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Jason Kubler to beat Jordan Thompson at +122 at FanDuel
Max Purcell to beat Adrian Mannarino at +240 at FanDuel
Joao Sousa to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina at +267 at PointsBet
John Isner to win the Hall of Fame Open at +750 at PointsBet
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This column aims to pick out winners at odds-against – we had two in our pre-Wimbledon preview a couple of weeks ago.
Kubler has the potential to land another in this grasscourt encounter in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Infosys Hall of Fame Open is staged this week.
The Australian is fresh off a run to the round of 16 at Wimbledon where, as a qualifier, he beat home hope Dan Evans, Dennis Novak and Jack Sock before losing to Taylor Fritz.
He’d arrived in the UK bang in form having reached back-to-back hardcourt finals in the US on the Challenger Tour, winning one, so perhaps his impressive run should not have come as a huge surprise.
You can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be keen on continuing his good form here, especially given he failed to collect a single ranking point from that run at Wimbledon due to the controversial ban on Russians. In any other year, he’d have just made a big ranking climb.
Still, this looks an opportunity for him to add another win on a surface which favors his game.
The same could be said of Thompson but after he also made back-to-back Challenger finals, his form has tailed off in the last few weeks.
He was beaten in straight sets by first Nuno Borges, then Sebastian Baez before suffering another heavy loss in the second round of Wimbledon to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The latter was no disgrace but the former two were more than disappointing and running into an in-form compatriot here is probably not what the doctor ordered.
Purcell looks overpriced here at +240.
The pair met just two weeks ago at Wimbledon where the match went to a fifth and final set before Mannarino edged through 6-4.
The Australian slammed down 24 aces that day and also created a massive 25 break points. Sadly, for him, he converted only three but the fact he created so many chances immediately suggests Mannarino is very short in the betting for this rematch.
The other factor to consider here is what happened after that first-round match in London.
Purcell duly focused on the doubles and went on to win the title with Matt Ebden.
He’s either going to be buzzing and looking to build on his recent success or mentally drained.
While it could be the latter, I don’t see why he would rush across the Atlantic (the Wimbledon final was on Saturday) to play here if he didn’t really fancy it.
At the price, Purcell looks worth a wager.
Sousa is another player whose odds look a little on the large side.
This match is part of the Nordea Open in Sweden, a tournament played on clay.
The Portuguese is a decent player on the red dirt, as he showed when reaching the Geneva final in May.
He’s also won an ATP title this season on a hardcourt in Pune.
Davidovich Fokina can be rather hit and miss and while he did enjoy a decent-enough grasscourt campaign, he was last seen losing a nail-biting battle with Jiri Vesely at Wimbledon.
You wonder if that’s left any scars, especially given the way it ended – the Spaniard receiving a penalty point when match point down.
Sousa’s grass campaign was predictably miserable but he’ll have been back practising on the clay for a good week or so now and should be raring to go in Bastad.
The pair have never met before but if Sousa can turn this into a real claycourt grind from the back of the court, he’s got the ability to make his odds of +267 look big.
Both ATP events this week give their top four seeds a first-round bye – so which of the big names could be vulnerable in round two?
Andrey Rublev looks a prime candidate.
He was one of the Russians banned from Wimbledon and, as a result, he’s played just one match since exiting the French Open on June 1. And he lost that to Nikoloz Basilashvili in Halle.
After almost a month off, he looks likely to return to competitive play against Federico Coria, a solid claycourter who could make life awkward for the second seed in Bastad.
He won a Challenger in Milan prior to Wimbledon without dropping a set and was back on the clay on the second-tier tour last week in Germany, losing in the quarter-finals.
On the main tour this year, he’s been to the semi-finals in Marrakech where he upset Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, while he has two top-20 wins on clay this year, against Pablo Carreno Busta and Cristian Garin.
This is no gimme for Rublev and Coria may deliver at a tasty price.
John Isner has won the Newport title on four previous occasions and can make it five at odds of +750 this year.
The North Carolina star was impressive in taking down British star Andy Murray at Wimbledon, showing the sort of form which would make him tough to beat here.
His huge serve wasn’t broken by Murray in that match and it looks surely to be a real weapon on these slick courts.
Isner appears to have a decent draw and I’m pretty sure he should be going off shorter given his track record in this event.
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|ATP Newport and Bastad Information|
|What||ATP Infosys Hall of Fame Open; ATP Nordea Open|
|Location||Newport, RI, USA; Bastad, Sweden|
|Time||Monday July 11 to Sunday July 17|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
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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