After some great play in Moscow last week,
the Tour moves to St Petersburg and fresh from victory in the Russian Capital,
in form Janko Tipsarevic will be looking to add a third ATP title, to his
Somewhat surprisingly, it’s Croatian
23-year-old, Marin Cilic who comes into this event as the tennis odds makers’
favourite, (3/1). Cilic has not had a great year and for me
it’s a little difficult to see him winning an event in which there are several
other top players, all currently in better form than him.
Cilic is still to win a title in 2011 and
whilst the draw here does seem to have been very kind to him, I do not see a
complete run through to a victory in the final. Even playing below his best,
Cilic can make it through to the semis or final here, but for me, the
confidence just isn’t there at the moment and therefore my money would not be
on the favourite.
man in form
Janko Tisparevic is clearly the man in form
at the moment. After the disappointment of not winning his first Tour event in
Eastbourne, (lost in the final to Seppi), the Serbian, has not looked back and
since that time has picked up the winner’s trophy in Kuala
Lumpur and just last week in Moscow.
Now up to World No. 14 and brimming with
confidence, Janko should be able to find his way into the last 8 here without
too much trouble. After that, there will be one or two sterner tests and
tiredness could start to play a part, after coming off the back of a long week
Tipsarevic is certainly the man to beat
here though and I would far prefer his odds of 4/1 to the 3/1 on offer
This is a big week for Frenchman, Gilles
Simon, who will be well aware he needs to go for maximum rankings points, if he
still harbours hopes of making a late leap into the London finals. Simon is ranked No.1 here in St Petersburg and he’ll need success here plus a great run
in Paris to have any chance of London.
Odds of 7/1 for a top seed are
very tempting to the tennis betting urges indeed. Simon does seem to have fallen into a tougher section of
the draw than others, which certainly go someway to explaining such generous
odds, but there’s no question he is capable of beating every player at this event,
so the Frenchman could well be worth backing.
Mihail Youzhny and Alexandr Dolgopolov are
both available at around 8/1 with the tennis bookmakers and both men are
capable of success. Dolgopolov has been on a stunning rise up through the rankings
and has really come to prominence across 2011. His first title (Umag) along
with a couple of big scalps at the Australian Open and a stunning first set
with Novak Djokovic in New York, have left ‘The Dog’ sitting at World No.17 and
still looking to climb further before the year is out.
If Dolgopolov can find that little bit more
consistency, whilst maintaining the unpredictability of his shot making, 2012,
could see a move toward the world’s Top 10 for the Ukranian. For the time
being, Dolgopolov is certainly able to win this one, and after a disappointing
exit in Moscow
last week, he’ll certainly be gunning for big improvement.
2011 hasn’t been a great year for Mikhail
Youzhny but playing this event in his home country will give the 29-year-old
Russian a big boost. He won here back in 2004 but is still to register a title
in 2011. Like Gilles Simon, it’ll be a tough journey through the draw, if the
current World No.34 is to make it, but he is certainly another with good
If Tipsarevic doesn’t tire then I really
like his odds of achieving back-to-back titles. It’s not easy to pick out just
one man here though, and as a backup in the free picks, I feel there is some great value in