Our tennis man Andy Schooler had a 16/1 shot placed last week and now he’s back with his ATP betting tips for the Coupe Rogers in Montreal, including one at 100/1.

 

Coupe Rogers

Montreal, Canada (outdoor hard)

I’ve written many times before about the Big Four’s dominance of the ATP’s Masters 1000 tournaments – 69 of the last 84 have been won by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray.

That has resulted in events such as this week’s Coupe Rogers having less betting appeal than some of their smaller counterparts.

However, with both Djokovic and Federer having opted out and Murray only playing doubles, Nadal is the only one of the quartet able to extend that statistic and that makes it a more interesting betting heat.

Nadal has won this tournament four times in his career, although punters need to remember it is hosted alternately by both Montreal (this year’s venue) and Toronto. For the record, Nadal’s victories have been split equally with his last success in Montreal being in 2013. The conditions at the two venues aren’t massively different with both using DecoTurf II surfaces.

At 15/8, Nadal could look big come the weekend but he’s short enough for me. Remember this is his first appearance since a somewhat disappointing semi-final defeat to Federer at Wimbledon and with the surface switch he may need a bit of time to bed in.

With that in mind, a potential opening match against Alex de Minaur is far from ideal – the young Australian has already won on the North American hardcourts this summer, in Atlanta, where he didn’t lose serve all week. After that success, his hot-on-the-heels loss in Washington can perhaps be excused.

 

Is 12/1 Greek a gift?

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the player I’ll oppose Nadal with at odds of 12/1.

The Greek is happy to be back on his favourite hardcourt surface and he showed that last week in Washington where he played well only to lose by the narrowest of margins in the semi-finals.

He didn’t drop a set until facing Nick Kyrgios in the last four and even then he held match point before losing a contest in which both players won the same amount of points, going down 9-7 in a final-set tie-break.

Essentially he was very close and perhaps a slightly-earlier-than-hoped-for departure will have left him better prepared for Montreal where he has a decent draw.

Gael Monfils is his seeded last-16 foe but the Frenchman’s flying start to the season seems a long time ago and we hear more about his relationship with WTA star Elina Svitolina now than his tennis.

Only one of Kei Nishikori, Roberto Bautista Agut, Diego Schwartzman and Benoit Paire can come through to face Tsitsipas in any quarter-final and the one who does may well have had to work hard.

I considered the first three in that list but decided Nishikori was a tad short, Bautista Agut had a poor head-to-head record against these rivals and Schwartzman is also a little skinny at 33s despite his title success in Los Cabos at the weekend.

Tsitsipas looks the man here and having made the final in Toronto 12 months ago, he’ll be fully focused with so many ranking points to defend.

 

Basil can brush off rivals

Heading into the bottom half, the third quarter of the draw has the potential to provide a surprise quarter-finalist given its main seeds are Alex Zverev – winner of this title the last time the tournament was staged in Montreal – and Karen Khachanov.

The pair are arguably vying for the biggest let-down of the year prize, with Zverev probably leading the way. He’s now also split from coach Ivan Lendl and I can find few reasons to back him right now.

Nikoloz Basilashvili has the potential to take advantage in this section at tasty odds of 100/1.

The Georgian had been on a poor run but he bounced back last time out in Hamburg where he won the title and that bodes well for the summer hardcourt campaign.

He played well on the DecoTurf at last year’s US Open, reaching the last 16 and testing Rafael Nadal. This season he’s made quarter-finals in Doha and Dubai, beating both Khachanov and Bautista Agut in the latter, and the last 16 in Miami.

Yes, he’ll need to improve on those showings but this draw offers him a good opportunity to do so and the big-hitting Basil makes the coupon.

Finally, in the bottom quarter is second seed Dominic Thiem, who’s had to hot-foot it from the Kitzbuhel clay at altitude – hardly the best preparation, even if he did win the title.

Marin Cilic is also here having shown some good signs in Washington, although not enough to warrant going off 9/1.

 

Opportunity knocks for Isner

The key to this part of the draw is arguably the expected second-round meeting of Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios – the two players who, at time of writing, are due to contest the Washington final.

That is a real blockbuster at such an early stage and I’d want to watch the Washington clash before getting involved with either.

As ever, my view of Kyrgios is that even if you miss out on one of his rare title wins, you just need to swallow that and move on. Back him blind and you will lose money, without question, and there is no evidence in the book to support a theory he’s about to go back-to-back.

Indeed, both he and Medvedev have never made two finals in as many weeks and I’d certainly have concerns about how the Aussie might react to the crowd on his return to a city where he verbally abused Stan Wawrinka four years ago.

John Isner might just be able to take advantage of the situation.

His results have been disappointing in recent weeks but, as ever with the big server, the margins have been fine – his Atlanta loss to Reilly Opelka came in three tie-breaks, while a single break of serve for Paire took him down in Washington last week.

With his price now out to 33/1, this looks the time to get involved with the giant American.

He nearly always delivers something during the North American hardcourt swing and while you can argue he’s got a better chance in the faster conditions of Cincinnati next week, you can be sure he’ll be determined to put his iffy run behind him in Montreal where he made the quarter-finals in 2015 and only lost after holding seven match points.

Like all my selections this week, I’d only advise a small bet but this event provides a chance for one of the ATP’s also-rans and hopefully one of the trio can come good.

Tips:

Stefanos Tsitsipas each-way –

John Isner each way –

Nikoloz Basilashvili each way –

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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