Hurkacz edges Rublev for Shanghai title
De Minaur the pick in Tokyo
Big week for Tsitsipas in Antwerp
Zverev favourite in competitive Tokyo event
Both Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz had match points in what was a highly dramatic Shanghai Masters final on Sunday, with Hurkacz eventually celebrating with the title after getting it won on his fourth match point for his second Masters 1000 title.
There's little delay in terms of back-to-back tennis action though with ATP Japan starting early on Monday morning with Taylor Fritz top seed in the Japanese capital. However, the American isn't the tournament favourite in the higher-profile event this week, with that honour going to Alexander Zverev who is currently 4.57/2 in a developing outright market. Based on general market pricing, Fritz should settle at around 8.07/1.
These prices are a little bigger than most would expect for favourites in an ATP event but it's reasonable that they are - there are no byes for seeds, so all players need to win five matches in seven days to win the title - and also a relatively competitive field, with several players in each quarter very capable of making a title run.
De Minaur could benefit from potential Hurkacz withdrawal
In what is a very mixed quality first quarter, Fritz has a tricky opener against Cam Norrie and also has Karen Khachanov in his bracket, but there's a considerable ability differential for those players compared to the rest of quarter one. It would be a real surprise if the quarter winner didn't come from that trio.
Quarter two looks a little more evenly matched, with Alex De Minaur an obvious candidate but Frances Tiafoe plus Shanghai winner Hurkacz also lurk in this bracket, although it wouldn't be a shock if Hurkacz pulled out following his title. De Minaur, at general market pricing at around 10.09/1, looks a decent price considering this fairly strong possibility.
In Q3, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton and also tournament favourite Zverev feature, and while Zverev's level is improving, I can't see his price being value at all. Finally, in the bottom bracket, it should theoretically be between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud, although I don't really have faith in either based on their recent levels.
Safiullin a shout in Stockholm
Indoor hard court action resumes in Europe, with 250 level events taking place in Stockholm and Antwerp from Monday afternoon.
Qualifiers are still being finalised in both tournaments, so we don't know the full contents of the draws, but in Stockholm, it's anyone's guess who will challenge for the title with none of the four seeded players with first round byes truly convincing, and some decent unseeded players such as Roberto Bautista-Agut, Chris Eubanks, JJ Wolf, Dan Evans and Roman Safiullin.
In fact, Safiullin has as good a recent record as any, but there isn't much in the way of market pricing available right now - I'd expect him to be priced in double-digits though.
Tsitsipas should in theory dominate Antwerp
Over in Antwerp, the out of form Stefanos Tsitsipas is top seed in what looks the weakest event of the three this week with several seeds with first round byes ranked not far inside the top 50. If Tsitsipas is at any sort of level he shouldn't have too much difficulty with the competition here, and if he does have issues, it illustrates quite how much he is struggling currently.
The main issue potentially for the Greek would be the fairly quick conditions making matches a little variance-heavy, with serve likely to dominate a little more than the average ATP event, leading to tiebreaks and fewer break point chances. It will be fascinating to see how Tsitsipas fares over the coming week.