ATP Montreal Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Fri 14th Aug by @DavAulak

Novak Djokovic v Ernests Gulbis

You have to be impressed with the run that Ernests Gulbis has made this week in Montreal, but his biggest challenge by far is next on deck for him. Gulbis is a player that does love to raise his level when playing the best players on the Tour and he has done that plenty of times in the past, but it would take something special for him to beat Novak Djokovic in the form the World Number 1 is in.

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The dismantling of Jack Sock in the Third Round was brutal and Djokovic has laid down a marker to the rest of the Tour that he has big intentions of winning the US Open which begins in two weeks time. Playing to the level he showed against Sock will be difficult, but Djokovic has the return game to keep the pressure on Gulbis.

I also do wonder how much fight the Latvian will show if he falls a set behind in this one as he is likely to be involved in qualifiers for Cincinnati next week. He might already consider this a successful week picking up vital Ranking points, but getting into the second Masters of the summer has to be important for Gulbis too.

Someone like Djokovic can take the racquet out of your hand whether you want to or not, but I do think Gulbis has the potential of just going away a little in this one. There is no guarantee that Gulbis goes to the qualifiers in Cincinnati as he doesn’t have a lot of points to defend there, but I still feel Djokovic will begin to find his eye on the return of serve which will lead to a 64, 62 win for the Number 1 Seed.

Djokovic will be able to get the better of Gulbis’ strongest shot in the backhand and I also expect the Serb to attack the forehand by changing direction from the backhand wing. That should eventually break down the Gulbis game and the Latvian is going to have to serve very big if he is going to make this a really competitive match in my opinion.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Novak Djokovic – 5.5 Games @ 2.11 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Novak Djokovic - ATP Montreal

Novak Djokovic

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Andy Murray

There is every possibility that this is one match that is held over until Saturday as they are scheduled last on the Centre Court in Montreal. With the rain expected this evening, both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray might be spending more time playing table tennis, as they did in the rain delay at Queens Club a couple of years ago, than actually the main event out on court.

I picked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to take a set off of Murray in their Davis Cup match last month and a little more focus from the Frenchman would have seen him do that as he dropped the first two sets 75, 76. Once again it is expected that Murray is going to win this one in straight sets from the layers, but I think Tsonga has played well enough this week to make this another competitive match between these players.

The key to the whole match for Tsonga is trying to get something out of the Murray second serve, the weakest shot in the British player’s game. Any extended rallies will favour Murray so Tsonga has to attack effectively on that shot if he is going to spring the surprise having beaten Murray in Toronto at this stage last year.

Aside from that victory for Tsonga, Murray has dominated the matches between these two in recent years and he has won 11/13 sets between them. However, very rarely is it an ‘easy’ win for Murray and I think Tsonga is inspired by having to defend his Ranking points from last year and can make this very close again.

The Tsonga backhand remains a big weakness in his game, but first strike tennis is the key for the Frenchman who should receive warm support throughout the match. Tsonga has the power to take a set off of Murray, but too often that hasn’t been the case in recent matches and I will instead use the games offered to Tsonga which will come off as long as he keeps this competitive throughout. Murray has played well this week, but this is the toughest challenge he has seen so far and he might have to dig very deep to get the job done.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga + 3.5 Games @ 1.99 with Matchbook

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Montreal Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Thur 13th Aug by @DavAulak

Ernests Gulbis v Donald Young

Not many people would have tipped Ernests Gulbis and Donald Young making the Third Round of a Masters event this summer as both have been out of form. However, both have come through four matches to reach this Round which includes winning two qualifiers, although Gulbis has had to dig deeper through the week.

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While Young has dropped just the one set all week and beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets, Gulbis has been pushed to three sets in each of his last three matches. The Latvian hasn’t played anyone of the level of Berdych, but the win over Dominic Thiem was a solid result and Gulbis might have more belief than he has shown throughout 2015 having bounced back from dropping the second set to beat Lukas Rosol in the Second Round.

You have to think that both players are feeling better this week, but are probably not too far away from having a crisis as they try to turn their form. Both Young and Gulbis can build some important Ranking points over the rest of the week, but I think I am giving the edge to Gulbis.

 

Ernests Gulbis - ATP Montreal

Ernests Gulbis

He has shown he can handle adversity this week which will make him feel a lot better than he has through 2015 and I think the left-handed Young will naturally go into Gulbis’ backhand strength. I would not be surprised at all if we see a three setter between these two, but I think Gulbis will eventually break down the American’s game and come through.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Ernests Gulbis – 1.5 Games @ 1.97 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Montreal Tennis Handicap Betting Previews – Wed 12th Aug by @DavAulak

Gilles Simon v Mikhail Youzhny

It was an impressive win for Mikhail Youzhny against Victor Troicki in the First Round, but I think that has a lot to do with the latter rather than the veteran Russian. Youzhny might have a strong 7-3 head to head record against Gilles Simon, but it is Simon who has won the last three matches and has covered this number each time.

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I have to respect the fact that Youzhny has won three matches in a row as that might have restored some shattered confidence, but he is going to have to roll back the years in this one you would feel. As impressive as his win over Victor Troicki was, Gilles Simon is unlikely to be as generous with the points he gives away and is coming in off an impressive straight sets win over Andreas Seppi himself.

Simon has been producing the far more consistent tennis of the two players through 2015 and I think he can wear down Youzhny in this one. He will have to serve effectively to just make this a more routine win than it might otherwise be, but Youzhny’s own serve has looked vulnerable at times and he will be physically tested.

If Simon can get an early breakthrough and show Youzhny he won’t be giving up too much that the Russian doesn’t work for, I like his chances to win this one 63, 64.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Gilles Simon – 4.5 Games @ 2.12 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Bernard Tomic - ATP Montreal

Bernard Tomic

Marin Cilic v Bernard Tomic

Both of these players have had some solid success between Wimbledon and this Masters event in Montreal and so confidence shouldn’t be an issue. It is a big six weeks for Marin Cilic who won the US Open last season and could have a significant drop in the World Rankings if he can’t build some solid points at his next three tournaments, but he made a good start with a Semi Final berth in Washington last week.

He faces Bernard Tomic who won the title in Bogota, but who suffered a disappointing early exit in Washington last week. However, Tomic has won his first match in Montreal although my concern about the Australian is surrounding some of his off-court issues.

That is taking away some of the focus and he will be put under pressure by Cilic who is getting better and better on court after injury hurt the beginning of the 2015 season. After some disappointing early results, Cilic has reached the Semi Finals in Stuttgart and Washington and the Quarter Final at Wimbledon over the last couple of months.

Improving results and battling through tough moments will all bode well for Cilic going forward, although defending his title at the US Open would be a bigger upset than him winning that Grand Slam in the first place. I think he can be too strong for Tomic as long as he serves well and puts pressure on the Australian to stay with him which may result in a 75, 64 win.

HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Marin Cilic – 2.5 Games @ 1.72 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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