Clay court season continues on both WTA and ATP tours – Your weekly tennis betting preview
The clay court season continues this week with the prestigious event in Barcelona and the only indoor clay-court event on the WTA Tour.
Keep reading for our preview of all this week’s tennis action.
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Hosted each year by Spain’s oldest tennis club, the Barcelona Open will be played for the 65th time in 2015.
It’s a clay court tournament so, of course, that means in recent years there has been only one man to beat. Before last year Rafael Nadal had won every Barcelona Open but one since 2005 and it was countryman Nicolas Almagro that ended his fine run in 2014.
While his form hasn’t been terrific since his return there were signs in Monte Carlo last week that Nadal is approaching his best and a semi-final defeat to the imperious Novak Djokovic was nothing to be ashamed of.
Spanish players have won eleven of the last twelve titles in Barcelona so it’s also worth keeping an eye out for the talented David Ferrer who took Nadal to three sets in Monte Carlo last week and world number 12 Feliciano Lopez.
Last year’s winner will be back to defend his title. Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese player to win an ATP clay-court title when he beat Santiago Giraldo in last year’s final and the current world number four will be a danger again this week.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix
The only indoor clay event on the WTA Tour, this is one of the most popular events on Tour. Winner of the WTA’s Premier Tournament of the Year award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 it is Europe’s oldest indoor women’s event.
There’s a very strong field in Stuttgart this week seeking a big money prize and the additional perk of a sports car. The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix winner picks up the keys to a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera as well as the winner’s cheque and so there is plenty of incentive to do well this week.
There have been some big name winners in the past and the top seed comes to the event having won each of the last three editions of the tournament. Maria Sharapova is on a great run at this event and the 2012, 2013 and 2014 champion is the woman to beat this year.
Simona Halep was a surprise early casualty in Stuttgart last year, going out in straight sets to Svetlana Kuznetsova in her opening match. The Romanian will hope to do better here as will Petra Kvitova who lost her first match last year to the unseeded Alisa Kleybanova.
Ana Ivanovic has a decent record at this tournament and last year’s beaten finalist could go well as could Carla Suarez Navarro who reached the recent Miami Open final.
There has only been one German winner of this event in the last 20 years but one of the form players in world tennis right now is on home turf. Angelique Kerber came from behind to win a thrilling final of the Family Circle Cup, beating the American Madison Keys in three sets and heads to Stuttgart in high spirits.
“It was a win I had to wait a long time for. That I had to battle so hard for it makes it all the more valuable for me,” said the world number 14.
BND Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Hosted in Bucharest since 1993, the ATP World Tour 250 tournament changed its name in 2011 in honour of its two iconic ambassadors Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac.
The man to beat over the last two years in the Romanian capital has been Lukas Rosol. The 2013 champion looked as if he may become just the second player to retain this tournament title when he reached the final last year but the Czech player was beaten in straight sets by Grigor Dimitrov.
The only man to retain their title here is Gilles Simon and the three-time winner returns for another crack at the title. The 30 year old is currently the world number 13 and the Frenchman will hope it won’t be unlucky for him this week.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Andreas Seppi and Florian Mayer also feature this week.