ATP Tennis Betting: Can struggling Zverev find yet another fast start in Stuttgart?

June 9, 2019

Grass court tennis is back! And after another tough slog on the clay for the last couple of months we have a month on the green stuff to enjoy and hopefully make some money on.

Consistently the best week of the grass swing (and of the season as a whole) for me is next week, but we’ve had some good results in Rosmalen and Stuttgart, too.

In Stuttgart’s four years as a grass court event on the tour it’s produced a pretty average frequency of underdog winners (31%), but a lot of tie breaks (53% of the matches have featured at least one).

Rosmalen is also pretty run of the mill when it comes to underdog winners, with an average of 29% of them successful in the last six years, while the slower conditions make for fewer tie breaks than Stuttgart at only 43%.

We start the grass swing with four main draw matches from Stuttgart, where rain ended the qualifying matches early on Sunday, and I’m going to take a chance on one here.


Mischa Zverev vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

If you could have a bet at odds of 3.15 about a player winning the opening set of his match at a grass court tournament in which he’s won every single opening set he’s ever played in the main draw – and his most recent one was against Roger Federer last season – you’d probably take it, right?

That’s the proposition we have on Monday in Stuttgart when Zverev, who is 9-0 in opening sets in Stuttgart, including against Federer, Cilic, Thiem, and Lopez among others and if we include qualies he’s won 11 opening sets of the 12 he’s ever played here and the last 11 in a row.

On those Stuttgart results, winning set one against an ageing and surely past his best Tsonga shouldn’t be that hard, but clearly, there’s a problem with Zverev, or the price wouldn’t be 3.15, and it’s the small matter of his terrible losing streak that goes back to last summer, punctuated by one rather fortuitous win over Nicola Kuhn in Miami.

He’s now out of the top-100 and needs another good grass season to stay in touch with the elite players and how fortunate then that he’s got a wild card here in Stuttgart, where his brother is the top seed.

So, he either this grass swing produces a huge improvement on what we’ve seen for the past 10 months or so or he doesn’t and he slides right back down the rankings from where it’d be tough to come back at almost 32 years of age and with his playing style.

There aren’t many tournaments around these days where Zverev can play his game effectively, so I’d imagine he’s been targeting this month of the calendar we’ll see what he’s got left, if anything.

He’s actually held serve 92.7% of the time in this tournament on grass over the years and clearly he tends to start strongly, so I'm happy to take a small punt here.

As for Tsonga, well, he hasn’t played a match on grass for two years and he’s looked a shadow of his old self, as injuries have seemingly taken their toll now at the age of 34.

Tsonga has never played Stuttgart before and the last time he clashed with Zverev it was a very tight affair on Tsonga’s home turf indoors in Metz when Jo won just seven more points over three sets.

It’s clearly a risky one, but worth a small interest on day one.

Elsewhere in Stuttgart, Philipp Kohlschreiber has held serve 92.1% of the time here in Stuttgart, while Miomir Kecmanovic has never played on grass, so that should go the way of the veteran German you’d think.

Our man Marton Fucsovics should have too much firepower for Jaume Munar, who has only played four career matches on grass (lost three of them) and two of those were Wimbledon Juniors.

Munar might make it tough, but Fucsovics should come through there, while Denis Shapovalov has a fair chance of reversing the recent form with Jan-Lennard Struff, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Both have weak records on grass at main level (Shapo 3-6 win/loss and Struff 6-17) and I’ll pass on that one.

The schedule for Rosmalen is incomplete and not all the prices are out yet at the time of writing, but the underdogs that look like they could do some damage there include: Ugo Humbert, Salvatore Caruso and Tommy Paul, but I’ll update the page in the morning with more on those when I have the full schedule and prices to hand.


Best Bet


0.5 points win Zverev to win set one at 3.15