The in-between spell of clay court action post-Wimbledon and ahead of the North American hard court swing continues this week with ATP 250 and 500 tournaments in Gstaad, Switzerland and Hamburg, Germany.
The biggest event this week is the Hamburg European Open on the clay at the Am Rothenbaum, while they play at altitude at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad.
Conditions in Hamburg can be variable and weather-dependent, with last year's tournament seeing 50% of its matches feature at least one tie break and there were 79% holds of serve.
The six-year average service hold mark in Hamburg is 75% and the nine-year average for tie break matches in Hamburg is 32%, so it played a lot quicker than average in 2021.
Gstaad always features plenty of tie breaks and service holds, with the average holds being 80% and tie break matches averaging 41%, thanks to over 1,000m of altitude in the Swiss Alps.
As far as underdog winners are concerned, Hamburg's average over the last eight years is 35% and round one alone has produced an average of 32% in that same timeframe (quarters, semis and the final are historically the best for underdog winners in Hamburg).
In Gstaad, it's a similar story, with more upsets occurring towards the end of the tournament than at the start and the event as a whole averages 37%, with round one averaging 35%.
With the weather playing a part in Hamburg, where they have a roof, it's set to be very hot for the first few days and so it should play on the quicker side, while in Gstaad it's a similar story (not quite as hot) with thunderstorms from midweek onwards.
Starting in Hamburg, then, and we have a repeat of a 2020 Hamburg round one match between Jan-Lennard Struff and Karen Khachanov and I like the idea of backing over games or over sets here.
Struff comes here in decent form after winning the Braunschweig Challenger a couple of weeks ago on the clay, but his record in Hamburg is dreadful at 3-13 win/loss in all rounds of this tournament.
With that in mind and also the likely quick conditions in the heatwave that's happening across much of Europe at the moment I like taking the match to go to three sets at 2.407/5.
This pair have met five times, with Khachanov winning three of them, but four of the five have gone to the full three sets and the stats show that Struff has had the better of the play overall.
Struff's combined service points won/return points won total is 102 (Khachanov 98) and it's Struff who's held serve more often at 85% compared to 80% for Khachanov.
As has often been the case with Struff over the years, he's lost a match or two that he probably should have won...
The problem for the German is that he's lost three of the four tie breaks they've played and as has often been the case with Struff over the years, he's lost a match or two that he probably should have won.
Both men should be motivated here: Struff playing at home and coming in on the back of a Challenger win on clay in Germany and Khachanov having missed Wimbledon for no fault of his own.
Elsewhere in Hamburg I'm on Botic van de Zandschulp outright, so I like his chances in what should be quick conditions against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
In Gstaad, qualies are still ongoing and none of the round one matches that I have my eye on are being played on Monday, so I'll just have a circumspect start to the week with one half point wager in Hamburg.