action can certainly consider backing Mikhail Youzhny against Pablo Carreno-Busta, albeit with a somewhat smallish stake due to the Russian’s awful form. That said, the Gstaad conditions shouldn’t be a good fit for the Spaniard, who tends to excel whenever the clay is as slow as humanly possible. That has never been a fitting description for the Gstaad clay, which offers something for the bigger hitters – and that could give Youzhny a nice foundation to build on in the first round.
Fabio Fognini to win ATP Hamburg 2015 (Best Odds: 15.00 @ Unibet)
Ernests Gulbis to beat Juan Monaco (Best Odds: 2.55 @ Pinnacle)
John Isner to win ATP Atlanta 2015 (Best Odds: 3.50 @ Bet365)
Gilles Muller to beat Donald Young (Best Odds: 1.71 @ Pinnacle)
Pablo Andujar to win ATP Gstaad 2015 (Best Odds: 7.00 @ Bet365)
Mikhail Youzhny to beat Pablo Carreno-Busta (Best Odds: 3.40 @ Bet365)