ATP Rio De Janeiro - Kei Nishikori Looks For His First Tittle Of The Season

Tennis player Kei Nishikori

Joao Mourato

Monday, February 20, 2017 3:25 PM GMT

Rio de Janeiro hosts the biggest tournament of the week on the ATP World Tour. Join us while we analyze the main contenders’ chances, as well as the player to keep an eye on this event.

ATP Rio de Janeiro

The Rio Open takes place in Rio de Janeiro with Clay as the chosen surface.

 

Main Contenders

After a disappointing defeat against Alexandr Dolgopolov at the ATP Buenos Aires Final, Kei Nishikori is looking for his first title of the season in Rio de Janeiro. The Japanese is the main favorite to win the title on this event with BetVictor offering +163 for his victory.

Looking now to Kei’s draw on this event, the world no.4 shouldn’t experience any major problems on his debut against Thomaz Bellucci. Even though Bellucci is never an easy opponent on clay – especially when playing in Brazil – it’s highly unlikely to see him presenting the required consistency to defeat Nishikori. The Japanese should continue his successful journey in Rio de Janeiro against two Portuguese players – Gastão Elias and João Sousa.

Alexandr Dolgopolov and David Ferrer are the main threats on Nishikori’s path in the semi-finals. Despite Dolgopolov’s recent triumph in Buenos Aires, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him losing in the opening round against Ferrer. On the other hand, David is a good match-up for Kei with the Japanese winning six of their previous seven meetings.

With this in mind, we recommend you to add Nishikori’s outright to your betting picks since we expect to see him reaching the final on this event.

Despite his unexpected defeat in Rotterdam against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Dominic Thiem clearly found his best tennis on that event with two high-quality victories over Alexander Zverev and Gilles Simon.

Playing on clay brings the best out of Thiem with the Austrian holding an outstanding 70.97% winning record on this surface while his overall record is only 62.24%. Besides this, five of Dominic’s seven titles on the ATP World Tour were achieved on clay. However, it won’t be easy for Thiem to present his best tennis in the opening round against Janko Tipsarevic. Apart from an intercontinental trip, Dominic also needs to adjust to completely different game conditions since the ATP Rotterdam was played on Indoor Hard Court.

Even though Thiem might experience some problems on his debut, we expect to see him booking a place in the following round due to his tremendous quality on this surface. Dominic is currently at +400 at Bet365 to win the title, a very interesting price in a tournament where it’s highly likely to see a Nishikori vs Thiem final.

 

Player to Keep an Eye

As we mentioned before, David Ferrer and Alexandr Dolgopolov will face each other in Rio de Janeiro’s opening round. Despite Alexandr’s outstanding campaign in Buenos Aires, the Ukrainian is famous for his inconsistency and it won’t be easy for him to present the same level this week. On the other hand, Ferrer is a phenomenal competitor and although his poor defeat against Carlos Berlocq last week, the Spaniard can never be underestimated on this surface.

These two players know each other very well with Ferrer leading on the h2h by 9 – 3. When looking at their previous encounters, this is by far the highest price ever on David with Pinnacle offering -164 for his victory in this match. Due to the h2h, Ferrer’s competitive game style and Dolgopolov’s inconsistency, there is clear value on the current betting odds, which makes the 2015 Rio Open champion – Ferrer – the player to keep an eye on this event.