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|Albert Ramos Vinolas||+1200
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Guido Pella to win at +800
Joao Sousa to win at +3300
John Millman to beat Jordan Thompson 2-0 at +128
|ATP Generali Open Information|
|What||ATP Generali Open|
|When||Tuesday September 8 to Sunday September 13|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
Guido Pella knows how to play at altitude and with a good draw on his side, looks to be a title contender at this week’s Generali Open in Kitzbuhel, Austria. The Argentine will be delighted to be back on the claycourts after a miserable trip to the US which included a spell in quarantine in New York. Significantly, Pella has a strong record at altitude and that could be crucial at an event being played more than 700m above sea level. The balls will be more difficult to control in the thin Alpine air – a factor which is a bugbear for many players – but Pella has shown he can deal with such conditions.
Last season he won the title in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which sits at a similar height, and he also made the final at the slightly-lower Cordoba event. In Europe, he’s been a finalist in nearby Munich in the past so the seventh seed should have no fears on that front. Pella also looks well drawn. He’ll open against Yoshihito Nishioka and then face either Feliciano Lopez or a qualifier in round two.
Pella looks quite capable of progressing to a possible quarter-final with top seed Fabio Fognini but the Italian is worth opposing this week given it is his first tournament since undergoing surgery on both ankles.
Nikoloz Basilashvili and Kei Nishikori, another player returning from a major injury, are the shaky-looking seeds in the second quarter, so Pella has every chance of making the final.
There’s a two-time Kitzbuhel champion in the bottom half of the draw in Philipp Kohlschreiber, a man who lives in the Alpine resort when he’s not on the road. His record of wins in 2015 and 2017, plus a final in 2012, warrants respect but a tough draw – he starts against Jannik Sinner before possibly meeting Albert Ramos Vinolas and Diego Schwartzman before the semis – is off-putting, particularly given the German’s dip in form over the past year.
Instead, Joao Sousa is an interesting underdog. He also has a tough start but opponent Hubert Hurkacz didn’t play very well in the US and Sousa is a man who has gone well here before, reaching the final in 2017. Sousa has made the final in Geneva previously, not to mention to last eight of the Master’s tournament in Madrid, showing he’s happy dealing with the thinner air.
Admittedly his form hasn’t been great but the Argentine is another who will be happy to have the red dirt back under his feet and so may well be worth a small wager.
Australians Jordan Thompson and John Millman will face off in round one in Kitzbuhel and the latter holds solid claims to progress. Thompson was still playing at the US Open on Sunday evening. Admittedly his means he has been in good form – he lost to Borna Coric at the last-16 stage – but he’s now got to deal with the trans-Atlantic flight and the vastly different conditions on offer in the Alps.
Even if he got a flight on Sunday night, he’ll have less than 48 hours to adapt ahead of his Wednesday opener. His Davis Cup team-mate will have had much longer to bed in on the clay and adapt his game accordingly.
Millman has also won both of their previous meetings in straight sets and clearly knows Thompson’s game well. All things considered, the +128 about Millman winning in straight sets looks worth taking.
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Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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