ATP Tennis Betting: Can Krajinovic upset the odds and land the gamble in Stockholm final against Shapovalov?

October 20, 2019

We didn’t get any joy with young Jannik Sinner on Saturday, as the Italian teen was beaten in straight sets by Stan Wawrinka in Antwerp, but we did ensure a nice profit for the week over in Stockholm.

Finally, after a run of seven losses in the last eight deciding matches, we managed to get one part of an each-way outright across the line, when Filip Krajinovic came from a set down to defeat Pablo Carreno Busta in the Stockholm Open semi final.

Now he’s a 2.60 chance to win the second part of our outright bet when he takes on Denis Shapovalov at around 14:00 UK time on Sunday in what will be a first career clash.

Krajinovic has actually won 15 of his last 18 matches against left-handed opposition at all levels and seven of his last 10 at main level (6-2 on hard courts only), so the Serb has a very decent record against lefties.

His solid backhand helps him out plenty in that regard and it’ll be an inter4esting battle between the Krajinovic backhand and the flashy, but not totally reliable Shapovalov forehand.

Our man has got a very nice down-the-line backhand in his arsenal of weapons and that come in handy against Shapovalov to keep the Canadian off balance a bit.

Shapovalov will be delighted to have finally won a semi final after seven straight sets defeats in his first seven main level semis, but the level of opposition he’s faced this week doesn’t warrant him being a 1.50 favourite for me here.

Both the qualifier Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and lucky loser Yuichi Sugita were nowhere near their best physically, which leaves a round one win over another qualifier (Alexei Popyrin) as his best win of the week.

In contrast, Krajinovic has had to play very well to overcome tough challenges from Carreno Busta (admittedly, PCB was struggling a bit, too) and Dan Evans and I don’t think he a great deal to fear from Shapovalov.

Certainly the stats on indoor hard would back up that thought, with Shapovalov 14-14 win/loss all-time (6-5 in the last 12 months) and with a slightly worse hold/break total of 101.8 than Krajinovic’s 102.7.

So, I’m not sure Shapo should be 1.54 here, but having opted not to hedge the each-way against PCB I’ll only hedge this one if Krajinovic leads by either a set or a break (or a mini break if it goes all the way to a final set tie break).

I said yesterday that I wasn’t that concerned about PCB and I’m happy to take a chance that Krajinovic will be very competitive here and lead the match.

Whether he blinks from there or not is another matter, as we discovered to our cost in the Budapest final, but at least there’s no wind or cold weather to put him off today.

There’s another lefty versus rightie battle in the Kremlin Cup final and that’s between last year’s finalist Adrian Mannarino and crowd favourite Andrey Rublev at around 15:00 UK time in Moscow.

This is also a first career clash and it’s not too dissimilar a match-up yo last year’s final for Mannarino, in which he’ll pitch his solid, unspectacular, counter-punching game against that of an aggressive baseliner.

Last year it was Karen Khachanov that had few problems overpowering Mannarino in the final and Rublev will look to do the same thing, but Rublev’s record against lefties isn’t the best.

The Russian, who was 0-6 here at the Kremlin Cup before this week, likes to use his forehand as his main weapon (like Khachanov) and Mannarino will surely look to give him very little on that side to work with

Rublev is 6-7 win/loss at main level against lefties and 3-5 on hard courts only (never won one in straight sets) so he’s certainly had his struggles against left-handed opposition.

On the flip side there’s Mannarino’s awful record in finals to think about, too, with the Frenchman just 1-7 win/loss in main level title matches and he’s going to have to hope that he can pin Rublev in his backhand corner often enough.

I’d be tempted by over games here or the +1.5 sets on Mannarino.

Finally, the Antwerp final holds no betting appeal to me, with Stan Wawrinka likely to have too much for Andy Murray, who’ll surely be feeling it physically after a couple of three set battles in back-to-back days.

The prices look about right in that one and in any case I’ll be glued to the Stockholm final when that one takes place.


Best Bet


5 points win Shapovalov to beat Krajinovic in-play – only if Krajinovic leads by either a set or by a break in a final set (or a mini-break in a final set tie break) and only if backed Krajinovic at 33-1 outright pre-tournament