Favourites dismissed in Rotterdam

  • By: Tim Clement - Twitter: @SkyTimClement
  • Last Updated: February 9 2014, 23:36 GMT

Tim Clement takes on favourites Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro at the ATP Rotterdam with an 80/1 tip.

Grigor Dimitrov: Tipped to topple the favourites in Rotterdam
Grigor Dimitrov: Tipped to topple the favourites in Rotterdam

Quality is in abundance for the ATP Rotterdam 500 event next week but detracting factors surround the tournament's favourites.

Andy Murray heads the betting at a top price of 5/2 with Sky Bet after accepting a wild card but faces a difficult transition from the clay of last weekend's Davis Cup tie.

The Scot proved he is still someway off his best at the Australian Open before doing his bit to help Great Britain see off the USA on the red dirt of San Diego.

Having missed the end of last season due to his back surgery, Murray has not actually played an indoor event since the 2012 World Tour Finals, while he has only won just three of his last eight matches in the environment.

With that absence also contributing to his drop down to sixth in the rankings, defending champion Juan Martin del Potro is the top seed and some may see him as favourite.

However, the Argentinian, who boasts an impressive record indoors, has taken 20 days off to attend a wrist problem after losing in the second round at the Australian Open.

He is also presented with a very tough draw with Gael Monfils, who enters on the back of beating Richard Gasquet in the final of the indoors 250 event in Montpellier, his first-round opponent, while he could then have to beat Ivan Dodig, Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych just to reach the final.

Berdych (13/2 with BetVictor) is the third favourite but, while equipped with the game and quality to prevail, is haunted by a perennial failure to rack up titles, failing to win a single event last year.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (8/1 with Sky Bet) offers interest from the other side of the draw with a more favourable opening couple of matches than most.

The Frenchman has enjoyed by far his best results in the environment in question, with all but two of his 10 titles coming indoors, although it has now been 12 months since his last one.

A potential third-round meeting with Murray would be pivotal, especially given he trails their head-to-head 1-8 with seven successive losses, but they are yet to meet indoors.

Buoyed by a Davis Cup triumph over Australia, now could be the time for the fit again Frenchman to start to climb back up the rankings, having offered some of his best form since a shoulder injury at the Australian Open before coming up against an inspired Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Richard Gasquet (14/1 with various) would be considered the other title contender but fatigue and dejection are natural symptoms of losing a final just 48 hours before starting another tournament.

With major questions surrounding the favourites, Dimitrov and Tsonga represent the value for me.

Dimitrov enjoyed his best Grand Slam run Down Under in making the quarter-finals and secured his first ATP title indoors in Stockholm last year.

His aggressive game certainly suits the environment and if Del Potro is below par then he is the man to take advantage from their quarter.

Tsonga's indoor record compared to Murray's makes 8/1 for the world number 10 look good value, especially with the three-set format suiting his more aggressive but less consistent game.

Best bets:

Grigor Dimitrov to win the title e/w - 20/1

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the title - 8/1

Tsonga to beat Dimitrov in the final - 80/1

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