ATP Erste Bank Open Day 1 Tennis Odds and Picks: Best Bets for Murray and Alcaraz Matches (Oct. 25)
Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty. Carlos Alcaraz eyes up a forehand in the Winston-Salem Open.
After Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev secured titles in Antwerp and Moscow respectively, the tour moves to new locations in Vienna and St. Petersburg.
The draw in Vienna is ridiculous for a 500-level event, featuring five players ranked among the top 10 in the world. It will be a banner week for Wiener Stadthalle as it plays host to a high-quality event, and we should be in store for some great tennis.
Without further ado, here’s how I’m betting the first day of main draw action.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on how to watch matches.
Carlos Alcaraz (-128) vs. Dan Evans (+106)
9:20 a.m. ET
Alcaraz has not played a significant amount of tennis since the US Open, only participating in the BNP Paribas Open since then. In Indian Wells, he suffered a disappointing loss from a set-lead against Andy Murray. Nevertheless, he looked solid in that battle, but a 20% break point conversion rate doomed him.
Evans had an up-and-down Indian Wells experience, pulling out a three-hour win in his first round matchup with Kei Nishikori but falling to Diego Schwartzman from a set and a break up.
The duo hasn’t met before, but the matchup projects to be an intriguing one. Alcaraz plays a heavy style of tennis that combines power off of both wings with an incredible athleticism. Evans prefers a more complex game that consists of a large dosage of backhand slices and attacking off the forehand.
For Evans, the question becomes how can he break down Alcaraz? The biggest weapons on the court belong to the 18-year-old, who is strong enough mentally to deal with the charismatic Evans. I don’t believe that the disparity in experience will play a big role between the two, and Evans won’t be able to get under Alcaraz’s skin as he does with many players.
Trust Alcaraz to get by an inferior opponent.
Pick: Carlos Alcaraz -128 via FanDuel
Hubert Hurkacz (-172) vs. Andy Murray (+142)
11:30 a.m. ET
Monday will mark the third match between Hurkacz and Murray in 2021, and in the first two instances it was the 24-year-old who won 7-6, 6-3. Results may not show it, but each match has been played on a knife’s edge with Murray just not being able to convert on big points.
That’s been the story for the Brit, who hasn’t been able to break through with any landmark wins. His best is probably the aforementioned comeback win he got against Carlos Alcaraz, but the Spaniard is only the 42nd-ranked player in the world.
Nonetheless, Murray has been knocking on the door of a crucial win, and he’ll have another solid chance to get it against the world number nine. Murray got through a near four-hour battle against Frances Tiafoe in Antwerp before falling to Diego Schwartzman in another tense match.
Hurkacz comes into Vienna after taking a week off. He’s currently the last man in the race to Turin, but he’s going to go through a very important period if he wants to keep that position. Against Murray, he’s going to have his hands full once again in a key week.
Murray has a positive H2H against nearly every player on tour sans the ‘Big 3’ and Mario Ancic, and when considering his first two matches against Hurkacz could have gone both ways — or at least to a third set — getting him at this price is enticing.
Back Murray to end his poor run of form against Hurkacz and secure a top 10 win.
Pick: Andy Murray +142 via FanDuel