Eight-time winner heads to Monte Carlo with a superb tournament record
The clay court season started in earnest last week and most of the big guns head to Monte Carlo this week for a tournament that is over a century old. Rafael Nadal has a superb record at this event and is the man to beat on the red surface although the Spaniard will face many of his leading rivals in the tiny principality.
While the world’s top men are in Monte Carlo the WTA Tour heads to Bogota, Columbia. The Claro Open is one of the most prestigious sports tournaments in Latin America and is a good chance for up and coming players to grab a WTA title. Keep reading for our preview of all this week’s tennis action.
Monte Carlo Open tennis betting
One of the longest-running tournaments in the world, the Monte Carlo Open celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 and is the only ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament without a mandatory player commitment. Despite this, most of the world’s top players will bead to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin this week.
As ever, the man to beat on clay is eight-time champion Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has a stunning 50-3 record at this event and won eight consecutive editions of the tournament between 2005 and 2012. He was finally beaten in the 2013 final and will need to improve on his recent form if he is going to add an unprecedented ninth title this year.
The man who beat him in 2013 was world number one Novak Djokovic and the Serb is enjoying a terrific 2015 having won the Australian Open and both the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments. Clay is arguably his weakest surface, however, but he is a previous tournament winner and looks head and shoulders above his rivals right now.
David Ferrer has been in good form of late and the 2011 runner-up beat Nadal at this tournament last year. Stan Wawrinka is the reigning champion having won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at this event last year while it may also be worth keeping an eye on his Swiss compatriot Roger Federer.
The former world number one has never won this event and beat Djokovic on the way to the final last year where he lost a tight three-set encounter to Wawrinka. A win for the four-time beaten finalist would give him his eighth different ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.
Claro Open Colsanitas
One of Latin America’s most prestigious sports events, the Claro Open was upgraded to a WTA level tournament in 1998. Since then, the tournament has been good to Spanish speaking players with the likes of Lara Arruabarrena, Fabiola Zuluaga and Lourdes Dominguez Lino all winning in Bogota in recent years.
The highest ranked player in the ‘Athens of South America’ this week will be the talented Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian is a two time winner on the WTA Tour and could go well this week.
There have been plenty of unfancied winners of this tournament in recent years and so there is lots of value in a mid-ranking field. Francesca Schiavone is a clay-court specialist and while the 2010 French Open champion may have fallen down the rankings she could be a danger here. The American pair of Christina McHale and Shelby Rogers could go well while it may also be worth keeping an eye on Varvara Lepchenko.
The 28 year old has enjoyed some decent wins over lower ranked rivals in 2015 and while she has struggled against the world’s best there are no top 25 players in Bogota this week. The Uzbek-American should be able to do well in this company.