tennis

A Look at April’s ATP Tour Events: Where Are There Major Points to Be Won?

March 31, 2017

- Grant Whittington

April and May are busy month’s in the ATP Tour schedule, with five major singles’ events scheduled for the next four weeks alone. There is also the small matter of four, Davis Cup quarter finals to be settled at the beginning of April, while the looming spectre of May’s French Open continues to home into view on the distant horizon.

The questions that remain are innumerable, of course, particularly as we try to determine which teams are most likely to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals and which players are set to claim valuable ranking points? So, let’s take a look at April’s ATP Tour events, and see who is poised to enjoy a stellar month.

Britain Will Start as Second Favourites in their Davis Cup Tie With France

If there is one thing that defined Britain’s Davis Cup success in 2015, it was the form and commitment of talisman Andy Murray. The Scot also inspired his team’s run to last years’ semis, so his absence from the up-coming quarter final with France is a telling blow to their chances of prevailing.

While France also have prominent absentees, their incredible strength in-depth means that players such as Gilles Simon will take their place in the line-up. This means that a tough task awaits Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund, who must shoulder the burden of Murray’s absence and deliver in his stead. Well worth looking at the free bets UK sites have to offer, backing against Britain could be a money spinner.

Will Murray and Djokovic Both Miss the Monte Carlo Masters?

Murray’s elbow injury may also keep him out of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, which starts on April 16th. This will continue a difficult start to the year for world number one Murray, who has also suffered from Shingles and been dumped out of the Australian Open during a fourth round tie against the youthful Alexander Zverev.

Under normal circumstances, this would lay down the gauntlet to Novak Djokovic to recoup some much needed ranking points, but his own poor form and potential absence due to a similar elbow injury (like Murray, the Serb also withdrew during the Miami Open), which means that this years’ Masters will be extremely open and keenly-contested for a number of reasons. A rejuvenated Rafa Nadal will most likely start as favourite, perfect to take up some freebets UK sites have to offer, thanks primarily to his penchant for clay and the fact that he won the title for a record eight consecutive times between 2005 and 2012.

Will Nadal Take His Chance to Dominate at the Start of the Clay Court Season?

Make no mistake; Nadal will see the beginning of the clay court season as a unique opportunity to assert his dominance on the surface, even though he is likely to miss the second-tier Grand Prix Hassan II in Morocco at the beginning of April (none of the world’s top 30 took part in 2016). He will start as the narrow favourite in Monaco and at the Barcelona Open at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, however, which is set to start in earnest on April 24th.

After all, this is yet another clay court, ATP 500 tournament that Nadal has dominated in recent times, with the Spaniard winning on eight out of nine occasions between 2005 and 2013 (in fact, Spanish players recorded 11th consecutive victories at the tournament from 2002). Although the new, world number four Ken Nishikori ended this run with two consecutive victories in 2014 and 2015, Nadal returned to the winners’ enclosure for the ninth occasion by beating the Japanese star last year. These two may well compete for the title once more, as even if Murray and Djokovic recover in time to play neither of them have excellent records in Barcelona.

Our Verdict: A Chance for Nadal and the Rest to Close the Gap on the Top Two

Despite the recent struggles that Murray and Djokovic have had with form and injuries, they remain out on their own at the top of the ATP rankings. Their enforced absence for much of the last month offers the chasing pack a chance to close this gap, however, particularly with the Serb having sacrificed the ranking points that he earned by winning last years’ Miami Open.

This is particularly good news for clay court supremo Nadal, whose form and pedigree make him the clear favourite to win in Monaco and Barcelona, and if you fancy a free bet UK bookmakers have some great tennis offers. With Federer also in imperious form having won 17 of his 18 matches so far in 2017 (including victory against Nadal at the final of the Australian Open), the established order in men’s tennis may be disrupted in the weeks ahead.

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