The ATP World Tour returns to action with Brisbane hosting the biggest tournament of the week. Join us and find out the most valuable players to add to your betting picks.
Top Half of the Draw
Milos Raonic returns to Brisbane after winning the title 12 months ago. The Canadian ended 2016 as world no.3 – his career high ranking – and his goal for 2017 is to claim his first Grand Slam trophy. The fast game conditions in Brisbane clearly suit Raonic's powerful tennis with the defending champion presenting terrific numbers on serve in the 2016 edition. As the numbers indicate, Raonic's serve is even more effective on these game conditions, losing only 1 out of 47 service games last season. On the other hand, Raonic won less 6.67% of his service games on the other Hard Court events throughout 2016.
Taking a look now to Milos' draw on this event, the Canadian should start his campaign against another big server – Sam Querrey. Even though Querrey is always a dangerous opponent, it's unlikely to see him presenting the required consistency to defeat such a strong player as Raonic.
After winning the Abu Dhabi Exhibition tournament, Rafael Nadal is trying to extend the good results in Brisbane. Nadal is the biggest threat on Milos' half and the two might face in the quarter-finals. Despite Rafael's 6 – 1 lead on the h2h and recent victory over the Canadian in Abu Dhabi, the game conditions in Brisbane clearly benefit Raonic.
Dominic Thiem should be the last obstacle on Raonic's path in the top half of the draw. The Austrian is still looking for his first victory over this opponent with Milos winning their previous two meetings, both in straight sets. Due to Raonic's edge and tremendous success in Brisbane, we expect Milos to book a place in the final for the second consecutive year.
Bottom Half of the Draw
The three-time Grand Slam champion – Stan Wawrinka – is the main favorite to lift the trophy in Brisbane with Bet365 offering +333 for the Swiss to win the title. This is Wawrinka's first career appearance in Brisbane after eight consecutive attendances in Chennai.
Known for playing his best tennis on the big stages, Stan holds a remarkable 72.41% winning record on Grand Slam events. On the other hand, the world no.4 is not so reliable on lower level events with a 64.51% record on ATP competitions.
Despite Wawrinka's outstanding 23 – 4 record in Chennai over the last 8 years, the field in Brisbane is much more competitive. The average ranking of Stan's opponents in Chennai throughout his career is 113.67 while the average ranking in the 2017 ATP Brisbane main draw is 44.17.
Looking now to Stan's draw in Brisbane, the world no.4 won't have an easy task with very difficult opponents on his half such as Gilles Simon and Kei Nishikori. The Swiss lost the last match he played against both players and due to his usual inconsistency on lower events, our recommendation is for you to avoid placing any bet on Wawrinka.
As we mentioned before, Kei Nishikori is other of the players on Stan's half of the draw. The Japanese always counts with a strong support in Australia from the Japanese fans. This is Kei's 7th career appearance in Brisbane with the world no.5 still trying to reach the final for the first time. This might be a wonderful opportunity for that, Nishikori has a good draw ahead of him, which makes him a valuable player to add to your betting picks at +400 at Coral.