Shane Lambert looks ahead to ATP Stuttgart and he likes Dominic Thiem and Juan Martin Del Potro at 9/1 and 16/1.
Novak Djokovic concluded the clay-court season on Sunday from Paris as he defeated Andy Murray in the final in four sets. The result sees Djokovic hit at pretty short odds, with about 5/7 the going rate on the Serb pre-tournament. There are some clay-court events here and there for the balance of the season, but focus on the ATP Tour will now shift over to grass-court events. That includes an event in Germany where Roger Federer will look to get back into gear.
The Swiss Maestro missed the French Open, however that's not stopping the sportsbooks from making him the favourite at ATP Stuttgart (7/4 888Sport), a 250-series event on tour. Arguably it should do just that as Federer has not had many injuries in his career. For that reason, we don't have much information on how he will respond to having missed so much time recently. The World No. 3 is very much a question mark heading into the Stuttgart event, even as the top seed.
Federer, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, and Grigor Dimitrov round out the top four favourites in the event. Dimitrov has been poor for a while and Cilic has been pretty uninspired of late. The two players have each won a singles title before, but I find their respective odds hard to accept. Cilic is priced at 15/2 with bet365 and Dimitrov, who has Juan Martin del Potro in the first round, is at 12/1 with BetVictor.
Looking at the draw you definitely have to like it from Thiem's point of view. He has a bye through the first round and it is a small event. Those that receive a bye only have to win four matches to claim the title.
Thiem shares a path to the final with Federer, but there's nobody all that tough in the opening rounds. Ahead of the quarters Thiem can't face anyone more proven than Feliciano Lopez. The Spaniard might be a tired player as he was busy at the French Open - he and Marc Lopez won the men's doubles title on Saturday. Furthermore, Feliciano won't be getting a bye through the first round as Thiem will.
You can certainly talk about the Austrian possibly being tired here following his efforts at Roland Garros. However, Thiem is 22 years old, he hasn't played since Friday, and it was a short match at that. The big questions with Thiem have to do motivation and the surface. Often after a deep run in a major the pressure is off of a player to go out and get some ranking points. Furthermore, Thiem has a clear preference for clay over grass.
However, the draw is one that simply has to be bet at the odds provided. For example, Stan James offer 9/1 on Thiem winning the tournament - odds that look very good in my view.
I'd also take a stab with Delpo here. He's the most talented player on the bottom half of the draw, he made the Wimbledon semi-finals a few years back, and he won the bronze medal on the surface in 2012, through Novak Djokovic. The big guy is certainly a question mark too because of missed time, but unlike Federer JMD is out at 16/1 with Stan James, lengthy odds that pay for the risk.
1.5 points each way Dominic Thiem at 9/1 with Stan James
1 point each way del Potro at 16/1 with Stan James