We tipped Dominic Thiem to go all the way in Barcelona and that’s exactly what he did. There are strong concerns about Rafael Nadal at the moment as he once again was easily beaten in straight-sets on his favourite surface, something which has happened so rarely in recent years, particularly in Barcelona. Thiem thrashed Nadal in the semi-finals and then demolished Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final.
The clay-court season heads to Munich this week where it is expected to be a slow grind for the players. The forecast is currently rain every day which could create real issues for the scheduler and for the overall quality of the tournament.
Alexander Zverev has won this tournament in the past two years but all is not well with the German. In previous years, his form has been exemplary in best out of three sets tournaments, winning the end of season ATP Tour Finals in London.
It was said to be a precursor for Zverev; for him to go on and progress, however, it has been totally the opposite. He has reached just one final this year, which he lost to Nick Kyrgios, and he was beaten by Fabio Fognini and Nicolás Jarry in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona respectively. It has been revealed that Zverev is not fully fit, he has split up with his girlfriend and his dad has been unwell, with the off-court issues hitting the headlines of late. All these reasons may have played a part in his malaise, therefore, it is difficult to back him and it is best to look elsewhere.
Jan-Lennard Struff is an attractive player to back in Munich. The German comes into this in good form – beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and David Goffin in Barcelona before losing to Nadal. Struff has won 11 of his last 16 matches in Munich. He is powerful from the baseline and possesses a big serve. Struff has the ability to hit through the slow courts and is worth keeping an eye on.
Argentinian Diego Schwartzman is also on our shortlist in Munich. The diminutive 26-year-old is small in stature but makes up for it through incredible speed and stamina. In addition, he has tremendous technique and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open last year. In Barcelona he was beaten by Thiem but had already won three matches to reach the last-32. He faces a tricky first round match against mercurial Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Another to consider is Philipp Kohlschreiber who has won three titles in his home country. He didn’t play in Barcelona last week but if he is fully fit, he stands a good chance of going far in his home country, in a tournament where he has also reached the final in three of the last four editions. Kohlschreiber has a 33-11 record in Munich, with that familiarity set to stand him in good stead here.
In terms of value, there aren’t too many better bets than Philipp Kohlschreiber, who Betfred have priced at 20/1 to go all the way in Munich. A three-time winner of the competition, he is clearly comfortable in these surroundings and has reached the final in three of his last four appearances at the competition. He has lost two of those finals, perhaps making EW the more favourable option.
Philipp Kohlschreiber 20/1 e/w