Rolex Masters Shanghai ATP Outrights

Tennis Pilot

Saturday, October 5, 2019 7:12 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 7:12 PM UTC

Bautista can shake off injury concerns in favourable Shanghai conditions

<div><h2>Shanghai Masters</h2><p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Monday, October 6, Shanghai</strong></a></p><p>We are onto week 41 of the ATP tour and the one and only Asian Masters event in Shanghai. Last week was poor on the outright front with both selections losing first out but we had the right idea of attacking the bottom half. All the seeds lost in their opening round and in the end, it was Millman who took advantage at 41 outright.</p><h2>History &amp; Context</h2><p>The first professional tennis tournament played in Shanghai came in 1996 and this particular event was founded in 2009. It is number 8 of 9 Masters level events which are the second tier below Grand Slam level and the highest tier of the main tour. It is played at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Shanghai, China on a Decoturf outdoor hard court with Dunlop Fort balls and it is the quickest Masters event by a distance with a relatively low bounce. Conditions are set to be dry, warm and cloudy with medium to high humidity and little wind.</p><p>Novak Djokovic holds the record for most titles (four) winning the event in 2012-3, 2015 and 2018. Djokovic and Murray are the only men to have won consecutive titles and they both have the most finals (four). One of Novak, Murray or Federer have won this event every year since 2010 but there have been several long priced finalists since 2014 most notably Coric last year at 101 but also Bautista, Tsonga, and Simon.</p><h2>Top Half</h2><p>Novak heads the top half of the draw alongside Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Khachanov, Monfils, Fognini, Schwartzman and Isner. Djokovic’s quarter offers some opportunity for an upset with Shapovalov, Isner, De Minaur and Tsitsipas all obvious form picks who have the game to threaten the top seed in quick conditions. Novak has been opposable away from the slams in recent seasons, but he looks to have played himself into form in Tokyo and he has a fine record in Shanghai. The biggest threat Tsitsipas seems unlikely to enjoy the court speed given his questionable movement and relatively long wind-up and it seems likely that Novak will come through, though not a foregone conclusion.</p><p>Medvedev’s quarter is more open with Khachanov, Murray, Schwartzman, Fritz, and Fognini all in with a chance. It is very hard to go against Medvedev at the minute, though he surely will run out of steam at some point, while Khachanov has been fairly average in 2019 but looked good last out in Beijing. Schwartzman often does his best work in quick, low bouncing conditions and has a high peak so I wouldn’t count him out. Murray also has an excellent record at the event but it’s hard to see his body lasting the whole week. I would be surprised if Fritz or Fognini managed to play well enough, consistently enough to make the final but they both have a high peak and potential to go well.</p><h2>Bottom Half</h2><p>Federer is the high seed in the bottom half alongside Thiem, Zverev, Bautista, Berrettini, Coric, Goffin and Basilashvili. Federer has been up and down as expected at his age and stage of career and he has a surprisingly poor 20-7 record and -10.4% ROI as favourite in Shanghai. Zverev is the major threat in Federer’s quarter and he looked better this week after a poor 2019 overall. The German should enjoy the quick conditions, but he lost 2 and 1 to Djokovic here last year and I’m not convinced he has regained his clinical, elite mindset. Coric beat Federer here last year and has gone well in quick conditions in the past, but his form has been questionable of late and he lost to Daniel last out pried 1.18. Rublev is his opening-round opponent and has been in good form recently especially against the elite, so perhaps he is an option. Goffin always has his chances on form alone but he has shown many times that he lacks the mental fortitude to challenge the elite.</p><p>Bautista heads the other quarter and this is clearly the weakest of the four. The Spaniard has an excellent record in Shanghai where he beat Djokovic in 2016 and last year he lost 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to Federer. He has a great chance to make the final if fit but he retired with an abdominal issue last week so it is a bit of a guessing game. Thiem is into the final of Beijing this weekend which is much slower and higher bouncing and he doesn’t like quick, low bouncing conditions at the best of times, so he’s an easy one to oppose. Berrettini should like the quick conditions given his big serve and power orientated game, and he has gone well before on grass, so he will likely enjoy the low bounce. Basilashvili is always a threat and has played well here in the past. He played well last out losing in 3 to Tsitsipas so he is not someone to dismiss by any means.</p><h2>Verdict</h2><p>On the trends, you would expect one of Novak or Federer to win this event but I don’t see much appeal at 2.62 and 5 all things considered. Federer feels more opposable than Djokovic so I’ll stick to the bottom half, and while I’m not taken by any one player, there are several who offer appeal at the prices given their 2019 form, ROI stats, course form or all of the above.</p><p>First, I’ll take a chance on Bautista at 91. He is in the weakest quarter and if fit I would expect him to make the semis and to have a great chance against Federer. He made the final in 2016 and it’s not a stretch to think he can do it again.</p><p>Second, I’ll take a chance on Coric reversing his recent form. He may well lose out to his opening-round opponent, Rublev, but he is a streaky player and on his best form he can defeat anyone, as he showed taking the Halle title defeating Federer in the final. He clearly enjoys conditions and will surely be looking to improve on his recent form as the year rounds out.</p><p>The final selection is someone I have not yet mentioned but cannot ignore at the prices, Ramos Vinolas. While the Spaniard is known for his form on the clay, he has played some of his best tennis in Shanghai most notably defeating Federer priced 19. He has made the quarter-final before, losing 7-6, 5-7, 4-6 priced 6 to Tsonga, and rarely loses badly at the event. He has made a Masters 1000 final before and all things considered, 501 just seems too big.</p><p>So, a few options in a fairly unique event. I imagine one of the top two seeds will take the title, but I’m happy looking for value elsewhere in the form of a long priced finalist.</p><p><strong>Best bets:</strong></p><p>Bautista Agut each way at 91 with <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unibet </a>[0.5u]</p><p>Coric each way at 151 with <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unibet</a> [0.2u]</p><p>Ramos-Vinolas each way at 501 with <a href=";a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Unibet </a>[0.1u]</p></div>
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