The men have been in ATP action around the world this week, on the clay courts of Houston and Casablanca. The top Americans have had mixed results in Texas, whilst in Casablanca, the leading names have been falling all week long; leaving us with an unlikely line-up for the weekend’s semis.
Top seed for this event, Mardy Fish, caused a problem in Houston for himself and tennis traders, when he lost the opening set of his opening match to American qualifier, Michael Russell. The Final Serve trading technique made massive profit when Fish went down 6-3 in the opening set.
This match proved how invaluable it can be to be actually watching live play, rather than just following the live score. Mardy Fish has never been one to play his best tennis on the clay courts and it was clear to see from the outset that the mystery health problem which had caused him to withdraw from last weekend’s Davis Cup match, was still evident.
No problems so far for John Isner, as his year continues to gather momentum. Big John has safely booked a place in the last eight here, and following a final appearance in Indian Wells, a Davis Cup victory over Roger Federer and playing a starring role in his country’s memorable defeat of the French last weekend, the 26-year-old American is now the overwhelming favourite to take the title here in Houston.
There was an ideal early opportunity to use the ‘Final Serve’ tennis trading technique on Isner’s first match of the week against Adrian Unger. Isner lost a closely fought first set in the tie-breaker and following a tough weekend’s Davis Cup action, his odds quickly drifted in the tennis betting markets. Unlike in the case of Mardy Fish however, Isner looked right up for the match and was unlucky to lose out in the fist set tie-break. Traders coming in on the big-serving American, following the first set loss, could have made a nice profit from his predictable comeback.
This event wasn’t filled with the World’s top names but as the likes of Mayer and Dolgopolov prepared for action, there promised to be plenty to enjoy for spectators and speculators alike.
Astonishingly, five of the eight seeded players in the event, crashed out in the opening round, including, the top two names in contention, Mayer and Dolgopolov; both men losing in straight sets.
From a tennis trading perspective, the best action of the week came in the Istomin v Andreev match. Both went into the match at fairly even looking odds with the tennis bookmakers, and whilst Istomin was the fourth seed, Andreev was always likely to cause problems on the clay. When Istomin won the first set on a tie-breaker, it was clear the match wasn’t over. It was the perfect time to buy in on Andreev, and whilst a small profit could have been made when the match was levelled up at one set apiece, the ease with which Andreev had moved up the gears and taken the set 6-3, would have encouraged traders to stick with their man and collect on a comeback victory.
The Weekend Ahead
The semi-final line-up inCasablanca, sees No.7 seed Albert Ramos, take on the unseeded Igor Andreev, whilst Spaniard, Pablo Andujar meets Italian, Flavio Cipolla.
Andujar has looked in impressive form and even handed out a tasty bagel to Starace earlier in the week. Cipolla has played well but has benefited from the results of others and hasn’t had to meet any really big names so far. I’d expect Andujar to come through in straight sets, but if the Spaniard does lose the first set, and you’re looking to trade, keep an eye on his drifting odds and come in as the second set gets underway.
The Andreev v Ramos match is going to be very difficult from a trading perspective as both men are closely matched. It could well be worth seeing who wins the first set and getting a feel for the match before buying in on any market.
Andujar v Andreev is the most likely final in my mind, and if I were backing a player to outright win the event at this point, it would be Igor Andreev.
Meanwhile, some top semi-final action could be on the cards for the weekend inHouston; especially if both John Isner and Feliciano Lopez make it into Saturday’s second semi-final.
If we get it, this one promises to be an intriguing match-up. No.4 seed, Lopez is at home on the clay and would ordinarily be the tennis bookmaker’s favourite, but with Isner’s ever growing confidence on the surface, with huge scalps against the Swiss and the French to his name this year, there’s no saying which way it will go.
No.4 seed, Juan Monaco looks to have a great chance of getting to the final in the other half of the draw and a showpiece match between himself and Isner or Lopez is also one to relish.
Albert Ramos (7) v Igor Andreev (Semi-final)
Pablo Andujar v Flavio Cipolla (Semi-final)
Possible: Igor Andreev v Albert Ramos (Final)
Possible: John Isner (2) v Feliciano Lopez (3) – (Semi-final)
Possible: Isner/Lopez v Juan Monaco – (Final)