Jordan Thompson
Jordan Thompson

Tennis betting tips: ATP Tour previews and best bets for Stuttgart and Den Bosch

Fresh from a profitable French Open, Andy Schooler is back to preview this week’s events in Stuttgart and Den Bosch as the ATP Tour hits the grass.

Tennis betting tips: ATP Tour

2pts win Alexander Bublik in the Boss Open at 8/1 (bet365, William Hill, BoyleSports)

1pt e.w. Brandon Nakashima in the Boss Open at 20/1 (bet365, William Hill, BoyleSports)

1pt e.w. Jordan Thompson in the Libema Open at 14/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, Betfred)

0.5pt e.w. Rinky Hijikata in the Libema Open at 80/1 (Betfred)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

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Boss Open

  • Stuttgart, Germany (outdoor grass)

Time waits for no man, especially in tennis, and so a day after the completion of the French Open comes the start of the grasscourt season on the ATP Tour.

At time of writing, there technically remains a chance that Alex Zverev will play both the final at Roland Garros and this event in Stuttgart, although the player joked after his defeat on Sunday that is was about as likely as being able to replay his clash with Carlos Alcaraz.

Even if the German does make it to the start line, he’ll surely be worth opposing after a hard fortnight in Paris. It’s also worth remembering Zverev is yet to win a title on this surface.

In the first week of the grasscourt season, I’m looking to get with a player who will happy to have the green stuff back under his feet and will be able to hit the ground running.

Essentially, a player with a real affinity for the surface.


Now, I know the Kazakh doesn’t exactly have the strongest mentality in the world but if there’s a surface worth siding with him on, it’s this one.

Let’s take a look at the results from his last four grasscourt tournaments.

  • Wimbledon 2023 – made the last 16; lost to Andrey Rublev in a cracker
  • Halle 2023 – won the title, beating Rublev, Zverev and Jannik Sinner in the process
  • Den Bosch 2023 – last 16, lost to Sinner
  • Newport 2022 – runner-up, losing 7-6 in the final set to Maxime Cressy

That’s an impressive run, one which has produced a 12-3 win-loss record.

Key to Bublik’s success is his huge first serve which is virtually guaranteed to win him a large number of points.

He’s won more than 80% of first-serve points in his last eight matches on grass with 91% topped in three of them.

With such a weapon, he’ll be tough to beat if he can get 60% of his first deliveries in play. He often does.

Bublik arrives in Stuttgart off the back of his best-ever claycourt season. Admittedly, that’s not saying a great deal – the Kazakh has openly admitted his hatred for the surface in the past – but it should mean he’s coming into the grass campaign with some confidence and arguably in the better frame of mind than ever before.

As the third seed this week, Bublik receives a first-round bye, meaning he’ll only need to win four matches to claim the title.

Alexander Bublik
Alexander Bublik

He’ll open against Fabian Marozsan or wild card Hamad Medjedovic, while Lorenzo Musetti is his scheduled quarter-final foe, although you have to wonder if the Italian will win two matches to get that far.

Ben Shelton or Matteo Berrettini could follow in the semis.

I’m wary of Berrettini.

He was my ante-post pick for Wimbledon due to his superb grasscourt record – check out that January preview for all the stats.

However, the fitness element remains a concern – Berrettini withdrew from most of the clay events and you have to feel he arrives here undercooked.

That said, the 28-year-old arrived here in similar circumstances in 2022 and duly won the title. He was also champion in 2019.

Still, a price of 11/1 about a player who hasn’t played for two months clearly carries plenty of risk so I’ll side with Bublik in this half of the draw.

The top half – that of Zverev – looks much more competitive.

It features defending champion Frances Tiafoe, former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, plus the big-serving Arthur Rinderknech and Christopher Eubanks. And, maybe, Zverev.

However, the man I like at a big price is BRANDON NAKASHIMA.

The American’s serve is always tough to break but he gets that little bit more out of it on grass.

He made the last 16 of Wimbledon a couple of years ago, losing only to eventual finalist Nick Kyrgios.

Nakashima was unable to replicate that success last year but was in something of a funk at the time.

This season has brought better results and although many have been at Challenger level, the second-tier tour could serve him well this week.

Nakashima spent last week bedding in on grass at Surbiton where he made the semi-finals, holding serve throughout two of his four matches – good preparation for the step up onto the main tour.

He’s well ahead of most in this field in terms of acclimatisation and could go well at a decent price.

He’ll need to beat Eubanks in round one but if that happens he’ll likely be an awkward opponent for top seed Zverev or, more likely, Marozsan (who could become the ninth seed and fill Zverev’s slot in the draw). It could even be a qualifier or lucky loser.

Libema Open

  • ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (outdoor grass)

Across the German-Dutch border, they play in Den Bosch and the man who stands out here in terms of that natural grasscourt ability is JORDAN THOMPSON.

The Australian has beaten a host of top-50 players on this surface over the years – including Andy Murray when he was world number one – and he’ll be delighted to have left the clay behind as his best results have usually come on the faster surfaces.

Take his year so far. He was a semi-finalist in Brisbane and made the quarters in Dallas. That decent start to 2024 proved a springboard to a maiden ATP title in Los Cabos.

His two other ATP finals have both come on grass at this very venue – last year and in 2019 – so I’m sure he’ll arrive here in great mood.

Admittedly, Thompson has a tricky opener, facing former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, but the Canadian struggles to stay fit these days.

This will be his first tournament in three months and in the three events he has contested in 2024, he’s ended up withdrawing mid-tournament due to injury at all of them.

Thompson could play fellow Aussie Alex de Minaur in the quarter-finals but the older player triumphed here in 2019, while the pair’s other grasscourt meeting was a tight three-setter which de Minaur edged.

In short, that’s a match which is winnable. Then could come Ugo Humbert or Adrian Mannarino in the last four.

I considered both men.

Humbert has the game for grass, as he showed when winning in Halle in 2021. He loves to come forward and volley behind a good serve.

Mannarino has a good track record on this surface, too, but he’s won just one of his last 11 matches and I just think it’s asking a lot to immediately start winning, even on your favourite surface, when form has been so poor – many of the defeats have been heavy ones.

Some will be tempted by odds of 25/1 but I’ll swerve on this occasion.

I’ll take Thompson in the top half and am also tempted to get involved in the other section.

The bottom half looks very open with no clear candidate to reach the final.

Tommy Paul, the second seed, is probably the right favourite. After all, he made the last 16 at Wimbledon last year and finished runner-up at Eastbourne.

However, he’s not got a track record for fast starts on the grass.

This will be the fifth grasscourt season of his career and in the previous four, he’s failed to win back-to-back matches in his opening tournament, twice losing in round one.

Karen Khachanov, Seb Korda and defending champion Tallon Griekspoor are the seeds ready to challenge Paul in this half but I’m not taken by any of them and will instead take a punt on another Aussie, RINKY HIJIKATA.

He will be Paul’s opening foe if he beats Alexei Popyrin in the first round and that could be awkward.

Hijikata made the semis here 12 months ago and is another who likes the faster conditions as shown by the fact that this year’s best results have been quarter-final showings in Brisbane and Delray Beach.

He’ll use his speed around the court to good effect and could just be the man to step up in this open section.

It’s a long shot but a minimum-stakes each-way play is the call at 80/1.

Posted at 1945 BST on 09/06/24

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