Middle-Eastern swing full of promise
Now then, this is a little more like it – not only are both tours getting back into full swing after a stressful Australian Open, we are beginning to see more and more of the big hitters back out on the courts.
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ATP Rio de Janeiro
The Latin American ‘Golden Swing’ continues with some of the world’s best clay-courters heading out to sunny climes – and Matteo Berrettini heads up a solid field. The Italian has shown his prowess for multiple surfaces, and three of his five tour-level titles are on the dirt.
Norway’s Casper Ruud is the second seed, and his form is solid – coming back from an injury sustained in Australia to win in Buenos Aires last week.
Packed doesn’t even begin to describe the field in Dubai. Seven out of the world’s top 10 are in town with former slam champions all over the place. Some of the first round match-ups are eye-wateringly good – Petra Kvitova versus Camila Giorgi, Iga Swiatek versus Daria Kasatkina and two of the most feisty fist-pumping players Sofia Kenin versus Jelena Ostapenko leap but as must watch matches!
Players will often say there are no easy matches in fields like this – we say there are no bad matches and this week in Dubai is well worth your attention.
While the women occupy Dubai this week, Doha holds a slightly lower-tiered tournament but there is plenty of quality here. Denis Shapovalov had plenty to say about Rafael Nadal, but leads the pack here – with the continuing adventures of Sir Andy Murray of the tin hip coming in as a wildcard – why is that note-worthy? Because his first match is against the qualifier Taro Daniel who booted him out of his short-lived triumphant return to the Australian Open. Bit of revenge? We think so.
ATP Delray Beach
British No. 1 Cameron Norrie has regained some winning ways and he returns to Delray Beach where he reached the semi-final last year, as the top seed. As with last week in Dallas, this is a very US heavy field including Dallas champion all around man-mountain Reilly Opelka.
Possibly the weakest of the available fields on offer this week.
Meanwhile back over the pond in Europe, fresh from being beaten by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Stefanos Tsitsipas has another go at winning a tournament but let’s just tale a moment to consider the Canadian. This feels like it could be a big year for both him and Shapovalov, to be fair, but this win was a long time coming – and it could be the start of something big. Just one to watch in 2022.
For the latest odds, check out bet365’s coupons for this week’s tournaments.