Tennis Betting Tips: Three Top Picks To Back In Montreal

Tennis Betting Tips: Three Top Picks To Back In Montreal
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Sean Calvert's Tennis Tips:


The North American hard court summer swing continues in week 32, as the players head to Montreal in Canada, for the National Bank Open and betting sites are ready for the first serve of the tournament.

This Masters 1000 event has alternated between Toronto and Montreal for many years, but because of Covid-19 the men haven’t played here since 2019.

Also because of coronavirus (specifically because he refuses to vaccinate), Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is not allowed into the country to play, but three of the world’s top-five are expected in Montreal this week.

Washington And Los Cabos Debrief

The idea to get Emil Ruusuvuori - a 51.0 shot with tennis betting sites - to the latter stages of Washington DC was going very well when the Finn took down number two seed Hubert Hurkacz, but then we got no luck at all with the scheduling.

Ruusuvuori was a good favourite to beat Mikael Ymer and progress to the quarter-final, but he had to play in close to 40C heat on a day when others escaped it after the rain broke the heatwave later on.

We were also scuppered by the weather with Seb Korda, who was made to play twice in the space of half a day in the heat after a rain delay had stopped his last 16 match the previous day.

Korda had to come out and face the durable Ymer, who had a decent advantage of over 24 hours off before he faced Korda, so it’s fair to say we were very unlucky with the weather in DC.

In Los Cabos, Brandon Nakashima lost his 50/50 match with Miomir Kecmanovic, but in the end (as usual) there was nothing of interest for value-seekers, as market leaders Daniil Medvedev and Cam Norrie contested the final there.

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Conditions And Trends

The last time that the Rogers Cup (sorry, the National Bank Open) was played in Montreal for the men in 2019 it was played on a DecoTurf surface, and I’ve had it confirmed by Tennis Canada that it is still the same surface in 2022.

I’d assumed that it would have changed to the same Laykold one that was used in Toronto last year and is used in Cincy, Winston-Salem and the US Open, but apparently not.

So, I’d expect conditions to be on the quicker side of medium (depending on the weather), with the last two editions of Montreal averaging 79% holds and the last five editions have averaged 40% tie break matches.

Equally as important as the specific type of hard court they’re using is the weather and it’s set to be a pretty damp start, with rain expected in Montreal on Monday and Tuesday.

After that it’ll be around 25C for the rest of the week, so nothing like the searing heat that the players have been dealing with these past few weeks in places like Umag, Washington DC and Atlanta.

The last three champions here were Rafael Nadal (2019), Alexander Zverev (2017) and Andy Murray (2015), and you have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a surprise winner of Montreal - that man was Andrei Pavel.

Since Pavel’s win, the only man to have won the title in Montreal and not also been a major champion is Alexander Zverev, so it’s almost always gone the way of the elite players in Montreal, with few surprise finalists either.

Qualifiers have struggled in Montreal, as they do at most M1000 tournaments, with Anders Jarryd in 1983 the last man past the quarter-final stage here.

National Bank Open Montreal Odds
Thursday 11th August 2022
Unibet Bet365 Ladbrokes
 
% Chance
Nick Kyrgios 28.57%
--
3.50 3.40
Jannik Sinner 22.22%
--
4.50 4.50
Taylor Fritz 11.11%
--
8.50 9.00
Hubert Hurkacz 10.00%
--
10.00 8.50
Felix Auger-Aliassime 7.69%
--
13.00 13.00
Cameron Norrie 6.67%
--
15.00 15.00
Alex de Minaur 5.88%
--
15.00 17.00
Marin Cilic 5.26%
--
19.00 15.00
Casper Ruud 5.26%
--
19.00 17.00
Gael Monfils 4.76%
--
17.00 21.00
Bautista Agut Roberto 4.35%
--
23.00 23.00
Jack Draper 4.35%
--
23.00 23.00
Tommy Paul 3.85%
--
26.00 21.00
Daniel Evans 3.45%
--
29.00 26.00
Carreno Busta Pablo 2.44%
--
41.00 26.00
Albert Ramos-vinolas 0.99%
--
101.00 51.00
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National Bank Open Montreal - Draw

Roberto Bautista Agut

Top seed Daniil Medvedev arrives in Montreal as the defending Canada Masters champion from last year in Toronto and it’s hard to pick holes in his form in Canada: 13 wins and just three losses, with one title and another final.

He needed a final set tie break to beat Hubert Hurkacz in the quarters 12 months ago in Toronto though, and his opening match this time around after will almost certainly be against Nick Kyrgios.

If he wins that, Medvedev would then face either Alex De Minaur, Denis Shapovalov or Grigor Dimitrov and then quite probably Hurkacz again, so this is a really tough draw for the Russian in Q1.

It’s also a nasty draw for Hurkacz, whose opening match may well be our man from last week, Emil Ruusuvuori, who beat Hurkacz in DC. That means Q1 looks very competitive, with the likes of David Goffin also in there.

It might pay to focus on Q2 instead, with the obvious pick for me being Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spaniard has had his fair share of injury problems this year, but when Bautista Agut has been fit, he’s played really well, winning Majorca on the grass (where he beat Medvedev) and Kitzbuhel on the clay a few weeks ago.


Earlier in the season he won the title in Doha too, while his record at the Canada Masters is 9-5 win/loss and he should fancy his chances in this quarter of the draw.

Bautista Agut faces a qualifier first up and then a tricky one against either Jenson Brooksby or Alexander Bublik, but if he makes it through that he’d face Casper Ruud (2-0 to Bautista Agut head-to-head) in round three.

That’s winnable and so would be a quarter-final clash with probably one of Cam Norrie, Felix Auger-Aliassime, with Brandon Nakashima, Miomir Kecmanovic, and Botic van de Zandschulp other possibilities.

Bautista Agut’s record against Norrie and Auger-Aliassime isn’t the best, but I’m far from sure that Auger-Aliassime will get to the quarters given his nervy showings at his home tournament in the past, where he’s 2-4 in completed matches.

This surface will probably be a little pacy to be ideal for Norrie, who prefers it slower and higher bouncing (like in Los Cabos or Indian Wells/Miami/Delray Beach), so I’m happy to take Bautista Agut here.

Auger-Aliassime also has a good record against both Medvedev (4-1) and Kyrgios (2-1), so the Spaniard looks the best of the bigger prices (41.0 with bet365) in the top half of the draw.

In the bottom half, Jannik Sinner looks like he’s in the sort of form that may well see him go on and land a first Masters 1000 title.

Sinner was excellent in Umag, where he beat Carlos Alcaraz very convincingly in the end, and if he carries on playing like that it’s only a matter of time before he wins at this level.

His early draw in Q3 this week looks very handy, with a qualifier/lucky loser first up and then he’d probably have to beat his Italian countryman Matteo Berrettini, but on current form I’d fancy Sinner to do that.

Berrettini is usually a player that needs a few matches to get going and find his best form and that was the case recently in Gstaad, where he should have been beaten in straight sets by Pedro Martinez and was beaten by Casper Ruud.

It wouldn’t shock me if Berrettini lost to Pablo Carreno Busta in round one - that’s a tough opening match for Berrettini because he’ll need to be somewhere near his best right away, I feel.

Since linking up with Darren Cahill, Sinner has looked a different player, and on current form he has to be the bet in the bottom half of the draw at 12.0 with Unibet.

Karen Khachanov

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the other main contender in Q3 and the Greek has a strong record in Canada, winning eight of his 11 matches at this event, but he hasn’t played since Wimbledon. That means this will be the first time that he’s played Canada without a warm-up tournament on hard first.

Tsitsipas beat Sinner pretty easily in Melbourne earlier this year (and in Rome this spring), but Sinner failed to really turn up for that Melbourne quarter final - presumably due to nerves - and I’d fancy Sinner to get a bit of revenge if they met in Montreal.

Sinner has also taken down Carlos Alcaraz with something to spare of late, so you’d fancy him again if they met in the semi-finals.

Q4 is interesting, with Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev the high seeds in this section of the draw, with Andy Murray, Taylor Fritz, Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic the best of the opposition.

This quarter looks open, with Alcaraz not showing his best form by any means in Hamburg and Umag, where he lost in the final at both venues, and he can still be rushed on a decent paced hard court such as this one in Montreal.

The man to do so might be Andrey Rublev, but Rublev went deep in DC last week and is only 1-3 win/loss at the Canada Masters, while Fritz also has a weak record in Canada (0-3) and has had injury problems.

He said after almost passing out in the extreme heat of DC last week that playing the Citi Open was “definitely ambitious,” after spending the weeks following Wimbledon in a “boot” and therefore he couldn’t train properly.

Maybe Fritz is one to consider next week instead, while Cilic has never been beyond the quarter-finals of the Canada Masters and hasn’t played for two months since getting Covid just before Wimbledon.

National Bank Open Montreal Winning Quarter Odds
Thursday 11th August 2022
Unibet Bet365 Ladbrokes
 
% Chance
Quarter 1 41.67%
--
2.40
--
Quarter 3 29.41%
--
3.40
--
Quarter 4 20.00%
--
5.00
--
Quarter 2 18.18%
--
5.50
--
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Khachanov made the semis the last time that the Rogers Cup was played in Montreal and has a 9-4 win/loss record here, so he’s a possible long shot option at a price of 67.0 with Ladbrokes.

The Russian found his best form at this time of the year 12 months ago too, when he made the Olympic final on a lively outdoor hard court in Tokyo, and a repeat of that sort of form would give him a chance this week.

Other possible options in Q4 if you’re opposing Alcaraz include Andy Murray, Filip Krajinovic, Borna Coric, Dan Evans and Frances Tiafoe, but it’s a bit much to expect any of those to win a M1000 in this quality of field.

Conclusion

In the top half of the draw, I’ll take Bautista Agut at 41.0 for one point each-way, while Jannik Sinner for two points at 12.0 will be my main bet in the bottom half, with half a point each-way on Khachanov at 67.0 the best longshot option.

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