Our expert Andy Schooler has 10/1 and 40/1 tennis betting tips for this week’s ATP Rolex Shanghai Masters tournament in China.


Rolex Shanghai Masters

Shanghai, China (outdoor hard)

This year’s Shanghai Masters will be the 11th staging of the tournament.

The maiden edition was won by the now-retired Nikolay Davydenko. Since then just three players have lifted the trophy – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

All three are in this year’s field.

Expecting Murray (33/1) to win for a fourth time is stretching things a bit given he’s still in the early stages of his comeback from injury. That said, there have been plenty of encouraging signs in Zhuhai and Beijing during the ongoing Asian swing.

The slick conditions here – they play on a medium-fast DecoTurf surface – suit Federer (4/1) down to the ground and there won’t be too many places the Swiss prefers to play on the tour.

However, he comes in relatively cold compared to defending champion and favourite Novak Djokovic, who has looked in imperious form in Tokyo over the past week, another venue which plays fairly fast.

If he continues in the same vein, 6/4 may look a snip come next weekend.

However, for me to be tipping up players at that price I need to feel they are bombproof and that’s not the case.


Make it Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev could certainly prove to be a fly in the ointment.

The Russian was outstanding over the summer hardcourt season, reaching three finals in as many weeks in North America, including winning at this Masters level in Cincinnati – another of the faster tour venues.

He followed that up by reaching the US Open final and pushing Rafael Nadal to a fifth set.

Somewhat surprisingly, he showed no sign of slowing down in St Petersburg when he made a quick return to action last month.

Another significant factor in terms of this event is that Medvedev beat Djokovic during his run in Cincinnati – his second win in a row this year against the Serb.

If there’s any player who won’t be fazed by meeting an in-form Djokovic here, it is probably Medvedev. He looks too big at 10/1 and definitely the value in the top half.

Down in the bottom section, it would be no surprise to see Federer come through – as I’ve said, the conditions here are ideal.


Swerve Federer

However, these days this time of year really is a test of how well Federer has scheduled his appearances during the season. At 38, fatigue could be a factor in the closing weeks of the campaign.

On that front, a significant difference this year has been the fact Federer did play during the claycourt season. Subsequently he arrives here having already played 52 matches. Last year that figure was 43; in 2017 it was 45.

I can swerve Federer at 4/1 and instead try to find a big-priced alternative, for there is certainly potential for one to reach the final on this side of the draw.

Take Federer out and it looks very open.


Open half

Dominic Thiem is seeded to meet Federer in the semis but these conditions are much faster than he’d like. Admittedly the Austrian has played well over the past week in Beijing but that may also prove a factor – he’s played a lot of tennis in 2019 and reaching back-to-back finals at this time of year is a tough ask.

Alex Zverev was a pick of this column last week and while he justified faith to some extent – his performance level was much improved, as predicted – the fact is he again fell short when the going got tough. He remains without a win against top-10 opposition this season and that’s going to be a big burden to carry at a Masters event.

Roberto Bautista Agut, finalist here in 2016, is the other top-eight seed in the half but he’s been below his best of late and not one for me right now.


Berrettini the bet

The man I do like the look of is Matteo Berrettini, who is worth chancing at 40/1.

The Italian has been the breakout star of 2019 and only last month was playing in the US Open semi-finals.

His big serve has played a major part in his success this season and he’s currently sitting sixth on the stats list for service games won – just above a certain Mr Djokovic.

Not surprisingly, his return statistics aren’t quite up to the world number one’s standards but there’s no doubt his game looks well suited to the Shanghai conditions.

He’s also aided by a favourable draw, one which puts him in the third quarter alongside Thiem and Bautista Agut – he could face the latter in the last 16 and the former in the last eight.

He’ll open against Jan-Lennard Struff but Berrettini won their only previous match. That came during this year’s grasscourt campaign, a period which showed what the Italian is capable of when his serve is aided by conditions. He won 11 grasscourt matches, including the title in Stuttgart.

Essentially, the draw is about as good as the world number 13 could have hoped for.

With plenty to like about his chances, Berrettini makes the coupon as an each-way long shot.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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