Follow form lines to long shots

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: July 7 2013, 21:41 BST

Our Andy Schooler previews this week's action on the ATP World Tour and has some big priced selections.

Vasek Pospisil: Too big a price in Newport

It's another case of after the Lord Mayor's Show on the ATP World Tour this week.

However, while Wimbledon may be over, betting opportunities certainly aren't. The fact that just one of the top 10 is playing across the three tournaments, and none of the Big Four, means this a good week to be seeking out value.

My tactic for the week has been to try to find an opening for a player who showed some good form at Wimbledon, one who will now look to take the confidence gained from playing well on the biggest stage and turn it into some real momentum.

The good news is I feel I've found three.

I'll start in Newport, Rhode Island, where the grasscourt season is extended by another week with the Hall of Fame Championships.

Clearly this is a real chance for someone who impressed in SW19 to crack on and it's a tournament which has had its fair share of surprise finalists in the past.

As has been the case the past few years, the American pair of Sam Querrey and John Isner head the field. The latter is the two-time defending champion and is favourite with most layers again.

Isner's best results this season have all come in his homeland, winning in Houston and reaching the last four in both Delray Beach and San Jose.

However, I'm happy to take him on with a fellow big server, the Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

The youngster only made round two at Wimbledon but came very close to taking out a fine grasscourter in Mikhail Youzhny. They went to 6-4 in the fifth.

Notably Pospisil, whose best results have all come on fast surfaces, served 51 aces in his eight sets in SW19 and he'll be a dangerous opponent for anyone in Newport.

He could meet Isner in the last eight, although the champion does have tricky matches with Ryan Harrison and James Blake or Adrian Mannarino to negotiate first.

In any case, with that thumping serve, Pospisil is capable of taking down anyone in this field - I'd say Youzhny is a better grasscourter than all those on show in Newport.

The other man I like the look of is Kenny de Schepper, another player who did fairly well in SW19.

He made the fourth round, taking down seed Juan Monco in the process. The 6ft 8in Frenchman is another with a big serve which can be a real threat on this surface.

He'll be full of confidence and, having landed in a cushy part of the draw - the opposite half to the likes of Isner, Pospisil and second favourite Lleyton Hewitt.

In Europe, it's back to the claycourts and my third man who looked in good nick at Wimbledon is Fernando Verdasco.

He almost beat Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, blowing a two-set lead. However, he played very well and his own verdict that he was getting close to the form which took him into the top 10 a few years ago is worth noting.

It seemed genuine and he backed it up with some impressive displays. Certainly his serve and forehand were serious weapons against Murray - just as they were in his 2009 heyday.

Verdasco is twice a quarter-finalist and once a semi-finalist in Bastad, where the Skistar Swedish Open takes place, and looks a decent bet.

He has admittedly landed in a tricky part of the draw with his fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro his scheduled quarter-final opponent.

Once the champion and twice the runner-up here, Almagro hold strong claims and will certainly have his supporters at 4/1.

However, Verdasco leads him 5-3 on the head-to-head record (5-2 on clay) and given he's twice the price, I'm happy to side with the left-hander.

The other tournament taking place this week is the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Top seed Tommy Haas starts a pretty hot favourite and while his form over the past year has been excellent, that's short enough for me.

In the bottom half, second seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer (a winner on the Challenger Tour last week) and Gael Monfils are all in the same quarter so that looks a bit of a minefield.

Instead I'll go with a small bet on Albert Montanes, a claycourt specialist who is in the top half along with Haas.

He was the champion here three years ago and, as usual, has enjoyed a decent claycourt campaign this season. He won in Nice a few weeks ago before all-but shutting down for the grasscourts.

He'll have been practising on the red stuff for a while now and should be one of the players who will easily re-acclimatise to the dirt.

If he comes through his opener with seed Martin Klizan - a player he beat in Rome recently - then he'll be a lot shorter than his big starting price. He's worth a each-way nibble.

  • Posted at 1910 BST on 07/07/2013.

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