Gael Monfils will look to continue his fine run of form in Rotterdam this week with the Frenchman a top contender to win the 2020 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Monfils triumphed against Stan Wawrinka a year ago and has been performing well in his homeland at the Open Sud de France in the buildup, though he faces strong competition.
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The top seed this week is Daniil Medvedev with Stefanos Tsitsipas another rising star of the game who will be heading to the Rotterdam Ahoy, with former finalist David Goffin, beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2017, among the other entrants.
With three-time winner Roger Federer having opted not to enter and Andy Murray having pulled out due to injury, young players such as Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov – the seventh and eighth seeds respectively – could have a chance to impress.
The seedings are completed by the wily pair of Fabio Fognini and Roberto Bautista Agut, but where is the best value to be found in the betting for this year’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament? Let’s see how the biggest tennis bookmakers have priced the top prospects and take it from there.
Tsitsipas and Hurkacz to Face Off Again
There are a number of enticing encounters in the first round, but the most exciting of them all might just be second seed Tsitsipas taking on Hubert Hurkacz.
The pair played each other four times in 2019 with Tsitsipas holding a 4-1 head-to-head record in this match-up, though the Greek was taken all the way by Hurkacz at the Rolex Shanghai Masters where a final-set tie-break was needed to settle the clash.
Tsitsipas – who can be backed at 6/1 to take the title this week – will play either Benoit Paire or Aljaz Bedene if he reaches the second round, with the bottom quarter of the draw particularly stacked with talented players.
This section also includes a first-round meeting between rising Canadian Shapovalov (16/1) and the experienced Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (20/1), who won their only previous encounter.
Potentially awaiting Shapovalov in the second round is his compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime (66/1), who opens up against Jan-Lennard Struff (25/1).
Medvedev Aims for First Title of 2020
The breakout player on the ATP tour last season was Medvedev, with his nine titles more than anyone else won in 2019, and he will seek to win his first trophy of the new year in Rotterdam.
The Russian, a clear favourite in the ATP Rotterdam betting odds at 13/5, will get his campaign under way against Vasek Pospisil, with the talented Serbian Filip Krajinovic potentially next.
Medvedev, the world number five in the rankings, could meet Rublev (10/1) in the quarter-finals. Rublev, though, has to get through a tricky first-round clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The Georgian beat Rublev in the Hamburg final last season and Basilashvili (100/1) has a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-head record between the pair. He is more than capable of causing a shock but being in the top quarter with Medvedev restricts Basilashvili’s chances of going far.
Third Seed Monfils Aims to Defend Crown
Defending ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament champion Monfils headlines the second quarter of the draw and he is offered at a price of 7/1 to win the title again this year.
Monfils has to beat Joao Sousa if he is to progress through to the second round, though, and he could meet compatriot Gilles Simon at that stage. It is hard to see the experienced Frenchman falling in either match, with the seedings suggesting Fognini will await Monfils in the quarters.
Fognini, though, has been given one of the toughest openers in the draw with the Italian set to take on Karen Khachanov, a clean ball-striker who climbed into the world’s top 10 last year.
Khachanov is 12/1 in the betting for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title while Fognini is out at 40/1, making it clear who the bookmakers feel will get the better out of that contest.
Could it be Bautista Agut’s Year?
Bautista Agut has long been a consistent presence on the ATP tour without perhaps earning the titles that his talent deserves.
The Spaniard won a single title last season, on the hard courts of Chengdu, but started 2020 in superb form with six wins out of six playing for his country at the inaugural ATP Cup. He lost to Marin Cilic in an epic at the Australian Open but looks in good shape to go far at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, where he can be backed at odds of 12/1 to triumph.
Bautista Agut starts out against a qualifier before a potential second-round clash with compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta (22/1), who takes on Adrian Mannarino (25/1) first up.
Goffin – offered at a price of 8/1 – is also in the third quarter of the draw with the Belgian facing wild card entrant Robin Haase in the first round. Another wild card, Jannik Sinner, could be of interest as a long shot at 22/1. He won the Next Gen title against the odds at the end of 2019 and looks primed for a breakout season.
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This is the first ATP 500 event of the new season, so it is no wonder there is such strength in depth in the draw, making the winner hard to call.
Monfils has started the new season well and he triumphed at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament a year ago, while he also got to the final of the event back in 2016. At 7/1 he looks good value depending on how he recovers from exertions at the Open Sud de France.
Medvedev is arguably in the weakest section of the draw, helping to explain why the bookmakers have him as such a strong favourite, but at 10/1 his fellow Russian Rublev may prove to be a better value option for this week’s tournament.
Those happy to take on each way bets at smaller stakes could do worse than backing rising star Sinner at 22/1, while 2018’s beaten finalist Dimitrov is another decent option at 20/1.