St Petersburg, Cologne and Sardinia – Thursdays Tips

Welcome back to the Serving Up Clutch daily tips articles – it’s been a while!

This week we have two indoor hard-court events in St Petersburg (ATP 500) and Cologne (ATP 250) and a clay court event outdoors in Sardinia (ATP 250). Naturally this blend in surfaces and levels of events adds a bit of ‘fluctuation’ to the results we expect to see, but nonetheless check out some of the value tips for tomorrows action below:

ALEJANDRO DAVIDOVICH FOKINA (ESP) TO BEAT MARIN CILIC (CRO) AT 11/8

Davidovich-Fokina comes into this match up as underdog with a great chance of stealing a spot in the next round on the indoor hard courts in Cologne.

Cilic, the veteran Croatian, has been hugely underwhelming since early 2019, and required three very close sets in his previous round to move past the American Marcos Giron (ranked 138).

Cilic looks to dominate rallies behind a big serve with punishing flat ground-strokes, and this is epitomised by the fact his backhand ranks in the top 20 flattest hit shots on the ATP tour.

Davidovich-Fokina by contrast is a very agile player who despite having a ‘laser-beam’ forehand hit with pace and heavy spin, is able to construct points with more ease than his opponent using angles to manoeuvre the other player around the court.

In Cologne, the surface appears to be playing very slowly, and this should give Davidovich-Fokina the time to control the Cilic serve back into play, and utilise his angles to get the taller man on the run. It is because of this, that we at Serving Up Clutch believe the Spaniard to be a great underdog pick.

CORENTIN MOUTET (FRA) TO BEAT ALBERT RAMOS VINOLAS (ESP) AT 8/11

Despite a poor outing at the French Open, Corentin Moutet comes into this match with a fantastic opportunity to continue a deep run on the Clay in Sardinia.

Both of these players would be disappointed with their recent form, but it cannot be denied that Albert Ramos Vinolas holds the worse recent record of the two, and may be in the worst form of his career winning only one of his last 11 outings (his victory coming against an ‘out-of-sorts’ Adrian Mannarino).

Match-up wise there’s not a lot to separate these two; both players are consistent from the back and pride themselves on their movement at the back of the court. The main differential in this regard comes from the Frenchman, who is much more willing to venture to the net and mix up spins and depths to out-wit his opposition.

This match will be won and lost by the performance level of Ramos-Vinolas; but going on recent outings this therefore will be a victory for Moutet.

CASPER RUUD (NOR) TO BEAT YANNICK HANFMANN (GER) AT 2/5

This match unlike the prior puts two recent heavyweights up against each other. Hanfmann is currently riding a wave of confidence having made his maiden ATP level final in Kitzbuhel (losing to Miomir Kecmanovic), and Ruud enters this event as favourite having recently made the Hamburg semi-final (losing to Andrey Rublev) and putting in a decent showing at the French Open – an event Hanfmann opted not to play.

Hanfmann possesses a very large serve, and looks to use his large levers to wind up big forehands to dominate points. He also follows in behind these shots with high frequency to pressure people into the back corners of the clay courts (often where the clay is fresh and harder to recover from) and finish off points with smart volleyed angles.

Ruud, by contrast, hits aggressive heavy spin ground-stroked which are enabled by his fast footwork. He is able to create space on the court by pulling his opponent out wide using angles before punishing them into the open spaces.

Despite the obvious differential in serve quality (Hanfmann being far superior), the greater ability to retrieve and manipulate space on the court, as well as the better results and overall ability, make Ruud an overwhelming favourite in our eyes.

DAVIDOVICH FOKINA, MOUTET AND RUUD TREBLE AT 4.74/1

Take the above treble for a fantastic shot at a 4.74/1 victory.

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