The American hard court swing is in full flow this week with the ATP tour rolling in to America’s capital. The US Open is very much on the horizon at the end of August and some of the world’s elite are looking to gain valuable match practice.
Hard court tennis tournaments are normally won by big servers and efficient returners and the field at Washington is full of both. As we reach the round of 16, there’s plenty of home interest as well as 4 of the words top 10 still hoping to progress through the draw.
Yesterday’s departure of Nick Kyrgios who’s now retired in the last 3 events he’s played, coupled with last night’s defeat for defending champion Gael Monfils, will offer plenty of encouragement for the other players in the draw.
The outright market as always, is governed by who’s due to play who and where the threats in the draw lie.
Milos Raonic – 9/2. He’s always a threat, particularly during the hard court swing and leads the market. His route to the last four or even the final looks favorable so he could be worth backing at this point.
Dominic Thiem – 5/1. The number 1 seed has been in imperious form this year and will fancy his chances against Raonic (they’re on course to meet in the semi finals).
Alexander Zverev – 11/2. Number 3 seed Zverev has risen to prominence this year with a string of sensational performances. His route to the final could include Grigor Dimitrov and the winner of Kei Nishikori and Juan Martin Del Potro which could be a big ask for the young German.
Juan Martin Del Potro – 7/1. Despite his struggles with injury, Del Potro is always on of the most feared men on tour and loves the hard courts. He’s got a potentially tough route moving forward but if his serve fires, 7/1 could be a worthy punt.
Kei Nishikori – 15/2. Nishikori is another man who loves the hard courts, but has struggled for consistency in 2017. Del Potro awaits in the round of 16 but Nishikori won’t be bothered with the pace on the ball and at seeded 2 for this event – will fancy his chances if he can sneak through his next match.
Kei Nishikori vs Juan Martin Del Potro
Two genuine heavyweights of the men’s game meet in the round of 16 which will delight the Citi Open tournament organisers. Nishikori – despite being seeded 2 in Washington – is the outsider for this one and will be hoping his recent fortunes will improve and could definitively cause some damage at 11/10 with Ladbrokes. Del Potro is still searching for his best form following his injury troubles but recent results suggest he’s going to kick on toward the end of this season. His slight favouritism – 4/5 with Ladbrokes – will purely be down to his previous successes on hard courts.
Head to Head
This will be the 7th meeting between these two players with Del Potro leading the head to head 5:1. Nishikori’s one victory came on the hard courts at Basel in 2016 and he will be hoping he can repeat that performance here.
With these 2 so closely matched and their game styles so contrasting, a 3 set match is a real possibility. Over 2.5 sets in the match at 11/8 with Ladbrokes seems particularly good value.
Dominic Thiem vs Kevin Anderson
As the number 1 seed in the competition, Thiem begins this game as the marginal favourite 4/6 with Ladbrokes. He will be very much aware of the threat Anderson poses though and seemingly the bookies are too by pricing the big South African at best priced 13/10 with Boyle Sports.
Head to Head
This will be the 6th meeting between these two players with Anderson clean sweeping Thiem so far 5:0. Thiem retired in their most recent meeting and previous results suggest he struggles to come to terms with Anderson’s huge hitting and it could be difficult for the Austrian on the slick courts in Washington.
Anderson’s big serve will massively influence the way this match pans out. Thiem has struggled with it in the past but will be hoping to get to grips with it here. If Thiem struggles to break the Anderson serve – a tie-break in the match looks a real possibility.
Tie break in the match – 5/6 with SkyBet.