ATP Japan Open Preview and Top Betting Predictions

Tennis Pilot

Sunday, September 29, 2019 2:06 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 29, 2019 2:06 PM UTC

Filip Krajinovic can break the trend of high seeds winning the Japan Open

<div><h2>Japan Open</h2><p><strong>Monday, September 30, Tokyo</strong></p><p>We are onto week 40 of the ATP tour and the Asian swing is underway. No luck for our outright last week with Evans losing 7-5 7-5 to fourth seed Dimitrov. This week we’re in Tokyo for the 46<sup>th</sup> edition of the Japan Open, one of the oldest events on tour having been held since 1973. The ATP 500 tournament is played at the Ariake Tennis Forest Park, in Koto, Tokyo. The centre comprises 48 outdoor hard courts and a stadium centre court, Ariake Coliseum, with a retractable roof. In 2018, the venue moved to the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza since the Ariake Coliseum was being renovated for the 2020 Summer Olympics, but in 2019 we’re back in the Ariake Tennis Forest Park.</p><h2><strong>History &amp; Context</strong></h2><p>Conditions are medium paced, and the weather is set to be fairly hot but cloudy with periodic rain and high winds at points. The field is medium quality with 8 of the world’s top 30 in attendance and the top seed is world number 1 Novak Djokovic. The event has been won by someone at the top of the market in 12 of the last 13 years but Medvedev was a shock 45 winner last year defeating third seed Nishikori in the final. He was the first qualifier to make it past the quarter final since 2002, but notably Magnus Norman is the only qualifier to have ever made the final when the event is played on outdoor hard going right back to 1983. The indoor conditions in 2018 certainly seem to have opened up the possibilities but there have also been some longer priced finalists on outdoor hard, notably Mannarino in 2017 priced 41 and Paire in 2015 priced 67.</p><h2><strong>Top Half</strong></h2><p>Novak heads the top half with Goffin, Pouille and Cilic the other seeds in his half. The world number 1 is 1.57 for this event outright and it is hard to argue with him being the strong favourite. However, he has a -5.3% ROI over his last 50 in non-slam hard court events and has won 23 of his last 50 of these events going back to 2011. Over the past few season he is even worse winning just 2 of his last 11 with losses coming priced 1.07, 1.1, 1.2, 1.22, 1.25, 1.28, 1.3, 1.35 and 1.4. Novak has clearly saved himself for the slams over the last few years, and even then, he retired down two sets to Wawrinka last out at the US Open, so fitness is a concern. He will likely be motivated here after a relatively poor season (by his own standards at least) but I don’t see the Serb as unopposable.</p><p>The more difficult question is who you would pick in the top half and while there are several possibilities it is difficult to pick any clear value at the prices. Cilic, Goffin and Pouille all look short all things considered as do Hurkacz, Carreno-Busta, Sousa and Chung. There are a few possibilities including Kecmanovic or Sonego at 67 or perhaps home hope Nishioka at 51 but realistically I can’t see a whole lot of reason to get involved in the top half.</p><p><a href=";a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><strong>Bottom Half</strong></h2><p>The bottom half is far weaker and more open with Fritz, Coric, Paire and De Minaur the seeds in this section. No one player stands out and this seems like a prime section for a longer priced selection.</p><p>Coric at 17 is a woeful price based on recent form and, while the Croat has a history of turning it on without much notice, I am more than happy to oppose the second seed. The obvious option in his quarter is De Minaur but at 17 he seems little value. He also plays the Zhuhai final on Sunday and it is a tough ask to do the double in draining conditions. Mannarino is a former finalist at this event so has appeal at 34 but he too plays the Zhuhai final on Sunday and at 31 it would be an even bigger ask than of De Minaur. He has never made back to back finals and I would be very surprised if that changed this week.</p><p>Thompson, Daniel and Harris do not appeal at the prices and, ambitious as it may sounds, perhaps there is reason to take a chance on Londero. Conditions in Chengdu were a little fast for the clay specialist last week, but he showed good form on the slower hard courts at the US Open defeating Querrey and very nearly taking a set off Djokovic (double break lead). The main factor here is his price of 151 which is the second longest price in the field. I accept that he has a lot to prove on hard courts but to have him the same price as Daniel is insulting to his overall level in 2019. If surface is not as much of an issue as the odds imply (and I imagine it won’t be) then this price will look way too big.</p><p>Fritz is less opposable, and his quarter looks more competitive with any of one him, Opelka, Simon, Krajinovic or Paire in with good chances. Opelka is the obvious pick here based on ROIs and 2019 form but he has a tough opener against Fritz who he has lost to 3 times on the spin, though by no means easily. Paire has gone well here in the past but he can be hard to win with in general and was ill in Metz. I’ll opt with Krajinovic as my second selection. The 27-year old Serb has already made a main level final on clay and indoor hard, so he’s shown ability on all surface types. He has won 17 of 21 matches in 2019 priced 1 to 2.99 against the top 100 for a 46.4% ROI which is the odds range he is likely to be in for the majority of his matches. I’m happy to take a chance on Krajinovic at the prices.</p><p><strong>Best bets:</strong></p><p><a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><em><strong>Londero at 151 with Unibet [0.5u]</strong></em></a></p><p><a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><em><strong>Krajinovic at 34 with Ladbrokes [0.5u]</strong></em></a></p></div>
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