Andy Murray continues his recovery from injury at the 2019 China Open, where a wide open field has been assembled for a tournament won last year by Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Murray is a former champion of this event, having beaten Grigor Dimitrov in the final three years ago, but the Briton is unlikely to go all the way again in Beijing.
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The former world number one has struggled for results since returning to the ATP tour after a long lay-off following surgery on his troublesome hip at the start of the year.
Murray, though, remains one of the biggest names in the draw for the China Open, where any one of a handful of players will think they can lift the trophy at the end of the week.
Among those listed as the favourites in the betting odds for the China Open are Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Roberto Bautista Agut.
All five of those players are ranked in the top 10 of the world, showing the strong depth of quality in the field for this event, which is held at the National Tennis Center.
But where is the best value to be found in the China Open betting odds? Let’s take a look as we compare the odds across our favourite bookmakers.
Thiem Hoping to Avoid Another Early Exit
Top seed Dominic Thiem is among the favourites for the China Open crown despite the fact he has failed to win a single match on each of his two previous visits to the Beijing tournament.
He will hope it is third time lucky this time out having been pitted against Richard Gasquet – who reached the semi-finals here back in 2013 – while Kyle Edmund, a semi-finalist at the China Open just last year, could await in the second round.
Thiem has therefore been given just about as tough a draw as possible considering his seeding and it is hard to back him at a price of 9/1 due to his poor recent record at the tournament.
Also in the top quarter of the draw is the returning Murray, who will take on US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini in one of the most intriguing matches from the opening round.
At 10/1 in the betting odds for the China Open, Berrettini is one of the favourites so it is clear the bookmakers have little faith in Murray being able to come through that match.
Murray did at least get a singles win under his belt in Zhuhai last week, when he knocked out Tennys Sandgren, but Berrettini is a step up in class for the Scot and he could head home early.
Tsitsipas Also Out of Form
Along with Thiem, Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas is another man who will be hoping for a change of fortunes when he heads to Beijing for the China Open.
The world number seven is considered a talent who could win multiple major titles in his career, but even winning a single match has been a problem for him in the last few weeks.
Tsitsipas has not won a match since the Citi Open back in August and he was beaten by Andrey Rublev at the Laver Cup recently. His price of 8/1 to win the China Open therefore looks short.
“I didn’t really have great results since [the]… beginning of August, I didn’t do much,” Tsitsipas, who is still in the hunt to qualify for the season’s end event, the ATP Finals, said. “I hope to make a few changes and adapt to the new changes that I’ve made in my game in order to perform better and not be so tight and so close with the London entry.”
Third seed Tsitsipas takes on Dusan Lajovic in his first-round match and that is far from a guaranteed victory for the Greek against the Monte-Carlo Masters finalist. Tsitsipas is also in the same section of the draw as defending champion Basilashvili, who is at around the 25/1 mark.
Tiafoe Up First for Zverev
Second seed Alexander Zverev is offered at 10/1 but like Tsitsipas he could be vulnerable to an early exit having been drawn with the talented Frances Tiafoe in the opening round.
Tiafoe took Zverev to five sets at the US Open recently, though he has only beaten the German in one of the five matches they have played to date.
Zverev got to the semi-finals of the China Open back in 2017 and he has a 100 per cent record of getting through the opening round of the tournament, so that statistic is certainly in his favour.
Felix Auger-Aliassime could await Zverev in the second round, although the Canadian has a tough test first up against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who showed good form in Zhuhai last week.
Khachanov Leads Second Quarter
The favourite with some bookmakers at a price of around the 8/1 mark, fourth seed Karen Khachanov is expected by many to perform well in Beijing. He opens up against a qualifier in the first round.
Khachanov could then come up against Grigor Dimitrov or Rublev in the quarter-finals, while Fabio Fognini, who has been to the semi-finals of the China Open twice, is also in this section of the draw. Other names to watch out for in this quarter include Marco Cecchinato, the former French Open semi-finalist, who has struggled for consistency since that run of form in Paris.
China Open Best Bets
A wide open field is reflected in the betting for the 2019 China Open, with no fewer than seven players available to back at 10/1 or lower.
With no Novak Djokovic – he has won this event six times since it was upgraded to an ATP World Tour 500 series event back in 2009 – there is a chance to see a new name on the trophy.
Karen Khachanov looks to have a better draw than a lot of the other top seeds and this could make him an attractive selection at 8/1 with the bookmakers.
Alexander Zverev often produces his best performances when he is not in the spotlight and having seen a stunning start to his career fade a little, he could get back on track at odds of 10/1 this week.
A player available at the same price is Matteo Berrettini, who could go far as long as he is able to negotiate his way past a first-round test against former world number one Murray.
For those looking to take on a bigger price, perhaps at small stakes on an each way basis, Grigor Dimitrov at 16/1 is certainly a name worthy of consideration. He has been to the final of the China Open before and has shown an improved level of performance of late.