Having seen picks lose from championship point up in his last two previews, Andy Schooler is hoping it’s third time lucky with this week’s ATP tennis betting tips.

Swedish Open

Bastad, Sweden (outdoor clay)

Little-known Henri Laaksonen loves this tournament and looks worth a punt at 35/1.

The Swiss made the semi-finals here 12 months ago, going a round further than he did in 2017.

During those runs he’s beaten Pablo Cuevas, Santiago Giraldo and Matteo Berrettini – all good claycourt players – and he also only lost 7-6 in the third to David Ferrer when exiting in 2017.

In short, his tournament record is one worth paying attention to.

Laaksonen, who has been able to raise his game against better players when representing the Swiss Davis Cup team, also arrives having shown some decent form on the clay this season.


He made the quarter-finals in Houston, losing only to eventual champion Cristian Garin, before winning a Challenger title in Rome.

He duly qualified for Roland Garros where he won a round before losing to Novak Djokovic and then only last week he reached the semis of a Challenger in Germany, where it took the eventual champion to defeat him.

Laaksonen does face a tough test in round one against Nicolas Jarry but if he comes through that, the draw could well open up, especially with top seed Garin set for an awkward opener against Jeremy Chardy.

A small bet at 35/1 is the call.

In the bottom half, Fernando Verdasco is the man the odds suggest will reach the final and given his record here, that’s fair enough.

However, despite getting to the quarter-finals or beyond on eight occasions, Verdasco has never actually won the title and at 6/1 the two-time runner-up makes little each-way appeal.

Norway’s Casper Ruud is a viable alternative – he lost to Garin in that Houston final. Playing in Sweden is as close to home as it gets for Ruud on the ATP Tour and he made the quarter-finals here last season but at 9/1 I’m not tempted to get involved.

Instead I’ll take a chance on 14/1 shot Juan Ignacio Londero, who certainly looks capable of coming through a weak third quarter.

The surprise champion in Cordoba back in February has built on that success and recently he beat both Nikoloz Basilashvili and Richard Gasquet en route to the last 16 of the French Open, where it took a certain Rafael Nadal to stop him.

With Gasquet, a player who has struggled for fitness this year, considered his biggest rival in the quarter, Londero is worth an each-way try in this section.


Henri Laaksonen each way –

Juan Ignacio Londero each way –

Plava Laguna Croatia Open

Umag, Croatia (outdoor clay)

With a strong 20-9 win-loss record in Umag, one which includes the title here in 2016, it’s no surprise to see Fabio Fognini chalked up as the favourite.

The Italian, who also won in Bastad in this very same week of the ATP Tour last season, has enjoyed a fine year, one which brought him a first Masters 1000 title in Monte Carlo.

However, I’ll never be keen on the mentally-fragile Fogna at a price of 10/3 – just remember this was the guy fined by Wimbledon officials for saying he’d like a bomb to fall on the All England Club.

He should be happier back on the clay but that isn’t a price for me.

Instead I’ll turn to Pablo Andujar in search of a profit.

The Spaniard finished runner-up in Marrakech earlier this season (when followers of this column were hopefully on) and while he then picked up a bit of an injury, last month he captured the Czech Open Challenger title when the aforementioned Ruud was among his victims.

Andujar starts against Leonardo Mayer but the Argentine is a player who may well have one eye on next week’s event in Hamburg where he’s twice been the champion and once the runner-up.

Come through that and Andujar can go deep. I’ll back him each-way at 16/1.

In terms of a second pick, I’m going to take a chance on a 50/1 qualifier.

This is a tournament with a strong history for those coming through qualifying. In 2017 it was won by lucky loser Andrey Rublev, while last season Marco Trungelliti made the semis.

The man in question is Salvatore Caruso, who has been playing some good stuff of late.

He qualified for the French Open and duly beat both Jaume Munar and Gilles Simon before losing the last 32 to Novak Djokovic, although he was far from disgraced in that contest.

A player who has also beaten Pablo Cuevas on clay this season and David Goffin on a hardcourt, Caruso also qualified for Wimbledon to take his good form onto the grass.

However, he’ll be happy to be back on the dirt and after an impressive victory over Tommy Robredo on Monday in the final qualifying round, I’m prepared to add him to my coupon, albeit to small stakes.

He’ll have to face home hope Borna Coric if he makes round two but the local hero has a disappointing record at his home event – never going past the quarter-finals – and Caruso could well make things awkward in that one.


Pablo Andujar each way –

Salvatore Caruso each way –

Hall of Fame Open

Newport, USA (outdoor grass)

Three-time winner John Isner heads the field for the final grasscourt event of the year in Rhode Island.

The venue is steeped in tradition and the courts tend to play pretty fast – don’t expect a repeat of the slower Wimbledon conditions.

That should aid Isner’s huge serve but it should be remembered that he’s playing only his second tournament since March.


He was broken four times in defeat by Mikhail Kukushkin at Wimbledon and frankly isn’t a 3/1 favourite I can trust right now.

I’ll take him on in the top half with his compatriot Denis Kudla, a strong server when his game is on and exactly the sort of player who could edge out Isner in a tight battle. The pair could meet in the quarter-finals.

Before then, Kudla will have to get past Bradley Klahn, against whom he’s won the last three, and then either Matt Ebden or Brayden Schnur. Ebden is woefully out of sorts right now, while Schnur trails Kudla 2-0 on their head-to-head and has little pedigree on grass.

That same cannot be said of Kudla.

He’s been to the semis of Halle and the last eight at Queen’s Club in the past, not to mention the last 16 of Wimbledon in 2015 – the same year he won the Ilkley Challenger.

During the current grasscourt season, he’s beaten Gael Monfils in Stuttgart, that result coming on the back of a semi-final run at the Surbiton Challenger.

At 20/1, Kudla has each-way potential.

In the bottom half of the draw, it could well be worth backing Jordan Thompson again.


Profitable for this column when finishing runner-up in Den Bosch, the Australian has since been to the semis in Antalya and then pushed Nick Kyrgios to a fifth set at Wimbledon, a match in which he had real chances.

Thompson, now at a career-high in the rankings, doesn’t look to have too many worries in this half.

Former champion Ivo Karlovic is a potential quarter-final foe but the big-serving Croat was broken five times by Thompson at the French Open, where the Aussie didn’t face break point himself.

A bigger threat is probably Adrian Mannarino, champion in Den Bosch but only after Thompson missed a set point in the opener of that final.

Mannarino is a 5/1 chance but, given he’s three points bigger, I prefer Thompson, who would be capable of edging any semi-final they play.


Denis Kudla each way –

Jordan Thompson –

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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