Tennis Betting Tips: In-form Dan Evans The Best Bet in Sydney
The ATP Tour 2022 returned last week in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne and in week two of the season there are a couple of ATP 250 tournaments in this pre-major week.
The Sydney Tennis Classic sees a standalone ATP Tour event return to Sydney for the first time since 2019, while Adelaide hosts its second tournament in two weeks – the Adelaide International 2.
Below, we look at the key trends and form guide to pick out the best selections to place on the best tennis betting sites.
Conditions and Trends
Top class tennis was played at both of these venues only last week, so we have a pretty good idea of the conditions, while those that played the ATP Cup and Adelaide 1 should be dialled in on the surfaces.
The ATP Cup was played on both the Ken Rosewall Arena and the Qudos Bank Arena (both at Sydney Olympic Park) and this week’s joint ATP/WTA Sydney Tennis Classic is set to be played at the Ken Rosewall Arena.
The players were generally of the opinion that the Ken Rosewall Arena playing conditions were a little slower and higher bouncing than the Qudos Arena.
The consensus among the players that competed in Adelaide last week was that the surface was on the faster side, with Marin Cilic commenting: “"[The] courts here are quite quick. I feel that’s good for my game.”
There were 80% service holds in Adelaide 1 and 74% of first serve points won, but Gael Monfils was able to defend on the surface very well.
In years gone by Sydney was a very good tournament for qualifiers, with players from the qualie draw taking home the title three times in the last eight editions of this tournament (Daniil Medvedev won it as a qualifier in 2018).
Indeed, the last three runners up in Sydney were all priced between 33/1 and 80/1 with betting sites, so there’s a fair history of big-priced contenders here.
Sydney Tennis Classic Draw – Top Half
Our top seed this week in Sydney is Aslan Karatsev, who played so well on the Australian leg of the tour 12 months ago when he made the semis finals of the Australian Open, but he’s at a bit of a disadvantage this week.
Unlike many of the players in this field Karatsev hasn’t played since early November and that’s because he tested positive for Covid on December 29th.
So, we’re guessing as to his fitness and practice schedule in 2022 so far and the one that looks the most likely to take advantage in this top half of the draw is Dan Evans.
Evans was in great form in the ATP Cup last week at the same venue, beating John Isner, Denis Shapovalov and Jan-Lennard Struff – all in straight sets.
The Brit hasn’t dropped serve yet this season or faced a break point, winning 86% on first serve and 76% on second serve and with his familiarity with the conditions as well he looks a strong contender.
Evans was runner-up in Sydney as a 66/1 shot back in 2017 and perhaps the only concern with him is that he admits to playing better in team events rather than as an individual, but his form is hard to ignore.
Maxime Cressy was also in great form last week when he made the final as a qualifier in Melbourne, beating Grigor Dimitrov and Reilly Opelka en route to the title match.
His unusual (these days) playing style isn’t seen much on the tour now and given that Cressy’s early draw is against Adrian Mannarino and the winner of Dusan Lajovic and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina the American has a chance of a good run again in similar conditions.
I’d still expect Evans to be able to unpick Cressy’s game though, with the inconsistent Alexei Popyrin another possibility in the top half.
Popyrin’s from Sydney and is sure to be putting a strong effort in at his home event and he was two sets up against Evans at the US Open only four months ago, so Popyrin is a viable contender in Q2.
Karatsev’s quarter of the draw (Q1) could be the one for qualifiers, with two of them in this section and with clay courters such as Federico Coria and Hugo Gaston unlikely to threaten and Karatsev’s condition unknown, there may be an opportunity for them.
Miomir Kecmanovic withdrew from Adelaide 1 last week, so he’s an unknown quantity right now, too, after losing 18 of his last 23 main level matches, but on his best form he’s in with a shot.
The obvious alternative to Karatsev in Q1 though is Lorenzo Sonego, but he’s only 2-4 win/loss in Australia so far in his main level career, and he’s another one that hasn’t played since late November, so I’m not seeing much value in him at the prices available with online tennis betting sites.
Sydney Tennis Classic draw – Bottom Half
The bottom half in Sydney looks really open, with most of them in with chances.
I’d be inclined to rule out Nikoloz Basilashvili, who probably won’t last the distance after contracting Covid in late December and retiring due to shortness of breath in the ATP Cup last week.
It’s interesting because on December 31, he was quoted as saying: “I'm feeling good. I arrived late. And I had very good preparation during the pre-season and am feeling very well.”
Make of that what you will, as he reportedly told the trainer in the ATP Cup that he had Covid “10 days ago” and was clearly unwell in Sydney last week.
David Goffin looks some way away from anything like his best after playing just one match (last week in Melbourne when he lost in straights to Alex Molcan) since last year’s US Open and he surely needs more match time.
Nick Kyrgios withdrew from Melbourne last week citing breathing problems and while he says it isn’t Covid, he stated on Instagram: “Whatever I’ve got at the moment is really wearing me down, kind of been bedridden for the last couple of days. Really struggling to breathe, my asthma has been acting up like crazy.”
So, he seems an unlikely winner this week, too, while Andy Murray lost as a 1.1 chance last week to Facundo Bagnis, having beaten a rusty Rafa Nadal and Evans in Abu Dhabi in mid-December, and Murray still lacks his old consistency.
Reilly Opelka should go well in these conditions, but hasn’t shown much in Australia so far, with a 4-8 win/loss record here, losing six of his last eight.
Indeed, he’s lost as favourite five times already in Australia and the predicted humid weather this week seems unlikely to help the big man out.
If we add the ever-unreliable Fabio Fognini into the mix this half of the draw continues to look very tough to call, with Fognini making his seasonal debut this week.
Fognini has a reasonable record in Australia of 23-23 win/loss and he has made the semis in Sydney in the past, but perhaps Brandon Nakashima, Jordan Thompson or Marcos Giron are likelier winners.
Thompson has a very average record in his home nation, never having bettered the quarter finals so far, but Giron played well towards the end of last season and may be a factor in Q3 of the draw.
Nakashima was in the squad but didn’t play in ATP Cup last week, but he’ll at least be familiar with conditions and having gone well on hard courts last summer (making the final of Los Cabos and Atlanta) he’s in with a fair chance this week.
There are a further three qualifiers/lucky losers to be placed in the bottom half of the draw at the time of writing, but the qualie draw doesn’t look very strong in Sydney this time around.
Adelaide International 2 Draw – Top Half
The second week of ATP Tour tennis in Adelaide has a similar feel about it to last week’s, with Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic and Karen Khachanov once again the key players after all three made the semis last week.
It could well be the case that those three may take their foot off the gas this time, with the Australian Open a matter of days away and perhaps it’ll be the turn of the bigger-priced players this week.
It’s slightly different seeding this week, with John Isner entering as number two seed pushing Khachanov down to three and consequently we may see a repeat of the Adelaide 1 final between Monfils and Khachanov in this week’s semi-finals.
In a high-quality top half of this Adelaide 2 draw, Monfils and Khachanov are joined by Jan-Lennard Struff, Botic van de Zandschulp, Marton Fucsovics, Lloyd Harris, Soonwoo Kwon, Mackenzie McDonald and Arthur Rinderknech.
Of these, slight preference goes to Van de Zandschulp, who should have beaten Grigor Dimitrov last week, and former Adelaide finalist (from 2020) Harris, for whom the lively conditions should suit.
Harris hasn’t played since last October and withdrew from Melbourne 1 last week, so we’d be guessing somewhat on his form, but if he’s had a good off-season and comes here fit Harris is definitely one for the shortlist.
The problem with Harris though is the price. He’ll potentially have to beat Kwon, McDonald/Rinderknech, Khachanov, Monfils and then win a final and the layers are offering just 12/1.
That seems short and Van De Zandschulp appeals a little more on the form he showed last week, but he’s got a 50/50 match that he could easily lose to Marton Fucsovics in round one, probably Struff next, followed by probably Monfils.
Again, I’m not keen on the price in such a competitive field and nothing stands out as a bet in the top half ahead of qualifying being completed.
Adelaide International 2 Draw – Bottom Half
The bottom half of this week’s Adelaide draw looks like the easier of the two halves and Marin Cilic has strong claims after his good showing last week here in which he held serve 97% of the time.
Indeed, he won 83% of the points on first serve and 55% on second serve last week, so a repeat of that level should see him go close again.
Cilic is 0-4 against Monfils though and while it’s very possible that Monfils won’t make back-to-back finals the week before a major at 35-years-old, the price on Cilic isn’t great.
The winner of Frances Tiafoe versus Tommy Paul has a fair chance in Q3 and you’d expect it to be Tiafoe, with the latter having a 3-1 career series lead over Paul that he should have made 4-0 in Stockholm recently.
Tiafoe served for the straight sets win that day and ended up losing the match in three and their all-time head-to-head on hard courts shows Tiafoe holding 90% of the time, with Paul down at 76% holds.
Again, I’m not wild about the price of 14/1 or so about Tiafoe, so I’ll pass on him.
Alexander Bublik has a weak record in Australia, having lost nine of his last 13 matches here (several of those losses were as favourite) and he pulled out of Melbourne last week, so he’s not one I see as any great value this week at around 18/1.
Much of the outcome of this bottom half of the draw could rest on the fitness or otherwise of Thanasi Kokkinakis, who played so well in his home town of Adelaide last week before running out of gas against an in-form Monfils.
Given Kokky’s injury record it’s risky to trust him in back-to-back weeks after a tough tournament last week, but he may not have such a hard time in Adelaide 2.
He starts against Benoit Paire, who probably won’t offer that much resistance, while a match against John Isner would involve quick points, as would a clash with Bublik if that happened.
It’s tempting, but 20/1 I don’t feel is quite big enough to press the button, given all Kokky’s fitness issues.
Isner also looks too short given his lack of form so far this season and his record in Australia, which now shows nine losses in his last 12 matches here and a 16-19 win/loss career mark in Australia.
Whoever gets the qualifying spot against Alex Bolt might be in with a shot though, as this fourth quarter of the draw looks quite open and I’ll wait until qualies are complete before taking a bet on in Adelaide.
Conclusion: Best Tennis Bet of the Day
The clear form pick this week is Dan Evans in Sydney and at a best-priced 7.0 (Ladbrokes) I’ll have two points on the Brit to continue his fine start to the season.
The qualie draw looks rather weak in Sydney, but Adelaide’s appears stronger and I’ll wait and see how that pans out before deciding on a wager in Adelaide 2.
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