Aljaz Bedene to beat Tallon Griekspoor at +120 at Caesars Sportsbook
Feliciano Lopez to beat Benjamin Bonzi at +250 at DraftKings Sportsbook
First-set tie-break in Benjamin Bonzi vs Feliciano Lopez at +210 at FanDuel
First-set tie-break in Jiri Lehecka vs Nick Kyrgios at +310 at BetMGM
First-set tie-break in Ugo Humbert vs Arthur Rinderknech at +150 at bet365
Alex de Minaur to win the Libema Open at +1200 at PointsBet
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Dutchman Griekspoor will have the home support in ‘s-Hertogenbosch but it’s Bedene bringing the grasscourt experience.
Grikespoor made a name for himself with a record-breaking season on the Challenger Tour in 2021 but the vast majority of his success came on clay.
He’s played very few matches on this surface. At tour level it’s just two and both were lost in straight sets.
A potential factor affecting the pricing is that Bedene has not long returned from an injury lay-off but this will be his fourth tournament of his comeback and he’s shown some good signs on the clay, including a run to the third round of the French Open where losing to Novak Djokovic was no disgrace.
He’s another he prefers slower conditions but he’s played much more than his opponent on grass and has gained some decent results over the years.
Only last season he reached the third round of Wimbledon, while the Slovenian is also a former quarter-finalist at this event.
I’d have him a slight favourite here but the market doesn’t – back Bedene at +120.
Backing Lopez these days undoubtedly carries risk – the Spaniard is winless on the main tour in 2022 – but one suspects he’s been waiting for this time of year and it may be worth placing some faith in him now he’s back on grass.
It’s the surface which has brought Lopez four of his seven ATP titles, most recently at Queen’s Club in 2019.
His swinging lefty serve has long been a potent weapon on this surface, particularly against right-handers like Bonzi, who also has the problem of having a double-handed backhand.
While there’s no doubt Lopez is not the player he once was, if he serves well he should stay in matches such as this.
He did defeat top-30 star Karen Khachanov on grass last year, while it was only in November that he beat Andrey Rublev indoors.
The Stuttgart grass has long been one of the toughest venues for the returner – and that should be even more pronounced given this match is first up on day one with the grass still fresh and slippery.
I therefore give Lopez a better chance than odds of +250 suggest.
The chance of a first-set tie-break also looks strong – that’s a +210 chance.
Kyrgios is among the favourites for the title in Stuttgart and it’s not hard to see his massive serve producing plenty of aces in these conditions.
Yet he’s not exactly a reliable sort and having not played for two months, you wonder what level he’ll deliver here.
Yes, he could be straining at the leash, ready to go on a surface which favours his game, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him rusty, especially with his below-par return game.
Lehecka is not an easy foe to have first up. The Czech made the semi-finals in Rotterdam earlier this season, while the move onto grass will bring back good memories of his Junior Wimbledon doubles triumph.
I think he’s more than capable of keeping this competitive and could be worth a small punt to win the match at +360.
However, a better option looks to be backing that first-set tie-break again at +310.
Talking of tie-breaks, another here would not surprise.
This match features two strong servers – last season on the grass at all levels they held serve 89% and 90% of the time respectively – with neither is known for his return game.
Such stats help show why Humbert’s last nine grasscourt matches have all featured a tie-break if you are happy to count a 9-7 final set at Wimbledon as one. In terms of betting on this match, I’m happy to do so given they can’t go past 13 games in a set in Stuttgart.
The Frenchman has struggled for results this season, winning only four of his 15 tour-level matches, but he’ll clearly be hoping a move onto the faster surface will help him return to better form.
He does look rather short to win this match, particularly given Rinderknech arrives fresh from a Challenger Tour win in Poznan.
Perhaps the underdog is worth an interest but the tie-break options look the best with a first-set breaker the pick at +150.
The top seed in Stuttgart, Stefanos Tsitsipas, will likely be tested if he faces Maxime Cressy in his opening match.
The top-five star is just 8-8 in his career on grass and Cressy showed what he’s capable on a faster surface when reaching the final in Melbourne prior to the Australian Open.
If it happens, the underdog may well be worth siding with in that one.
I like Alex de Minaur’s chances in Den Bosch this week.
The Australian is coming in off the back of the best claycourt campaign of his career and will be relishing the move onto the grass.
He won on this surface in Eastbourne last season and also reached the semi-finals at Queen’s Club in London.
As fourth seed, he has a first-round bye and also looks well drawn with Daniil Medvedev the main threat in his half of the draw.
The Russian looks a pretty short favourite though given he’s still in the early stages of an injury comeback and also knows he won’t be going to Wimbledon due to the controversial ban. There has to be a chance he uses the grasscourt season as a stepping stone to the forthcoming hardcourt campaign which now looks a greater priority.
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|ATP Stuttgart and Den Bosch Information|
|What||ATP Boss Open; ATP Libema Open|
|Location||Stuttgart, Germany; ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands|
|Time||Monday, June 6 to Sunday, June 12|
|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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