Queen's Club Betting: Huge value on back to lays at Aegon Championships

10Jun 2013


The clay swing is over and the world's top stars head to the grass for a short spell on the green stuff beginning this week in Halle and London, where Sean Calvert has selected a portfolio of big priced possibilities at Queen's Club...

The Queen's Club tournament, formerly known by viewers of a certain age as the Stella Artois and now in it's latest incarnation as the Aegon Championships is a traditional warm-up for Wimbledon for many of the top stars and that's the same this year.

The Gerry Weber Open stretched its purse strings to tempt Rafa Nadal to join Roger Federer in Germany on a contract there, but the Spaniard has withdrawn, so UK viewers won't see either of those two this week on live TV, but Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych and defending champion Marin Cilic are due to appear in London.

There will be no repeat of last year's memorable final, won on default by Cilic, as the culprit that day David Nalbandian has just become a father and misses the grass court season, but Murray will be keen to do well at home after missing the French Open.

Murray was stunned by grass-loving Frenchman Nicolas Mahut last year and could be vulnerable again after a long time away from the match court, but he'll be more used to grass than anyone having had more time to practice on the surface.

There were plenty of early casualties in this event last year, with Murray, Tsonga, Andy Roddick, Gilles Simon and Janko Tipsarevic all being long odds-on losers before the quarter finals and Cilic and Sam Querrey have won this event in two of the last three years, so it's worth looking for some value.

The draw has paired Murray with Mahut again, should the Frenchman defeat Rhyne Williams, and Mahut's doubles partner in Paris, Michael Llodra, is also lurking in the Scot's immediate section, while Lukas Rosol, Bernard Tomic, Benjamin Becker and Alex Dolgopolov are other notable players in Murray's quarter.

The adjacent section features Tsonga, Benoit Paire, Denis Istomin, and Kevin Anderson and looks weaker than Murray's quarter and one would expect Tsonga to come through that, although Anderson has the kind of game that should be effective on grass and he did make the last eight 12 months ago.

In the bottom half of the draw Berdych is in the same quarter as Cilic and that quarter looks quite weak too, with a number of Brits complementing Julien Benneteau, Ivan Dodig and Grega Zemlja. It looks a straight fight between the top two in that section, with Berdych the likely winner, especially as Cilic is now without the guiding influence of Bob Brett in his corner. Dodig is not be underestimated at a huge 500.0 either after beating Cilic in two of their last three meetings and making the last eight here 12 months ago, beating Tsonga on the way.

The final section is perhaps the most competitive, with Grigor Dimitrov, Querrey, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Martin Del Potro, Xavier Malisse, Jarkko Nieminen and Ryan Harrison battling it out for a semi final place.

Dimitrov reached the semis here last year and looks a decent pick at around 21.0, with Del Potro not a big fan of the grass and out of practice after illness, while 500.0 has to be snapped up as a huge priced back-to-lay on Malisse, who loves the grass and was a quarter finalist here last year and had a fourth round finish at Wimbledon (lost to Federer).

Querrey is a possibility at around 26.0 with his excellent recent record here and he, Malisse and Dimitrov are preferred to Del Potro, who is way too short at 7.5 in my view.

So, there are some great value outsiders to side with on a back-to-lay basis and a look at the last eight here 12 months ago reveals that the likes of Dodig, Yen Hsun Lu, Malisse were all there and Murray, Tsonga et al were not.

There seems little point in backing Murray at around 3.25 given his questionable fitness and lack of match practice and it's worth having a portfolio of bigger priced runners in this ATP 250 event, which often has surprise winners and finalists.

Malisse is way too big at 500.0, while the likes of Llodra, Rosol, Tomic, Anderson, Querrey and Dimitrov should all be considered for the short list.

Recommended Bets (all back to lay)
Xavier Malisse at 500.0
Michael Llodra at 67.0
Lukas Rosol at 51.0
Ivan Dodig at 500.0


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Keywords: Aegon Championships, Halle, London, Sean Calvert

Source: Betfair

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