Two players I trust to bet this mud season

The focus this week was on the first PGA major of the year with the Masters at Augusta. While preparations were underway, men’s tennis has quietly transitioned away from the hard-court season to clay. Red dirt is very different from hard courts, with many nuances, quirks and generally just an added element of difficulty.

Since I love betting on ATP…a lot, here’s what you need to know to help you become more familiar with either following my bets or fading them.

the surface

Dirt courts can be a tricky surface because you have to use your body to slide either on or behind the shot, which makes it a skill all of its own. Sliding on clay requires confidence, experience, and a high level of comfort. Because the surface is uneven as the match progresses, you get random bouncing of the ball, incorrect calls from line officials (because no hawk’s eye is used), and depending on weather conditions, a surface that can play very slowly (lots of mud), or faster because the wind It had caused the mud to be expelled from the playing field. Everything can make betting on clay matches difficult.

Player Updates

The year started off shaky with plenty of injuries. Most of them are players who excel on clay courts. These are the key players you need to know about.

Rafael Nadal

The “King of Clay” and 21-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal has this deck. Perhaps “have” is an understatement. You don’t have a statue of your own unless you’re doing something right.

Nadal holds a 464-43 (91.5 percent) win/loss record on clay, the highest for any player of all time. The current second-best player is world number one Novak Djokovic with a career win/loss record of 80.5 percent on clay.

But he is injured. After a hot start to the year 20-0, Nadal suffered an injury in the semi-finals at Indian Wells against compatriot Carlos Alcaraz and then eventually lost to American Taylor Fritz in the final. After that, he announced that he would miss four to six weeks due to a stress fracture in his rib leaving his participation in the French Open a question mark, where he won a record 13 titles, most recently in 2020.

Novak Djokovic

Joker played only three matches in 2022 due to his vaccination status. According to his social media, he is currently training in Monte Carlo with what appears to be his preparation for the ATP 1000 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters next week. Djokovic may have a 35-12 record that includes two Monaco titles, but what would a match look like four months into the year after playing only three matches and losing one of them.

Dominic Tim and Stan Wawrinka

Among the current players, I consider Tim the best claycourt player outside of Nadal and Djokovic. Unfortunately, he has been in and out of injury since the 2021 Australian Open. Same goes for Wawrinka. Both tried to get back on the court at the Marbella Challenger last week but both lost in straight sets. Assuming either of them can stay healthy, it will take time to get back into shape.

Matteo Berrettini

Last year looked like his year after winning back-to-back Finals in Serbia, and later with a final loss to Alexander Zverev in Madrid. He then lost in a competitive quarter-final match to Djokovic at Roland Garros, and played the second round of consecutive finals on grass, Belgrade won and lost (again) to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final and then again in the US Open quarter-finals. . Losing to the world number one is good but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy this year. After losing to Nadal in the Australian Open semi-finals, Berrettini played in six matches and lost three before announcing that he would be out a few weeks after undergoing surgery on his hand.

Daniel Medvedev

The current No. 2 player in the world has expressed his frustration with the mud. you may have seen GIFs of being disturbed by red dirt. Well, he must miss the entire mud season after announcing that he’s coming out a month or two after his hernia operation.

Some of the best players on clay are injured or have question marks. Who is leaving this season?

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The current world number 5 has a 60-21 win/loss record on this deck including seven ATP titles, three of which were on the courts, two from 2021. One of those titles was the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters. He definitely has the skill set but where he’s missing the brain.

Casper Road

Rudd is one of two players who will be interested in me this season. Nadal, Djokovic and Tim, I would rate Rudd there as a great guy on clay and his record definitely reflects that, at least in lower level events. He is 78-30 on clay and has seven ATP titles, six claycourt titles, four in 2021, and all six ATP titles. Rudd dominates lower ranked competitors but currently has a 5-15 record against the top 10 players.

Just how good is Rod? Since 2020, he has played 54 best of three matches on clay. In that time, he has a win/loss record of 45-9 wins in 32 of those games in straight sets. Consider this mud season. Can he compete in larger events against higher ranked opponents? This is the next hurdle to jump.

Carlos Alcaraz

You may have seen me talk about the 18-year-old star (quite quite a bit) on Twitter. Sorry I’m not sorry. The young Spaniard is the hottest player in all sports at the moment. Think of everything you like about The Big 3 (Federer, Djokovic, Nadal) and consider Alcaraz to be all rolled into one. I’ve probably never seen a player as complete as him.

In his young career, he has a record of only 18-7 on clay, but he already has three titles, winning every level of the Tour: ATP 250 Umag (mud), ATP 500 Rio (mud) and most recently, ATP Masters 1000 Miami (hard) . The young bull is 7-6 against the top 10 contenders, but some came this year alone, defeating Berrettini in Rio, Cam Norie in Indian Wells, and both Tsitsipas and Rudd in Miami. His only loss in his last 16 matches was against Nadal.

Who is betting on this clay court season?

In the futures markets, I look forward to supporting Rudd in lower ATP events (250/500) and as a direct winner and Alcaraz in any way possible. If you follow me on Twitter, you already have a 16-1, 12-1 or 10-1 card on Alcaraz to win the French Open.

Couldn’t that happen? Sure, but with most players injured and he’s already scored 2-0 head-to-head against Tsitsipas, he has legs. At least we have a value with its current odds dropping to +400.

These are the two players I trust entering the dirt season and the players I will support the most. April and May will be great months of ATP tennis.