Our expert Andy Schooler offers up his tennis betting tips for this week’s ATP Tour events in China, and they include two 66/1 picks.

Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships Zhuhai, China (outdoor hard)

The ATP Tour’s three-week Asian swing begins on Monday with a new stop in Zhuhai, which is situated next to the gambler’s paradise of Macau.

It is not far from Hong Kong, nor the city it has replaced as a tour host, Shenzhen.

Shenzhen provided some of the faster hardcourt conditions on the tour and while officially Zhuhai will offer a medium-paced balls and court – its Plexicushion is rated three out of five on the ITF’s Court Pace Rating – it is again likely to be quicker than average.

This is the same venue which has staged the WTA Elite Trophy in the past four years and its winners have all been players with a penchant for a fast court – Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Julia Goerges and Ash Barty.

As for the market, it has five players at 6/1 or shorter but it’s far from certain the winner will come from this quintet.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut, the top two seeds, both arrive straight from the Laver Cup in Geneva, as does Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios (left) looks vulnerable coming off the Laver Cup

Whatever your view on that competition, I can’t see it being the ideal way to prepare – everything about the Europe v World clash is different to the regular tour, be it the intensity of competition, the team focus or the media demands.

Borna Coric is another hot-footing it from Europe. At time of writing, he’s due to play the final in Metz.

Make it Monfils

The ATP Tour’s three-week Asian swing begins on Monday with a new stop in Zhuhai, which is situated next to the gambler’s paradise of Macau.

It is not far from Hong Kong, nor the city it has replaced as a tour host, Shenzhen.

Shenzhen provided some of the faster hardcourt conditions on the tour and while officially Zhuhai will offer a medium-paced balls and court – its Plexicushion is rated three out of five on the ITF’s Court Pace Rating – it is again likely to be quicker than average.

This is the same venue which has staged the WTA Elite Trophy in the past four years and its winners have all been players with a penchant for a fast court – Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Julia Goerges and Ash Barty.

As for the market, it has five players at 6/1 or shorter but it’s far from certain the winner will come from this quintet.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut, the top two seeds, both arrive straight from the Laver Cup in Geneva, as does Nick Kyrgios.

Nick Kyrgios (left) looks vulnerable coming off the Laver Cup

Whatever your view on that competition, I can’t see it being the ideal way to prepare – everything about the Europe v World clash is different to the regular tour, be it the intensity of competition, the team focus or the media demands.

Borna Coric is another hot-footing it from Europe. At time of writing, he’s due to play the final in Metz.

Seppi offers value

Monfils gets the vote but I’ll also take one from the bottom half of the draw and that man is 66/1 shot Andreas Seppi.

He faces Kyrgios first up but I can easily see the Australian producing one of his flat performances on Wednesday, given how much emphasis he places on the Laver Cup where he has always been a key man for Team World.

With a Wednesday start, he’ll have had very little time to adjust to the conditions and Seppi looks capable of taking advantage.

Given expected conditions, it’s notable that Seppi’s best results this season came on Plexicushion at the start of the season when he finished runner-up in Sydney (beating Tsitsipas en route) and then made the third round of the Australian Open.

Earlier this month, he won a hardcourt title on the Challenger Tour which will mean he arrives here with confidence high. He’ll also bring in the knowledge that he’s beaten Kyrgios on this surface in the past (at the 2017 Australian Open).

The winner will face a qualifier or a local wild card so if Seppi can claim the scalp of Kyrgios, his odds are going to plunge. He looks worth a small each-way punt.

Chengdu Open Chengdu, China (outdoor hard)

They also play further north in China this week in Chengdu, a city which the tour has been visiting since 2016.

In that period, Taylor Fritz is the only player to have made the quarter-finals on two occasions – he was a semi-finalist last season but is yet to reach the final.

The American is back for another try this year but will arrive straight from the Laver Cup, as will top seed John Isner and Denis Shapovalov. With no first-round bye, both Fritz and Shapovalov will have to play on Wednesday.

Conditions tended to be a bit slower here than in Shenzhen but are still regarded as faster than the norm for ATP hardcourts these days.

John Isner: Top seed in Chengdu

They should therefore suit Isner, who goes off the 4/1 favourite, but the humidity probably won’t.

With that in mind, perhaps US Open semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov is a better bet at 5/1.

However, his run in New York, which included a win over Roger Federer, came out of the blue – he was on an awful losing streak arriving at Flushing Meadows.

At the price, I’m happy to wait and see if he’s going to be able to keep in such a groove.

Conditions should Evans

Felix Auger-Aliassime is another to consider but I’m also prepared to leave him alone at 5/1.

The Canadian has undoubted talent and will win an event like this at some point but as of now he’s yet to win any ATP title and neither has he played in a hardcourt final.

Instead I’m going to take a long-shot approach to this event in the hope of a decent return.

I’ll start by backing Briton Dan Evans, a player who should find the courts to his liking.

His form found an upturn in New York where he beat both Adrian Mannarino and Lucas Pouille en route to the last 32.

He was then well beaten by Federer, although there is little disgrace in that.

Here he’ll open against Chinese wild card Yan Bai with a meeting with Dimitrov set to follow.

After a decent rest, Evans should be ready for the season run-in and with several of those above him in the betting presenting unconvincing cases, I’m prepared to back a player who made the final of the hardcourt event in Delray Beach earlier this season at 25/1.

Take route 66 with Albot

The man who beat Evans in that Delray final was Radu Albot and there’s no way the Moldovan should be 66/1 for a title repeat this week.

He had some good results on hardcourts leading into the US Open and they warrant more respect.

Albot made the semis in Los Cabos, an event pretty similar to this in terms of quality, before going on to beat Gilles Simon and Marin Cilic at the Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati. Once at the US Open, he pushed top-10 star Alex Zverev the full five sets.

Essentially, his form is pretty decent.

Earlier in the year, as well as winning the Delray Beach tournament, he recorded hardcourt wins over both Fabio Fognini and Nick Kyrgios.

In Chengdu he’ll open against Pablo Carreno Busta – a tricky one, no doubt, but also winnable.

The winner will face Benoit Paire with Kyle Edmund seeded to be Albot’s quarter-final foe.

That’s not a bad draw by any means – Paire is wonderfully erratic while Edmund has been a long way short of his best for some time now.

Basically there’s a lot to like about Albot at the price so snap it up while you can.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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