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ABN AMRO World Tennis Betting: Berdych has the class to prevail in Rotterdam

Sean likes the chances of Tomas Berdych in Rotterdam this week
Sean likes the chances of Tomas Berdych in Rotterdam this week

"I like the idea of siding with Berdych, who holds a winning record against Murray and for me has the best chance of beating him in a final."

Back Berdych at 7.5n/a

The ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam is week seven's big event on the ATP Tour and after tipping a winner last week in Zagreb, Sean Calvert is back to find the value...


Last week's recommended bets made a nice profit, as my 4.57/2 shot Marin Cilic landed the title in Zagreb without dropping a set, while there was contrasting fortune in my other wager, as Michael Llodra was flu ridden.

The biggest event on the tour this week is the €1.5 million ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam that used to feature one of the quickest playing surfaces around, but these days has been deliberately slowed to a snail's pace.

Tournament director Richard Krajicek is of the view that slowing the court and balls brings longer matches and hence more value for money for the paying spectator and consequently we have a Proflex indoor hard court and Tecnifibre X-One balls, which means it'll be slow.

Juan Martin Del Potro is the defending champion here this year and the big man has again been struggling with a wrist problem and the latest word from Delpo is that it is "improving day-by-day."

He hasn't played a competitive match since being defeated in Melbourne by Roberto Bautista-Agut though and it's a tall order for him to defend here under those circumstances and against a field of challengers of the calibre of Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Haas, Mikhail Youzhny and Grigor Dimitrov.

That's not even taking into account that Delpo's first round match is against Montpellier champion Gael Monfils, who is playing some very good stuff at the moment and a repeat win for Juan seems like it should be a much bigger price than 5.59/2.

Should he defeat Monfils his route to a final could then be: Ivan Dodig, Dimitrov or Ernests Gulbis, then Berdych, which is tough.

I prefer the chances of Berdych in that top half of the draw, with the Czech's price a more palatable 7.5n/a and a first round draw against Andreas Seppi is far kinder than Delpo's.

The main threats to the Czech may well be Jerzy Janowicz or Haas, but Tommy is unlikely to make back-to-back finals for the first time since 2001 at the age of 35 and Janowicz seems a more likely last eight opponent.

Gilles Simon is, rather unwisely, playing through injury, while Nicolas Mahut may find it too slow for him and has also had the flu.

Murray has taken a late wild card into this event and is an obvious threat, but he hasn't made a final indoors since 2011 and 3.55/2 is short enough for me.

Youzhny is always a threat in these sorts of conditions, but the Russian has been sick lately and was reportedly still coughing on the practice courts in Rotterdam this week.

Tsonga comes into the equation in that bottom half of the draw that contains Murray, Youzhny, Gasquet, Cilic, and Philipp Kohlschreiber amongst others, but with Marseille on the horizon next week it seems more likely that he'll put more effort in there than here in Rotterdam.

Last year Tsonga was taken down in round one by Igor Sijlsing and most of his best form does tend to take place at home in France, so at around 9.08/1 I don't see a great deal of value in Jo here.

Gasquet is working with former French Open champion Sergi Bruguera and had his first tournament with the Spaniard last week, which led to a defeat in the final to Monfils. He could easily make the last four here with a kinder looking draw than that of Tsonga and surely more chance of beating Murray than his compatriot. Consequently the 15.014/1 about the Gasman seems better value to me.

But they all have Murray to beat in that bottom half and I like the idea of siding with Berdych, who holds a winning record against Murray and for me has the best chance of beating him in a final.


Recommended Bet
Back Berdych at 7.5n/a


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09 February 2014

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