2019 Winston Salem Open

2019 Winston-Salem Open: Murray Takes Wildcard but Querrey the Favourite

Andy Murray is back in action again at the 2019 Winston-Salem Open but the former world number one is lagging behind the tournament favourite Sam Querrey in the betting odds.

Murray, who made his return to singles action last week at the Western & Southern Open, is continuing to build up his fitness after undergoing hip surgery earlier in the year.

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But while most players have one eye on the US Open, which is now approaching very quickly, Murray has ruled out entering the tournament either to play singles or doubles.

“I’m not going to play doubles at the US Open,” Murray told BBC Sport. “My goal is to get back playing at the level that I want to on the singles court, and I’ve decided that I need to focus all my energies on that right now. The US Open, doubles and mixed, can be another couple of weeks that you are slowing things down.”

Murray will still be the main player fans want to watch out for at the Winston-Salem Open despite the Scot failing to make an impact in Cincinnati, losing his first match to Richard Gasquet in straight sets.

Benoit Paire and Denis Shapovalov are among the top players heading to Wake Forest University for the event, but where is the best value to be found in the betting odds? Let’s see what prices the best tennis sites are offering and determine which players truly offer the best upside for your wagers.

Top Seed Paire Out of Form

Frenchman Benoit Paire has been made the top seed for the Winston-Salem Open this week but he has lost his last four matches, which helps to explain why he can be backed at odds of 10/1.

Paire has won a couple of titles so far this year, however, claiming the big cheque in events hosted in Lyon and Marrakech so far in 2019, so he has proven he has the talent needed.

The 30-year-old will play against either Cedrik Marcel-Stebe or Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the second round after being given a bye, after which he could come up against a compatriot in the form of Ugo Humbert, who will be back on court after missing the last couple of weeks.

Paire is in the same quarter of the draw as Pablo Carreno Busta, who returns to the tournament he won three years ago by besting fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the final.

Carreno Busta has struggled with injury in 2019 but knocked out Gilles Simon and John Isner during his run to the third round of the Cincinnati Masters, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. At a price of 14/1 to win the event for the second time in his career, Carreno Busta might just be a better option to come through the top quarter of the draw than the top seed Paire.

Murray to Open Against Sandgren

The draw for the Winston-Salem Open has put Andy Murray up against Tennys Sandgren first up and the former British number one will have to show improvement on his performance in Ohio. Denis Shapovalov awaits Murray in the second round should he come through that test and the rising Canadian star has not been at his best in recent weeks, so the draw could open up.

But Murray can be backed at 25/1 to win the tournament, which shows the lack of confidence in his fitness levels after such a long period away from the ATP tour. Murray is in the bottom quarter of the draw, which is also where the tournament favourite Querrey – offered at around the 7/1 mark – can be found.

The American is only the sixth seed but tops the odds with Roberto Carballes Baena likely to be his first opponent at the Winston-Salem Open. This mini-section of the draw also includes Andrey Rublev, who produced a brilliant performance to knock Roger Federer out last week.

Another player to keep an eye out from the bottom quarter is Miomir Kecmanovic, with the Serbian teenager set to break into the top 50 of the world rankings for the first time in his career. The 19-year-old, priced at 33/1 in the odds for the Winston-Salem Open, has a bright future.

Berdych Back for First Time Since Wimbledon

One of the biggest names in the draw for the Winston-Salem Open is Tomas Berdych, who makes his return to the court for the first time since Wimbledon.

The Czech player has been out of action due to injury and will come up against Andreas Seppi in his first match, but home hope Frances Tiafoe looks the best bet to come through this section of the draw, the third quarter.

Tiafoe, who can be backed at odds of 18/1, is slightly shorter in the betting than Berdych even though he has been struggling for consistent form over the course of the past few weeks. Hubert Hurkacz and Filip Krajinovic, the third and eighth seeds respectively, are also in this section and are offered at 16/1 and 33/1 respectively to win the Winston-Salem Open.

Evans Can Make a Splash

British fans will have most of their attention on Murray, but Dan Evans looks to have a decent chance of making good progress at the Winston-Salem Open this week. He is offered at 20/1 with some outlets and appears to have a clear path through to the latter stages.

Evans, the fifth seed for the tournament, starts his efforts against either Steve Johnson or Corentin Moutet, with his main obstacle in the way of him reaching the quarter-finals seeming to be Casper Ruud, who he is scheduled to meet in the third round.

Winston-Salem Open Best Bets

With most of the top stars from the sport resting up ahead of next week’s US Open, this could be a chance for some of the younger players on the tour to make their names.

But traditionally experienced players have instead come out on top here, with Bautista Agut having reached two of the past three finals, although Daniil Medvedev was last year’s winner.

Querrey looks to be too short at 7/1 as the favourite, with the American in danger of dropping out of the top 50 of the world rankings having failed to win a title on the singles tour since 2017.

Instead, former champion Carreno Busta – only the 11th seed this year – looks like a good price at 14/1, while there are a number of decent options for those happy to take each way bets.

At 20/1, Dan Evans can profit from being left in the shade by attention being focused on fellow Briton Murray, while Frances Tiafoe at 18/1 looks the best option from the crop of Americans in the draw.

Lastly, 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic is enjoying a breakthrough year and the Winston-Salem Open could just be where he announces himself to the wider public. He is offered at a massive 33/1.

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