Andy Murray makes another long-awaited return to the court this week, with Alexander Zverev the favourite for the 2018 Citi Open as the tennis season’s build-up to the US Open gathers pace.
Where to Bet on the Citi Open Online
Former world number one Murray has hardly played a competitive match since the 2017 Wimbledon over a year ago but he is finally ready to get back into action and is in high spirits.
It is asking a lot for the Scot to compete for titles straight away, having deemed himself not fit enough to enter Wimbledon, where he had won two times previously.
But Murray is also a former US Open champion and he will be desperate to show over the next few weeks that he can get back towards the top of the sport.
It is Zverev who lots of tennis fans will be watching closely though as it was around this time a year ago when his form hit new levels and he began to be regarded as a serious contender.
The German is the top seed for the Citi Open crown and has been given a bye into the second round as a result, with odds of 5/1 appropriate for the defending champion at the event.
But which other players could be in the running this week? Let’s examine the betting for the Citi Open, which gets under way on Monday. As always, we’ll start with a look at the outright betting odds across the top tennis bookmakers and then dive right in to our preview below for tips, picks and more.
2018 Citi Open Betting Odds
|Alex De Minaur||50/1||39/1|
Unseeded Floaters Pose Threat in the Draw
Murray is not the only big name star who is taking part in the Citi Open without a seeding. Stan Wawrinka, also on the long road back to full fitness after a period of injury hell, is also playing.
Wawrinka will face a qualifier first up at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center but is then in line to take on Kei Nishikori, a match that would be a must-watch for fans of the sport.
It is hard to see how Wawrinka could beat Nishikori at this stage of his recovery and this section of the draw also features one of the most exciting young players in the sport right now.
Canada’s rising star Denis Shapovalov (20/1) is the ninth seed and is on track to play the victor of the potential Nishikori-Wawrinka clash in his second match at the 2018 Citi Open.
The teenager has a place in the world’s top 20 within his sights and strong performances in events leading up to the US Open should see him pose a threat at the year’s final major.
Wawrinka’s price of 33/1 to win in Washington this week is just too short for a player who has struggled for form after returning to action, with doubts over Nishikori at 14/1 as well.
Zverev Has Straightforward Route to Glory
Examining the draw for the Citi Open appears to indicate Zverev has a great chance of becoming the first player to defend this title since Juan Martin del Potro did it in 2009.
World number three Zverev does not seem to have any major obstacles in his route to at least the quarter-finals, with either Evgeny Donskoy or Malek Jaziri first up for the German.
A complication is the fact Zverev is scheduled to come up against his older brother Mischa in the third round, but this is a match that should not pose the 21-year-old too many problems.
Zverev will back himself against any other player in the top half of the draw and as long as he produces anything like his best tennis he should be one of the men in next weekend’s final.
A price as short as 7/2 with some bookmakers reflects that Zverev has a kind route to the latter stages of the draw, having avoided the likes of Murray, but he should justify the 5/1 price at Betsson.
Injured Kyrgios a Doubt for the Citi Open
Australian number one Nick Kyrgios was expected to have a strong run up to the US Open but his preparations for that event have been affected by a hip injury.
Kyrgios retired against Cameron Norrie in Atlanta this week as a result of the problem and it is unclear whether or not he will feel able to take his place in the draw in Washington.
If the world number 18 does opt to play the event then he will likely take on compatriot James Duckworth in the second round, having been given a bye through the first match.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded 10 for the tournament, is the other big threat in this section of the draw and the Greek player could provide good value at a price of 29/1 should Kyrgios withdraw.
Murray Magic to Return?
At his best, Murray was a player who could rival greats such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but it is unclear whether or not he is ever going to be able to reach those heights again.
Facing Murray in his first hard court match for around 18 months will be American Mackenzie McDonald, who in usual circumstances would not be able to pose him many problems at all.
Murray can be backed at 7/1 but he will just want to get some time on court under his belt. He could face a testing clash with fellow Briton Kyle Edmund in the second round. Coincidentally, Murray and Edmund have been scheduled to face off at each of the three events played by the Scot since his return. Edmund won at Nottingham when they met recently.
Citi Open Best Bets
Zverev is the obvious winner here, particularly given it is uncertain whether or not second seed John Isner (8/1) will play after reaching the final of the Atlanta Open.
Isner needs to manage his workload after that marathon Wimbledon semi-final against Kevin Anderson but he will be keen to play the Citi Open, where he has been a finalist three times.
Fitness issues mean Isner is likely going to struggle and Zverev is the preferred option of the top seeds at a fair price of as high as 5/1.
Murray and Wawrinka can surely be discounted due to their fitness issues but there are a couple of names who should provide backers with decent value, even if only each-way.
Tsitsipas looks primed for a big breakthrough and the Greek can be backed at 29/1 even though Kyrgios is the biggest threat in his section and struggling to be passed fit due to injury.
Karen Khachanov looks best placed to take advantage in the bottom quarter of the draw should Isner pull out and the number 12 seed is a very tempting 25/1 to win the Citi Open this week.