The ATP Tour continues this week with an indoor hard tournament in Rotterdam, and a clay event in Buenos Aires. Dan Weston returns to preview the action...
"Zverev has what looks like a fairly kind draw in quarter two, with Roberto Bautista-Agut his main threat but with the Spaniard needing to go straight from Montpellier, where he made the final, to Rotterdam."
Cerundolo causes a shock in Cordoba
There were tournament wins last week for David Goffin, Alex Popyrin and in a big shock in Cordoba, the qualifier Juan Manuel Cerundolo who was ranked outside the top 300 prior to the event. The Argentine, who turned 19 recently, rises around 150 places in the rankings after that surprise title and he faces fellow Argentine Federico Delbonis in the first round in Buenos Aires this week.
Schwartzman a justified favourite in home country
In this tournament in Buenos Aires, there are four seeds with first round byes - Diego Schwartzman, Miomir Kecmanovic, Benoit Paire and Christian Garin. Schwartzman is favourite to lift the trophy in his home country, at around the 3.2011/5 mark with Garin a little further back at around 6.005/1 generally.
Schwartzman, at the top of the draw, should be grateful for his quarter with a wild card, two qualifiers and the hard courter Frances Tiafoe as the other seeded player in his bracket. His clay data has been excellent over the last 18 months (around 105% combined serve/return points won) and he's the best player in the field for a 250 level tournament.
Garin another with a kind draw
Second favourite Garin is also the second seed here, and also has a qualifier and two wild cards in his bracket - although he does have the threat of Cordoba finalist Albert Ramos in that fourth quarter also. Ramos could potentially be a little fatigued after playing his final against Cerundolo last night, so Garin looks the clear favourite to win the quarter.
Those two market favourites look pretty justified given what looks like relatively straightforward quarters and strong clay data, while the middle two brackets look much more open and competitive. Kecmanovic is joined by the likes of Monteiro, Delbonis, Cecchinato and Djere in quarter three, while Benoit Paire - who has really struggled in the last six months - seeded in quarter four and joined by the likes of Pablo Andujar, Juan Ignacio Londero and Federico Coria in what looks a fairly low quality but difficult to call quarter three.
Medvedev leads market in Rotterdam after Australian Open final
Over in Rotterdam, there's a higher-level 500 tournament with Daniil Medvedev leading the market currently at 2.829/5, with the Russian playing his first event since being runner-up at the Australian Open several weeks ago. On ability, this looks utterly justified, but there's a potential fatigue concern given the seven matches he played in Melbourne and playing around nine days after that final having travelled back from Australia.
In addition, there are no seeds with byes as there's a full 32-man draw. So Medvedev, if he is to lift the trophy, will need to win five matches in the coming week across six days. He also has some strong competition in his top bracket, with Borna Coric, Alex De Minaur and Felix Auger-Aliassime among those who will be looking to test Medvedev in the first quarter.
Zverev and Rublev looking better value than Tsitsipas
Joining Medvedev in having single-digit market pricing are Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, who are the seeded players in their respective brackets. Zverev has what looks like a fairly kind draw in quarter two, with Roberto Bautista-Agut his main threat but with the Spaniard needing to go straight from Montpellier, where he made the final, to Rotterdam.
In the last 12 months indoors, Zverev has good data (108% combined service/return points won) and I think he could be the value here at 7.206/1.
Moving through the draw, in quarter three Andrey Rublev is joined by the likes of Andy Murray, Ugo Humbert and the Montpellier title winner David Goffin, and Rublev is another player with strong indoor hard data and he also looks a contender at a shorter price just shy of the 6.005/1 mark.
Finally, Tsitisipas leads quarter four but has some tricky opposition in prospect with Stan Wawrinka, Karen Khachanov, Hubert Hurkacz and Adrian Mannarino all capable players indoors, and I'd prefer to look at Zverev, in particular, or Rublev at a bigger price than the Greek player in the coming week.
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