The 2019 ATP World Tour continues this week with another three tournaments on the card. The most prestigious of the three is the Rio Open (ATP 500) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while the others are the Open 13 Provence (ATP 250) in Marseille (France), and the Delray Beach Open (ATP 250) in Florida, USA.
Rio de Janeiro’s Rio Open is the first clay court ATP 500 event of the season. It was first held in 2014 and was won by the best clay court player of all time in Rafael Nadal. Since then, his Spaniard compatriot David Ferrer has been crowned champion (2015), as has other clay court gems in Pablo Cuevas (2016), Dominic Thiem (2017), and most recently Diego Schwartzman (2018).
1 Dominic Thiem (Austria) – WR 8
2 Fabio Fognini (Italy) – WR 15
3 Marco Cecchinato (Italy) – WR 18
4 Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) – WR 19
5 Joao Sousa (Portugal) – WR 41
6 Dusan Lajovic (Serbia) – WR 43
7 Malek Jaziri (Tunisia) – WR 44
8 Nicolas Jarry (Chile) – WR 47
We’ve got pretty much the same field in Rio as we did in Buenos Aires last week. Our selection in that tournament was Dominic Thiem, but unfortunately he bowed out in the semi-final to the eventual runner-up Deigo Schwartzman. Both men have solid enough draws this week, although they’re on opposite parts of the draw this time around. Last week’s clay court champion was Marco Cecchinato, who comes in as fourth favourite in Rio. The only other real threat here is Italian Fabio Fognini who’s been poor in 2019, although he does have a decent draw to start the tournament. Outside of the top four seeds we don’t really fancy anyone in what is a very top heavy draw. Once again, we’ll be making a play on the world’s second best clay court player in Dominic Thiem, who he feel is miles better than the rest of the field in his usual form.
The Open 13 is played on hard courts at the Palais des sports de Marseille in France. It’s an ATP 250 event that usually draws in a number of the top players in the world and this year in no exception. The current champion is Russian young gun Karen Khachanov, although he’s not draw to play here this week. The winningest all-time player at the Open 13 belongs to Thomas Enqvist and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The latter will be looking for his fourth title here after being given a wildcard entry.
1 Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) – WR 12
2 Borna Coric (Croatia) – WR 13
3 David Goffin (Belgium) – WR 21
4 Denis Shapovalov (Canada) – WR 25
5 Fernando Verdasco (Spain) – WR 26
6 Gilles Simon (France) – WR 31
7 Gael Monfils (France) – WR 33
8 Jeremy Chardy (France) – WR 35
Although only an ATP 250, the Open 13 Marseille has arguably the most stacked field of all events this week. After taking a close look at the form and draw of all the main hopes, we’ve taken a keen interest in the value of Stefanos Tsitsipas. He’s drawn to go deep here with no real threat until a potential meeting with David Goffin in the semi’s. Tsitsipas does potentially face Gael Monfils in the third round, but Monfils is coming off a big title winning week where he’s sure to have some carry over fatigue, which we’ve seen him really struggle with in the past. At $6 we’re more than happy to take Tsitsipas again, although we will sprinkle a little bit on Borna Coric, who has a decent run to the finals himself and should be fresh after a decent spell.
The Delray Beach Open was played on green clay courts in Coral Springs for the first six years from its inception in 1993. However, it then moved to Delray Beach in 1999 and has been played on outdoor hard courts ever since. Each of the last three editions of the Delray Beach Open have been won by Americans, those being Sam Querrey (2016), Jack Sock (2017), and Frances Tiafoe (2018). Only the latter will be back to compete in the tournament this week.
1 Juan Martin Del Potro (Argentina) – WR 4
2 John Isner (USA) – WR 9
3 Frances Tiafoe (USA) – WR 29
4 Steve Johnson (USA) – WR 34
5 John Millman (USA) – WR 37
6 Andreas Seppi (Italy) – WR 40
7 Taylor Fritz (USA) – WR 42
8 Adrian Mannarino (France) – WR 48
There are a few draws at the Delray Beach Open that could prove to be value if things fall their way. For example, Nick Kyrgios is set to face fifth seed John Millman in the first round in a game he’s more than capable of winning. If he does in fact win, then he’s drawn to probably go on and face Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis, who hasn’t played a match yet in 2019. At double figure odds, Nick Kygrios might be worth a little play in the top half. However, our favourite draw has to be the big American, John Isner. He’s seeded second here and has only Frances Tiafoe as the main man to trouble him in the bottom half (Isner leads H2H 2-0 vs Tiafoe).
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