With Wimbledon quickly approaching, most of the world’s top players have given themselves a week off to rest, recover and work on their game privately ahead of 2019’s third major.
But the 2019 Turkish Airlines Open – also known as the Antalya Open – has still been able to assemble an intriguing field for a tournament that is still finding its feet on the ATP tour.
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French duo Benoit Paire and Adrian Mannarino are the top two seeds for the week, while the defending champion Damir Dzumhur is also back in an attempt to retain his crown.
It is Mannarino who narrowly tops the betting odds for the Turkish Airlines Open, from his compatriot Paire, while Dzumhur can be backed at quite an appealing price of 25/1.
It should be a good week of action at the Antalya Open, but where is the best value to be found in the betting for this grass court event? Let’s take a look at the draw and pick some selections!
Paire’s Route to Glory?
Top seed Benoit Paire has a bye into the second round of the tournament, with the world number 28 perhaps coming up against Viktor Troicki in his opening match of the competition. The world number 28 suffered a first-round exit at the Halle Open last week but there is enough in his recent form to suggest he should fare a lot better this time out.
Paire picked up three wins at the French Open before falling to Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, with that tournament coming off the back of his triumph at the ATP 250 event the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon, where he beat Canada’s rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Adjusting to the grass court swing of the season has clearly not been easy for Paire this year but he should have the chance to ease himself into the tournament in Antalya this week.
But with a price of 5/1 making him the second favourite for the title, it is notable Paire has only won three singles titles in his career on the ATP tour, with all of them coming on clay.
Mannarino the Better Bet?
Ranked six places lower in the world than fellow Frenchman Paire, Adrian Mannarino looks to have quite a straightforward route to the latter stages of the tournament, so his price of 4/1 is fair.
He also heads to Turkey on the back of winning ATP 250 competition the Libema Open, beating Antalya third seed Jordan Thompson in the final. That was the first title of Mannarino’s ATP Tour career and while he is going to be full of confidence as a result of banking that cheque, it is always asking a lot of a player to pick up back-to-back tournament titles.
Thompson Seeks to Go One Better
Australian Jordan Thompson is an intriguing option for the Turkish Airlines Open as he can be backed at a decent price of 8/1 to lift the trophy at the end of the week.
The world number 45 beat compatriot Alex de Minaur and Richard Gasquet on his way to the final of the Libema Open, where he was beaten by Mannarino in straight sets.
It was the first time he has been to a final on the ATP Tour so Thompson will have learned a lot from the experience, and it is up to him to go one step further in this week’s event.
Made the third seed for the Antalya Open, Thompson is in the same section of the draw as Dzumhur, with Ernests Gulbis among the other notable names placed in this quarter.
Back-to-back Titles for Dzumhur
Speaking of Damir Dzumhur, he appears to be flying under the radar for the Turkish Airlines Open despite the fact he won the tournament a year ago so will be glad of the chance to return.
Bosnia’s top ranked tennis player, Dzumhur’s price of 25/1 looks to be generous considering the fact he has useful experience of what it takes to win a very new tournament on the tour.
Last year was only the second time the competition has been held on the ATP Tour, so players may still be a bit uncertain about their surroundings, but that will not be a concern for Dzumhur.
He has not added any more titles to his CV in the 12 months since his success here a year ago, but the world number 63 came through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals of the Geneva Open a few weeks ago, so he does at least travel to Turkey with some results under his belt.
Carreno Busta another Name in the Frame
An open field could present an opportunity to a player such as Pablo Carreno Busta, who is the fourth seed and as such is in the same half of the draw as Mannarino, also receiving a bye into the second round of the tournament.
The 27-year-old Spaniard is a former top 10 player in the world rankings so his talent should not be doubted, but his form over the course of the year so far has been quite concerning.
A string of first round exits at tournaments was broken by a couple of victories at the French Open, but Carreno Busta has not been back in action since Roland Garros.
His price of 14/1 for the Antalya Open title is therefore difficult to take on in the circumstances.
2019 Turkish Airlines Open Picks
Most players will likely be concentrating on their conditioning in order to be in peak condition for Wimbledon, which when combined with the difficulty in picking a winner for a new tournament on the tour, makes for a tough draw to handicap. However, we do have some thoughts on the matter.
Top seed Benoit Paire has a chance of going deep into the draw, but the Frenchman’s record on grass is not particularly strong and he looks vulnerable as a result.
Adrian Mannarino heads to the Antalya Open on the back of his first career title and he may feel this is a great chance to build further momentum relatively late in his career.
The favourite of the tournament will have to adapt to having a target on his back, however, while a price of 4/1 for a player who until recently had never lifted an ATP Tour trophy looks short.
Of the other contenders, Jordan Thompson should be in the hunt given he got to the final of the Libema Open along with Mannarino and the third seed is available to back at a more appealing 8/1.
But those willing to take on higher odds, although only on an each way basis at small stakes, could perhaps be tempted by the defending champion Dzumhur, who is offered at 25/1.