TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) returns with his best bets from this week's Rothenbaum tournament from Hamburg.
ATP Hamburg | 24th-30th July 2017 | Eurosport
In the weeks following Wimbledon the majority of the tour moves Stateside as preparations begin for the final Grand Slam of the season on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.
However, the clay courts of Europe still see some action as surface specialists aim to score one last big week on the main tour this season.
This week there is a 250 event in Gstaad and a 500 event in Hamburg. Gstaad is played at altitude in Switzerland, whilst Hamburg is a slow track.
Other than Rafa Nadal’s 2015 victory, Hamburg has been the domain of streaky attacking players. Martin Klizan, Fabio Fognini, Leonardo Mayer and Andrey Golubev have all won here, but finalists also include the more obvious clay court specialists such as Nicolas Almagro, Pablo Cuevas and David Ferrer.
There are betting opportunities to be had at both events. As ever I analyse the events using methods that have returned +113.89 Units this season so far.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas is the highest seed by virtue of some great results earlier in the season on this surface. Last week in Umag, Ramos-Vinolas was the defending champion but he was battered by Fernando Verdasco in an uninspiring display.
It would be brave to envisage the top seed fulfilling his bracket this week. This quarter contains plenty of streaky players, including Verdasco, and looks a tough one to call.
I feel there is better value to be found in Quarter 2.
Karen Khachanov is giving a decent account of himself in what is his first full season playing on the main tour. The Russian has built a high ranking, and was seeded at Wimbledon, and is third seed in Hamburg.
Khachanov has very solid performance numbers on clay this season and it is not inconceivable to see him do well this week. However, I prefer other options at bigger prices than the Russian.
The other seed in this quarter is Bastad champion David Ferrer, who deserves credit for that success. But he is still a long way short of his best and can be opposed with confidence in Hamburg.
There are two players, which would be projected to meet in the 2nd Round, that I am keen on considering outright this week.
Federico Delbonis is a great clay court player and a Hamburg runner-up in 2013. The Argentine came through qualifying on that occasion, and has had to do so again this year due to injuries that have left him trying to rebuild his ranking.
Delbonis has been making a decent fist of this with some good Challenger level form recently. At a best price of 50/1 Delbonis has the potential to go deep here again.
However, I am choosing a different option. Regular readers of my WeLoveBetting column will be aware that I believe Nikoloz Basilashvili can land a title on the main tour.
The streaky attacking player fits the profile of Hamburg champions and having made the final of Kitzbuhel this time last year has form on clay post-Wimbledon. Basilashvili is 50/1 (Bet365) this week.
This quarter offers a decent chance for Benoit Paire (18/1 Win), another streaky (yet talented) player, to have a good week.
The Frenchman didn’t look particularly interested last week in Umag, but with 500 ranking points up for grabs Paire should view this as a decent chance to boost his ranking.
His draw isn’t too bad featuring tournament outright favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber and the badly out of form Gilles Simon as his most obvious challengers.
Kohlschreiber as favourite in this tournament is baffling given his obvious decline, and questionable recent fitness.
Simon, never really at his most effective on clay, would be upsetting the applecart should he break his recent form drought in Hamburg.
The bottom quarter also looks open.
Pablo Cuevas has been off tour for a few months due to injury and personal problems and wasn’t inspiring last week.
Diego Schwartzman is a very capable player on the clay and his performance statistics are very impressive this season. Schwartzman’s form has tailed off at this stage in previous seasons, and although he can go well this week, the historical evidence suggests otherwise.
That said, he has made strides forward this season and I think he is worth a play at 8/1 (Ladbrokes).
Beyond the seeds there are no other reliable candidates to make a big run from this quarter.