Rio de Janeiro will host the second ATP 500 event of the season. Join us as we analyze the main contenders, the player to keep an eye on and provide the highest value tennis picks.
The 2014 Rio Open champion, Rafael Nadal, is once again the main favorite for the title. The Spaniard couldn’t defend his title in Buenos Aires, losing against Dominic Thiem in the semifinals. Nadal keeps struggling to find his best tennis, with his forehand landing too short and committing also too many unforced errors. There are some dangerous players on Nadal’s half of the draw, such as Nicolas Almagro, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Jack Sock; however, the Spaniard should be able to overcome any of them and reach the final of this event. Despite the possibility of reaching the decisive match and even grabbing the title, it's hard to find value on Nadal due to his inconsistency and for that reason, we advise to avoid betting on him for the trophy at 1.90 on Bet365.
David Ferrer was also far from brilliant in Buenos Aires, losing against Nicolas Almagro in straight sets. After his poor performance in Argentina, Ferrer will be looking to raise the level on this event where he is the defending champion. David should have an easy start of competition against the wild card Nicolas Jarry and after that, he might face Albert Ramos. At the quarterfinals, Ferrer can face Dominic Thiem, but the Austrian had a very demanding week in Buenos Aires and it will be very tough for him to keep the same game level. The highest ranked players Ferrer can face on semifinals are John Isner and Fabio Fognini, with both being great match-ups for the Spaniard. With this in mind, we believe that Ferrer can reach the final and for that reason is possible to find value on his tennis odds at 5.00 at Bet365.
Player To Keep An Eye On
Despite being American, Jack Sock loves to play on clay and he even mentioned that this is his favorite surface, but he’s always highly underrated when he plays on these game conditions. Jack is able to produce an absurd amount of spin with his forehand, generating even more rpm than Rafael Nadal and that heavy spin forehand is extremely dangerous on this surface. Sock’s kick serve and outstanding defensive skills are also very effective on clay, with the American covering the court remarkably well with his sliding skills. It won’t be an easy debut against Federico Delbonis, but Sock should be too strong from the baseline, taking advantage of Federico’s sluggish baseline movement. On the following round an easier contest is expected against Paolo Lorenzi, with Jack’s inside out forehand creating many problems to Lorenzi’s weaker backhand. At the quarterfinals, Sock might face the 3rd seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, an opponent who defeated him in their previous contest at Madrid last year. Once again Jack’s inside out forehand will be crucial for his success, with the American exploring Tsonga’s unreliable backhand. Sock’s journey might come to an end at the semifinals, where he can face Rafael Nadal, but there is clear value on him to win the first rounds and due to that, we suggest to add him to your tennis picks on this event.