The ATP Tour continues its build-up to the US Open this week in North Carolina, where the hard-courts of the Wake Forest University host the ATP Winston Salem Open. This will be the sixth renewal of this ATP 250 Series event, and last year’s champion Kevin Anderson returns to defend his title.
The top-seed this week is Richard Gasquet, whilst the bookies have installed last year’s semi-finalist Steve Johnson as favourite, though I reckon we can get both players beaten.
Gasquet may not have played his likely first opponent Delbonis but, with Delbonis losing his last 6 games, Gasquet should progress. His next opponent may well be Ramos-Vinolas, who has won his last two matches against Lorenzi. Gasquet is then 4-1 against Ramos Vinolas though, with the latter having took at least a set in 4 of their 5 encounters, it wouldn’t be the biggest shock if Gasquet went out here.
Last year’s champion Anderson beat Kuznetsov in straight sets the only time they’ve met, and looks likely to meet Cuevas in the semi-final, as he has won his last 2 against Carreno-Busta. Anderson has then won both of his previous matches against Cuevas.
Sam Querrey could have a tricky opener against Troicki but, if he gets through that, he could well make it to the semi-finals, as he holds a 4-1 lead over possible quarter-final opponent Verdasco, who has won all 3 of his matches with tournament favourite Johnson. However, those 3 matches were all on clay. But, even if Johnson does progress, Querrey has beaten him the 3 previous times they’ve met.
This Quarter-final is expected to be fought out between Gilles and Baghdatis, who hold the recent upper-hand against Sousa and Bautista-Agut. However, which one makes it through to the semis is a difficult call, as they are 2-2 in previous hard-court matches.
Semi-Finals And Final
Anderson may trail Gasquet 4-3 in their hard-court head-to-heads, but he’s won their last 2, and has previous winning form here. Meanwhile, Querrey won his only match against Simon in the last 3 years. It could be an interesting final if the big-serving duo of Anderson and Querrey clash and, though Querrey leads Anderson 8-5, it looks worth backing them both.
Anderson Each-Way @ 9/1 (Betway) ½ odds 2 places
Querrey Each-Way @ 20/1 (Bet365, Betfred, Coral) ½ odds 2 places