The week before the French Open… and most of the big names were resting up ahead of Roland Garros.
However, in Germany home favourite German Philipp Kohlschreiber took full advantage to bag the ‘W’ in Dusseldorf.
Whilst in the South of France, Ernests Gulbis landed the ATP Nice title.
Here’s what my tennis tipster made of the pre-Grand Slam action.
Kohlschreiber lands career win No.5 (and win No.4 in Germany)
It’s a well-known strategy in tennis betting to look for players competing on home soil.
Whether it’s a general ease with the surroundings, familiarity with the playing conditions or the simple benefit of home support…
The conclusion is the same…
There’s money to be made backing tennis players when they compete in their own backyard.
Take a look at Kohlschreiber…
A total of five career titles, four coming in his native Germany – Munich (2007 & 2012), Halle (2011) and now Dusseldorf (2014).
What’s more… six times a runner-up on the ATP Tour with a further three of these coming in his own backyard (Halle 2008, Munich & Stuttgart 2013).
Did the bookmakers recognise this fact?
Well, sadly they did on this occasion.
A player who had previously won only four titles in his entire pro tennis career stetching back to 2001, Kohlschreiber was only on offer with the layers at a miserable 3.5 (5/2).
So don’t think that every time this happens you’ll be able to lump on a big-priced, under-rated, home-loving player who’s going to land you a monster gamble.
But that said… players regularly over-perform on home soil, winning matches they’ve not supposed to win and landing titles they might not otherwise have taken.
Watch out for them. They can make you money.
Côte d’Azur success for Gulbis
Much has been written about the talented Latvian, Ernests Gulbis.
A player with the ability to rank much higher than his current mark (world No.17)… and it’s taken the 25-year-old long enough to get there!
This is a guy who won his first title (Delray Beach) in 2010… but has too often failed to deliver the goods.
As shown by a pre-French Open record of 20:26 in the Slams. Which is a very poor return by a player with this much ‘game’.
Maybe this result will be another opportunity for Gulbis to kick-on in his career and start pressing a claim – which is justifiable – for a Top 10 ranking.
And here in the South of France, as the No.2 seed, the man from Riga played to something like that level in beating Klizan-Tursunov-Montanes-Delbonis en route to the title.
That’s two titles already in 2014 (Marseille & Nice) with more to come…
100% perfect record in finals
In winning the ATP Nice title Ernests Gulbis took his record in finals to 6:0.
No mean achievement.
Compare that to a player like Tomas Berdych (9:13)… who averages under 41%.
Gael Monfils (5:16)… at less than 24%. And someone like Julien Benneteau (0:9)… a dreadful 0% strike rate in finals.
Makes this kind of statistic worth knowing.
It can tell you a lot about a player’s mental strength, all-round temperament and general winning ability.
So it’s always worth a quick check of a player’s win-loss in finals.
It won’t necessarily tell you the whole story (that perfect final record of Gulbis is actually at odds with his career profile) but it’s another piece in the jigsaw when it comes to selecting outright tournament bets.
Would you back a guy like Benneteau, who had lost every final he’d played?
Updating the ATP Tour stats after last week…
Gulbis now makes it seven players in 2014 who have won multiple titles.
And after last week’s round of action, the verdict is…
Who’s Hot… Ernests Gulbis, Philpp Kohlschreiber & Jiri Vesely
Who’s Hot… John Isner, Bernard Tomic & Juan Monaco
Next stop on the ATP Tour schedule is the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open.
Rafael Nadal will be gunning for a 9th title in Paris, Novak Djokovic the one major he needs to complete a career Grand Slam… with Andy Murray and Roger Federer also featuring prominently in the outright tennis betting odds.
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