Thailand Open Betting: Lethal-serving Raonic the man to beat
Sean Calvert has been in fantastic tipping form for a while now and he bids to continue his good run by taking a look at this week's Thailand Open. Who does he fancy to win?
"In the first section of the bottom half of the draw is my tip for this week, Raonic, who will relish a return to the indoor courts that he’s so effective on, plus his early opponents look fairly limited."
We were back in the payout queue again on Sunday, as my tip from last week Jo-Wilfried Tsonga took home the Moselle Open trophy for the second consecutive year.
This week sees the start of the Asian swing of the ATP Tour and it kicks off with a couple of ATP 250 events in Malaysia and Thailand today.
It means a few early mornings for this author over the next few weeks, which I'm looking forward to immensely, and the event that looks the most competitive to me takes place in Bangkok.
The Thailand Open is played on indoor hard courts and it was won last year by Andy Murray, but there are no such luminaries on show in 2012, with Janko Tipsarevic, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic the top seeds this time around.
The top half of the draw is where tournament favourite Tipsarevic at around [3.5] finds himself, but that looks the toughest half to me, with Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Fernando Verdasco, and Viktor Troicki all well capable of landing a title like this.
Tipsy may benefit from being in a pretty comfortable-looking quarter, with his main opposition likely to come in the form of Verdasco, who has beaten the Serb twice in their five meetings, including the only one on indoor hard.
The others in that section look there for the taking, with the likes of Donald Young, Yen Hsun Lu and Robin Haase unlikely to be causing many shocks, although Young made the final here last year, but the adjacent quarter looks harder to call.
Simon, Monfils, Go Soeda, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Troicki will battle it out in that section and Simon, as a former title holder here must be in with a chance and again it looks to be between he and his French compatriot Monfils. Lamonf's 17 weeks out through injury has seen him drop down to number 44 in the rankings, meaning he is unseeded this week, but he showed good form on his return to the tour in Metz last week and must be respected at this level.
He's also won four of his last five matches against Tipsarevic, so Monfils looks a better bet at around [9.0] than the Serb at [3.5] to me.
In the first section of the bottom half of the draw is my tip for this week, Raonic, who will relish a return to the indoor courts that he's so effective on, plus his early opponents look fairly limited.
A second round meeting with Ivo Karlovic will be one for the serving purists, but with Jarkko Nieminen and Philipp Petzschner the best of the rest, the Canadian who has won 25 of his last 33 indoor matches looks a good bet at [4.5].
Milos's lethal serve seems to be best suited to the indoor game where he has won two titles and reached two other finals since the start of 2011 and his main opposition in the bottom half of the draw will most likely come from Gasquet.
The Gasman's quarter looks trickier than that of Raonic, with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who won the title here in 2010 beating Rafa Nadal on the way, Bernard "the journalists' friend" Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov all capable of defeating the Frenchman on their day.
Tomic seems to spend most of his time arguing with reporters, his father, his coaches and just about anyone else he can find these days and his tennis has been awful lately and his record indoors is equally woeful, with just two match wins lifetime on the tour indoors.
Dimitrov is more of a threat in my opinion and at [38.0] is a better option than the [29.0] available about Tomic.
Gasquet is the biggest threat to Raonic in the bottom half of the draw, but indoor hard is not really his surface and he hasn't been past the quarter finals of any tour level indoor hard event other than Metz in his career.
Raonic took down Gasquet in straight sets in Cincy recently and I'd fancy him to repeat that win here if that match came about and he has a fine chance of landing another indoor title this week.