First-set score 7-6 in Alexander Bublik v Arthur Rinderknech at +200 (Caesars Sportsbook)
Peter Gojowczyk to beat Marcos Giron at +150 (Caesars Sportsbook)
Taylor Fritz to win the Stockholm Open at +800 (BetMGM)
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Conditions in Stockholm, where they have changed to a Plexipave court, are considerably faster than last week in Paris, and serve should prove much harder to break.
In this match, we’ve got two big servers and it would be no surprise to see them play out a tie-break set.
Bublik’s form has certainly dipped from earlier in the season when he made the final indoors in Singapore but he’s still been crushing down plenty of aces – he served 24 in a morale-boosting win over Dan Evans in Paris last week.
Rinderknech is another who dominates behind his serve – he’s at 86% holds on a hard court this season – and it’s notable that he produced one his best runs of the season on the quick Marseille courts earlier in the year when he made the quarter-finals as a qualifier. He dropped serve just five times in his five matches that week.
I certainly don’t think there will be much between the pair in the early stages. Throw in the fact they’ve yet to face each other (so getting a read on each other’s delivery may take time) and I’m happy to back a first-set tie-break at +200.
Gojowczyk could be a dangerous outsider in the draw this week given his preference for a court that allows him to come forward and attack.
We saw that at the US Open where he made the last 16 as a qualifier and, more significantly, indoors in Metz where there was a surprise run to the semi-finals.
That included a three-set victory over Giron and so +150 about a repeat does look tempting.
The show continues ?
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 24, 2021
Giron has himself been playing well but the conditions here should suit his German opponent better – his propensity for a volley will be on display and his old-school tactics look capable of causing the American more problems.
Gojowczyk looks overpriced to me.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is one of four seeds to receive a first-round bye at the Stockholm Open but that may not work in his favour.
The Canadian has won just three of seven matches since his run to the US Open semi-finals and, following the disappointment of seeing his hopes of reaching the ATP Finals disappear in Paris, that hangover may well continue this week.
Filip Krajinovic looks like his likely opening opponent, a player who made the final here in 2019.
The Serb will like the faster surface too, one which may just help him click back into gear – Krajinovic has admittedly struggled of late.
However, Krajinovic does lead the duo’s head-to-head 2-1 at tour-level, winning their only previous indoor clash.
I suspect he’ll be a decent price if the pair meet and would be capable of landing the upset.
Taylor Fritz became the new US number one thanks to his quarter-final run in Paris last week, a good reward for a string of impressive results in recent months.
This week is his last of the season before heading back for a break in his homeland and I’d expect him to try to make the most of his good form with one last push.
Exciting times for Taylor Fritz. The American continues his great autumn run, defeating in-form No. 10 seed Cameron Norrie 6-3, 7-6 (3) to earn a quarterfinal slot in the Paris Masters against No. 1 Novak Djokovic
Fritz guaranteed to finish 2021 as USA No. 1 pic.twitter.com/iQVtpdCpR6
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 4, 2021
Conditions should suit his big serve, a key to his recent run of success, which has also included a semi-final in Indian Wells – where he beat Matteo Berrettini, Jannik Sinner and Alex Zverev – and a runner-up showing in St Petersburg.
Sinner, a potential quarter-final foe, could represent the biggest threat to Fritz this week but I’d be concerned about his mentality.
He entered this event thinking it could decide whether or not he qualified for the ATP Finals but no matter what he does here, the Italian won’t make it into the Turin field.
He’s got a lot of tennis in his legs from recent weeks and I feel he’s worth taking on with Fritz, who is available to back at +800.
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|ATP Stockholm Open Information|
|What||ATP Stockholm Open|
|Time||Sunday, November 7 to Saturday, November 13|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
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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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