ATP Vienna and St Petersburg Tips: Zverev favourite to triumph in Austria

German Tennis Player Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev is tournament favourite in Vienna...

The ATP Tour indoor hard court season continues this week with events in Vienna and St. Petersburg and Dan Weston previews both events...

"In quarter one, the winner of Tsitsipas against Grigor Dimitrov looks likely to make the semi-finals at least. That's a big part of the reason why Tsitsipas at 6.86/1 is almost double the price of the tournament favourite Zverev 3.8514/5."

Sinner and Karatsev lift trophies in yesterday's final

Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev emerged victorious from last week's indoor hard events, and both are again in action during the coming week. Karatsev remains in his home country, as one of the seeds in St Petersburg, while Sinner's presence in a high-quality 500-level event in Vienna will be fascinating.

He joins the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev as the big names in Austria.

Conditions likely to be quick in Vienna

All the action starts on Monday afternoon in round one of this week's ATP events. In Vienna, it's a full 32-man field with no byes for seeds. Due to this, every player must win five matches in order to lift the trophy on Sunday. Conditions are likely to be quick, even for an indoor hard court - aces per game, service points won percentages and service hold percentages in the Austrian capital are higher than the ATP indoor hard mean figures.

In theory, this should suit the bigger-serving players in the draw, who are likely to derive benefit from the pacey conditions, making it very difficult to break their serve. This should make matters problematic for Sinner, who faces the American big-server Reilly Opelka in round one, while the top half of his second quarter, featuring Casper Ruud, Lloyd Harris and Lorenzo Sonego, also looks tough. I'd be surprised if the Italian went back-to-back this week.

Zverev and Tsitsipas lead the Vienna outrights

In quarter one, the winner of Tsitsipas against Grigor Dimitrov - surely the match of the round - looks likely to make the semi-finals at least. That's a big part of why Tsitsipas at 6.86/1 is almost double the price of the tournament favourite, Zverev, who is 3.8514/5.

Quarter three should be competed by the likes of Hubert Hurkacz and Matteo Berrettini. The Italian, Berrettini, has excellent service numbers, while Hurkacz is strong too. Both look like realistic second tier options in the outright market, while Zverev faces slightly weaker opponents in quarter than some other brackets, such as Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex De Minaur and Cameron Norrie.

It's not a huge surprise to see Zverev as tournament favourite particularly given the level he has shown in recent months.

Rublev favourite to succeed in home country

Over in the 250 event in St Petersburg, four seeds - Andrey Rublev, Roberto Bautista-Agut, Aslan Karatsev and Denis Shapovalov - have first-round byes.

Rublev headlines the event as the only top-10 player in the field. He's the tournament favourite, at 4.67/2, and conditions are likely to be slower than in Vienna - historical data suggests that St Petersburg will be slower than average. In theory, this should create a tournament with fewer than average service holds and fewer tiebreaks.

The qualifiers are yet to be placed into the draw, which makes matters a little tricky, with one being Emil Ruusuvuori who is a pretty solid player indoors, and another being Botic van de Zandschulp, who has performed well of late.

Of the seeds, Rublev is obviously the favourite. If not fatigued from his success last week, Karatsev should also be prominent. Unseeded players who also have potential include Sebastian Korda, who hasn't played particularly well since having a back injury in August but has huge upside.

In these slower conditions, I'm anticipating a pretty competitive tournament with a number of players capable of success. Rublev's the favourite, but there are plenty of players capable of picking up a late season trophy.


Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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