Rush In To Back Kremlin Cup Favourite
Most of the world’s top male tennis players take a break from the action this week, as the action focuses on two ATP 250 Series events in the Stockholm Open and the Kremlin Cup.
Despite only being an ATP 250, the Stockholm Open has a long history that stretches back to 1969, and it is played on the indoor hardcourts of the Royal Lawn Tennis Club of Stocholm. Tomas Berdych has won it 3 times in the last 4 years but, in his absence this year, it is Juan Martin Del Potro who heads the market at 4/1. Second favourite is 2011 runner-up Gael Monfils, with Grigor Dimitrov 13/2 and Alexander Zverev 15/2 are the only other players priced-up in single-figures.
Monfils is the number one seed, and holds a 1-0 record over likely quarter-final opponent Jack Sock, whilst the second-quarter may well go the way of Steve Johnson, who beat improving teenager Alexander Zverev on the only occasion they met this season. Monfils and Johnson haven’t met before, however Monfils has been playing the better of the two recently.
John Isner looks to have drawn the short straw in having to play the unseeded favourite Del Potro this week, as Del Potro beat Isner the first 4 times they met. He has the lost 2 matches between them, however that was when he was out of form and he’s in much the better form of the two at the moment. Del Potro also holds a 3-1 lead over likely quarter-final opponent Ivo Karlovic. Meanwhile Dimitrov, who won here in 2013 and was runner-up in 2014, holds a 6-1 lead over possible quarter-final foe Baghdatis, but has never beaten Del Potro in 3 attempts. Del Potro also holds a 2-0 lead over Monfils, and looks the best bet to emerge as the champion.
Del Potro @ 4/1
The Kremlin Cup was the first ATP Tournament to be played in Russia, and it is still played on the indoor hardcourts of the Olympic Stadium. Marin Cilic has beaten Roberto Bautista-Agut in the final for the last two years but, in the absence of Cilic, it is the latter who heads the market at 7/2, with local hero Kuznetsov, and 2010 winner Troicki next best at 7/1.
Favourite Bautista-Agut has a potentially trick quarter-final opponent in Carreno-Busta, but does just edge him 3-2 in their meetings so far, whilst he holds a 3-0 lead over possible semi-final opponent Troicki.
Kohlschreiber has been out of form of late, but looks to have a decent chance of making the final as he hasn’t been beaten by obvious rivals Kuznetsov or Ramos-Vinolas. However, Bautista-Agut has to be the bet, as he’s shown good recent form, good tournament form, and holds a 2-1 head-to-head lead over Kohlschreiber.
Bautista Agut @ 7/2