Sean Calvert’s Halle Queens Day 1

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There’s ATP 500 action on the grass courts of Halle and Queen’s Club this week at the Noventi Open and the cinch Championships and Sean Calvert returns to cast his eye over the value bets in round one.

There’s a star-studded line up in Halle this week for the first event on the grass there since 2019 and over its last seven editions it has seen an average of 32% of the betting underdogs win.

Backing every single underdog (opening prices) in the last five editions of Halle would have seen you lose £124 in total (£10 stake) and in round one only there have been 36% underdog winners in the last seven editions.

Over the last four years there’s been an average of 83% service holds and in the last seven editions it’s averaged 46% tie break matches.

At Queen’s Club, some big priced winners in round one in 2017 and 2016 mean that if you’d backed every underdog in the last five editions of the tournament you’d be up to the tune of £122 to a £10 stake, despite a mediocre average of 30% of the underdogs winning in the last seven years.

If you’d only backed the underdogs in round one of Queen’s in the last five years you’d be up by £187 (£10 stake), thanks to those two big winning rounds in 2016 and 2017.

There are always a lot of holds and tie breaks here, with 85% holds in the last four editions and 52% of the matches at Queen’s Club in the last seven years have featured at least one tie break.

And there’s a fair chance that there’ll be one in the clash between two players whose grass court records are on the weak side, to put it kindly.

Cam Norrie should have won his maiden tour level title against a hobbled Albert Ramos in Estoril a couple of months back, but lacked that killer instinct when it was needed.

Having also lost on two other occasions to Ramos (all on clay) and with Norrie holding a 6-15 win/loss record on grass I wouldn’t be backing him at 1.24 to beat Ramos today.

Ramos, of course, is no great shakes on grass either (6-13 win/loss) but he has beaten the likes of Andrey Rublev, Viktor Troicki, Vasek Pospisil and Jordan Thompson on the grass, so he’s far from awful on the green stuff.

Indeed, looking at the hold/break records of this pair in their last 10 main level matches on grass we find that both struggle to break serve (Norrie 15% and Ramos 13%) and there’s only 4% between them in their hold/break totals.

Neither player likes to be rushed and prefers time on the ball to be effective and while Norrie should have too much in the end I doubt it will be as comfortable as 1.24 suggests.

Either the over games (over 21.5 at 2.06 with Unibet) or Ramos +4.5 games (1.80 with Bet 365) appeal here, as does tie break played (they’ve played three breakers in three clay matches against each other) at 2.75 (Sky Bet).

Elsewhere on Monday, Liam Broady is another one with a weak record on grass (1-11 versus top-100 opposition) and I’m not seeing much value in him at around 2.50.

He was a 5.24 chance when he beat Adrian Mannarino in St Petersburg in 2017 and the odds today reflect the struggles that Mannarino is having right now, but he’s a player that does go through ups and downs and this looks a fair opportunity for him to bounce back on his favourite surface.

John Millman hates playing big servers and that’s reflected in his record against them: 1-9 against the ones in my database (his one win was against Opelka) and he’s played 14 tie break sets in last 23 against them.

Reilly Opelka hasn’t shown a great deal on grass yet, but surely there’ll be tie breaks in this match and 33-1 about Opelka to win every set 7-6 with Sky Bet is interesting if you can get more than 20 pence on.

Opelka to win it 7-6, 7-6 isn’t that unlikely, but I can’t even get 20p on, so I won’t be bothering, but 4-1 about him winning the opener 7-6 with Boylesports is a fair alternative.

Nothing else appeals on Monday at Queen’s Club and the only one I’m tempted by in Halle is to chance Ilya Ivashka in some way against Roger Federer, but I’d want a bigger price.


 Best Bets

1 point win over 21.5 total games in Ramos/Norrie at 2.06 (Unibet)
0.5 points win Opelka to win set one 7-6 at 5.0 (Boylesports)