Tennis Tips

ATP Vienna Tips: In-form Ruusuvuori a lively underdog against Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz – Australian Open
Hurkacz faces an in-form opponent in Ruusuvuori on Thursday

"If we're going on the stats of the last-10 matches of each man it's Ruusuvuori that leads the way."

In Sean Calvert's final preview of the season, he takes a look at the chances of the betting underdogs at the Erste Bank Open and Swiss Indoors Basel on Thursday...

  • Round two in Vienna and Basel is in-play on Thursday
  • Ruusuvuori has been in fine form lately
  • Sean Calvert is backing Ruusuvuori to upset Hurkacz

It's the end of another long season for me as far as daily previews are concerned, with this being my last one of the 2022 campaign.

It's nice to have ended the year in profit and after a rather frustrating day on Wednesday I'm hoping to finish with an odds-against winner on Thursday at the Erste Bank Open.

After the first round and a bit it's fairly clear that Vienna is playing a bit quicker than Basel this week, with Vienna's numbers indicating it's pretty fast.

After the first dozen main draw matches in Vienna there were 86% holds of serve and 75% of the first serve points were won, against the indoor average for 2022 of 80% holds and 72% first serve points won.

In Basel, after 12 main draw matches, there have been 82% holds and 72% first serve points won, which makes it about average for indoor hard.

Grigor Dimitrov has struggled lately and I'm not sure that he's fit much these days, but if he is in shape there's a chance that he could do something against Andrey Rublev.

It's no more than a possibility though, with Dimitrov having won just 38% of his second serve points against Rublev in their five career meetings thus far.

The quick conditions here could help Dimitrov and they also might favour Emil Ruusuvuori as well, with the Finn taking on Hubert Hurkacz for the third time in the last couple of months.

Ruusuvuori won in quick conditions in Washington DC a week prior to Hurkacz winning in slower conditions in Montreal and if we're going on the stats of the last-10 matches of each man it's Ruusuvuori that leads the way.

Hurkacz has been relying heavily on his serve of late, holding a big 93% of the time in those 10 matches, but he's only broken 14% of the time.

The Pole's combined service points won/return points won total is 104.5, but Ruusuvuori is on 108 after breaking serve 36% of the time in those last 10 matches.

Remarkably, Ruusuvuori's second set score has been 6-2 eight times in his last nine matches and he's played at least one 6-2 set in his last nine matches in a row.

The lively conditions here in Vienna suit Ruusuvuori's game and I feel that Hurkacz is better suited to a slightly slower, higher bouncing surface, so I don't mind taking a chance on the underdog here.

Hurkacz can technically still qualify for the Tour Finals, but there's a big gap between him and Felix Auger-Aliassime now and FAA looks like he's very likely to take that final place in Turin ahead of the Pole.

Borna Coric RG 2022.jpg

Elsewhere in Vienna, where there have been only two underdog winners in 18 matches, and the two were only slight underdogs, I like the chances of Borna Coric against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas was outplayed by Coric in the Cincy final a few months back and if he's feeling okay in that problem shoulder area Coric could well defeat the Greek again, but I already have Coric outright, so I won't get involved again on Thursday.

I'm not totally convinced about Cam Norrie as favourite either against Marcos Giron, who's been playing well lately, and for me Norrie has looked a bit weary in recent weeks.

Fitness worries at the Swiss Indoors Basel

Roberto Bautista Agut Halle 2022.jpg

Moving on to the Swiss Indoors Basel now and fatigue is an issue with several of the match-ups on Thursday.

Roberto Bautista Agut pulled out of the doubles citing fatigue, which isn't a great sign when your opponent is Andy Murray, but the Scot needed three sets and over 2.5 hours to win his round one match.

Murray struggles to back up those sorts of wins these days and his match with RBA looks like it'll be a case of survival of the fittest.

Miomir Kecmanovic has had what I assume to be stomach problems and had to run off the court after his opening round match, so I wonder how he'll shape up on Thursday?

He faces Felix Auger-Aliassime, who must be getting tired now after all the tennis he's played in the last few weeks.

If Kecmanovic is fit for duty he's a possibility as underdog in that one.

Holger Rune is another one that's played a lot of tennis lately and maybe the hit and miss Ugo Humbert could take advantage on Thursday after he showed great form in beating Jenson Brooksby.

Rune is at the very top of his game right now though and I'll just take one half point bet to finish the season with.

Recommended bets

Sean Calvert's Betting.Betfair P&L 2022

Staked: 113.91 points
Returned: 125.32 points
Profit: 11.41 points

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