Tennis / khachanov
ATP Doha 1/16 Finals Predictions
The ATP Doha Open 250 kicks off today with just a few big names in the mix. The biggest of course is the world number one Novak Djokovic who plays number 47th in the world Damir Dzumhur, that should be a foregone conclusion and not worth paying much attention to concerning betting. The other big name in the draw for me is not David Goffin nor the new young high flying Russian Karen Khachanov but actually who the Paris Masters champion faces today - Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka is currently ranked 66th in the world after a lay off from knee surgery last year and is unseeded is this tournament. For that don't know Stan, he is a three time grand slam champion (winning the Australian, French and US Open) and beat Djokovic in the US Open final in 2016 where he destroyed the Serbian from the baseline over 4 sets. The Swiss who has always played second fiddle to fellow countryman Roger Federer lurking in his tall shadow has the best backhand in the world for me. It certainly is the most dangerous and potent when Stan is on song and feeling in the mood. His forehand isn't so bad either, he is a true power player in every sense of the word and can hit any other player off court that is on the ATP tour today. Last year he took 3 months off for knee surgery and upon returning played in roughly 10 more tournaments for 2018 where he built some momentum towards the end of the year, notably in Cincinnati and St Petersburg. In Cincinnati he almost defeated an in form Roger Federer where he fell in three sets 6-7, 7-6, 2-6. In that match he looked like he was getting back to his old self. This year Stan will no doubt want to be back in contention in all four majors, especially given his age of 33 he hasn't got many years left - especially to try claim the Wimbledon title - the only Slam he has yet to lift. Doha will be a crucial tournament for him to test his form and fitness so he will be looking to go deep here and potentially even make the final vs Djokovic. Khachanov vs Wawrinka Stan's fitness is the big question here. There is no doubt in my mind he is the better player of the two and his experience and skill far exceeds that of Khachanov. Whether he can last a whole tournament I am not sure but I feel he can at least get a few matches under his belt. Khachanov is 22 years old and still growing with his game where as Wawrinka is fully developed and comfortable with his. The way the Swiss' plays his game at full throttle has seen him win 3 grand slams in recent history beating Novak Djokovic in two of those in the final. He knows if he plays well he can beat most players without too much effort including Khachanov. I'll be keeping a close eye on this match tonight and going for a Wawrinka win at attractive odds of 2.62. If you thought the Russian hit the ball hard watch Stan tonight show you what true power is all about. The Swiss has bags of talent in all departments from the back of the court. Expect Stan to rarely come to the net as he looks to dictate the play from the back of the court and finish points of rather quickly. Prediction: Wawrinka if fit will win this hands down, the question is, is he ready given he was only just starting to create some momentum in late 2018. I think he has atleast a 50% of coming through today so odds of 2.62 are very nice. I'll be staking 2% on this match win. Marton Fucsovics vs Marius Copil Last year Marius Copil had a couple of good runs in tournaments to make people believe he may just win a title or two before he turns 30. The Romanian certainly has the potential to do so, he has a humongous serve and forehand which saw him get to only his second ever ATP tour final in October last year. Indeed it was in the same year he managed to get to his first final in Bulgaria earlier in the year so you could say he's finally knocking on the door of his Maiden title victory. In October of last year, he upset the likes of Marin Cilic (world number 6) and Alexendar Zverev (world number 5) in the Basel ATP to have the honour of playing Federer on his home turf. If the tennis world thought it was going to be a vintage Roger Federer display in Basel to brush aside Copil they were terribly mistaken. The Romanian was neck and neck with the Swiss star in both sets with the first proving a nervy tie break for Federer. This alone shows how far Copil has come, he will be coming into his first match of 2019 against an opponent who also had a break through year in 2018. Fucsovics won his maiden ATP title in Geneva though he didn't have to defeat the kind of quality Copil had to in Basel. Probably his stiffest test was Steve Johnson in the semi final. Beating Stan Wawinka couldn't really be looked upon as a solid win because Wawinka was just returning from injury. This is clear in the fact that when he met Wawinka two more times later in the year he lost both matches. The fact that Fucsovics won in Geneva and enjoyed a relatively steady year is the reason he is ranked much higher than Copil but it doesn't reflect the reality that Copil is the real danger man here. Prediction: Staking 1% I am going for a Copil win at 2.20 here. If the Romanian plays anything like he did in his last tournament where he reached the final to give Roger Federer a run for his money he will likely overcome Fucsovics in straight sets.