How to Bet Day 1 at the ATP Cup, Featuring Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Hubert Hurkacz (Jan. 1)
Credit: Clive Brunskill, Getty. Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts at the ATP Finals.
After approximately a month-long offseason, tennis is officially back.
The ATP Cup returns for its third year of operation, and the team competition kicks off the tennis calendar once again. Though some big names such as Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem are all missing from the tournament, it still features some of the top players in the world.
However, it’s always important to be conservative when betting on early-season tennis. New years bring completely different levels of form for players, and it’s impossible to discern how individuals will look as we kick off the season.
Of course, that won’t stop us from betting these matches. Here is where I see value in the first day of the tennis calendar.
Match times are subject to change. For advice on watching tennis matches, read here.
Filip Krajinovic (-1200) vs. Viktor Durasovic (+600)
1:30 a.m. ET
Krajinovic, the Serbian number two, had a tough season on hard courts throughout 2021, and there’s not much reason to believe that this year will feature anything different until we actually see it.
With a 10-13 record on the surface in 2021, he also closed out the year with consecutive hard court singles losses and a disappointing doubles defeat as he partnered Novak Djokovic in the Davis Cup.
Durasovic comes into the match with nothing to lose and a solid 2021 to provide him with a bit of confidence. An 18-12 hard court record that was largely played at the Challenger level featured some quality results, such as pushing Andy Murray to a tiebreaker in Stockholm and beating Illya Marchenko 6-3 6-0 at the Davis Cup.
While he saw more success on indoor surfaces, I like his chances of making this a difficult match for Krajinovic, who could have serious difficulties playing on the speedy surfaces that are typically created in Australia.
Pick: Durasovic over 5.5 games (-125 via DraftKings)
Casper Ruud (-475) vs. Dusan Lajovic (+310)
2:50 a.m. ET
Krajinovic’s teammate, Dusan Lajovic, had a similarly poor year on hard courts in 2021. His 18-28 record on the year was limited by a 12-17 hard court record, and no one improved their play on the surface more throughout the season than Norway’s Casper Ruud.
The world number eight put together a 28-10 record that was mightily impressive given his noted struggles on hard courts up until last year. Though his game is suited best for clay and will remain that way, Ruud can be dangerous on fast hard courts now.
His 3.6-1 ace-to-double fault ratio in 2021 coupled with his 85 percent service game conversion rate on hard courts makes him more than capable of being a premier hard court player on the tour, and he should be able to exploit the Serbian’s backhand with his monster forehand.
Look for Ruud to excel in his first match of the year and do what he did to Lajovic in their prior two meetings.
Pick: Casper Ruud -4.5 (-120 via PointsBet)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (-180) vs. Hubert Hurkacz (+140)
2:50 a.m. ET
The most notable match of the day will put another breakout star of 2021 against the number four player in the world.
Hurkacz won three hard court titles last season, and he showed that he can thrive on the surface regardless of how fast it is playing. Reliant on an incredibly solid backhand, this matchup should be favorable on paper for the Polish number one, but he has a 2-5 record in standard ATP matches against the Greek.
Six of those matches went to the full three-set total, and two went beyond 11 games in the final set. Tsitsipas is also coming off of a surgery that required him to retire from his Paris Masters matchup with Alexei Popyrin and withdraw from the following ATP Finals.
It’s impossible to know how Tsitsipas is doing physically, but there’s a solid chance that he could be lacking match fitness or struggles to get into form.
This is a really nice spot for Hurkacz to pick up an important win.
Pick: Hubert Hurkacz +140 via PointsBet
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