Russian players are primed to take centre stage for the 2018 Kremlin Cup, with most of the sport’s top players taking the week off following the Shanghai Masters.
With three different ATP tour events at a similar level in the next week, the talent is split across the European Open, the Stockholm Open and the Kremlin Cup.
Recommended Bookmakers for the Kremlin Cup
But the most intriguing draw might just be in Russia, where home hopes Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov will be hoping to impress in one of their local events.
The Russian duo are the second and third seeds respectively for this tournament, which is set to be played on the hard indoor courts of Moscow’s Olympic Stadium.
It is a stunning setting for a tennis tournament and with Medvedev and Khachanov, two talented players who seem to be on the rise, Russian fans will hope for a home winner here.
But neither of them has been placed at the top of the seeding for the Kremlin Cup as that honour goes to Marco Cecchinato, the exciting Italian who thrilled the world at the French Open. He’s now setting up for a showdown opposite Andreas Seppi in the semi-finals.
Other seeds to keep an eye on this week include Damir Dzumhur – who is seeking to defend the title he won here a year ago – and the enigmatic Australian star Nick Kyrgios.
But in the Kremlin Cup betting odds, which players provide the best value? Read on to find out. We will also have the latest outright betting odds courtesy of the best tennis betting sites.
Kremlin Open Betting Odds
No Russian Winners Since 2009
One statistic that could count against the Russian duo of Medvedev and Khachanov is that no local player has been able to win the Kremlin Cup since 2009.
Previously there were a lot of Russian victors at the event, with Yevgeny Kafelnikov triumphant five years on the trot while Nikolay Davydenko won it three times in the space of four years.
Igor Andreev and Igor Kunitsyn are among the other Russians to have lifted the trophy in front of their home fans in the last 15 years but the last to do so was Mikhail Youzhny.
The pressure will therefore be on Medvedev and Khachanov to deliver a title.
Medvedev was beaten in the quarter-finals of the tournament last year despite having already knocked out top seed Pablo Carreno Busta, so he will be hoping to perform better this week.
And Khachanov, at 22 the same age as Medvedev, is seeking his second singles title of 2018.
Defending Champion Dzumhur in the Running
Victory over Ricardas Berankis in the final a year ago gave Dzumhur only his second title of the year and he obviously enjoys playing in Russia as he has also triumphed in St Petersburg.
The Sarajevo-born 26-year-old has not been in the best form of late, though, as he has failed to go any further than a quarter-final since Los Cabos back in April. With a first-round loss to Jeremy Chardy, the Frenchman is the seventh seed for the Kremlin Cup and his opening odds indicate Dzumhur is sorely out of sorts.
But a return to Moscow, the scene of one of the biggest successes of his career to date, could come at a good time for Dzumhur to get back on track.
Top Seed Cecchinato Closes on Top 20
A place in the top 20 of the world rankings for the first time in his career is the prize at stage for the Kremlin Cup’s top seed Cecchinato.
Having knocked out players including Novak Djokovic in his run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, many tennis tipsters were backing Cecchinato to be the breakthrough player of 2018. It has not quite gone to plan for the Italian since then, however, although he did pick up the Umag title to go along with the crown he took in Budapest earlier in the year.
A brace of singles titles is nothing to complain about but there is still a sense of untapped potential around Cecchinato, who was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Roberto Bautista Agut at the St Petersburg Open recently. The draw should be kind for Cecchinato and a solid run deep into the Kremlin Cup could be on the cards, but his odds are a bit short for our liking.
Kyrgios One to Watch
In a field without any blue-chip players, many tennis fans will be keeping a close eye on Kyrgios to see if the Australian can keep his cool and show off his massive talent in Moscow this week.
Kyrgios has dropped to 38 in the world rankings and the 23-year-old is in danger of wasting his vast potential, with only one title to his name – won in Brisbane – since 2016.
However, Kyrgios is just too unpredictable to back here even though the fifth seed has a habit of being full of surprises.
Kremlin Cup Best Bets
Russian fans will be keen to see a home winner again after so long without a local success story in the Kremlin Cup, with both Medvedev and Khachanov having a decent chance this week.
Medvedev is perhaps slightly more likely to come out on top than Khachanov and his opening odds are a good place to start in the betting for this tournament.
Kyrgios is a livewire who probably has more talent than any of the other players in the draw, but his poor mentality counts against him too often and until he improves his behaviour it is just too difficult to back him here.
Defending champion Dzumhur has not been in great form but is an each way option while Martin Klizan could also give fans a run for their money at the Kremlin Cup.
Last but not least, consider seventh seed Jeremy Chardy.