12/1 Baghdatis set to shine in Nottingham.
The Aegon Open from Nottingham is the last opportunity for players to fine tune their grass court skills ahead of the big one at Wimbledon starting next Monday. A shorter week is scheduled with the final on Saturday and we have much brighter weather forecasted in the midlands this week compared to last weeks on/off court disruptions in Birmingham.
We have live coverage all week on Eurosport and top seed Kevin Anderson is still too early in his comeback from injury to justify favouritism at 15/2. The big-serving South African is a long way off his quarter-final form of the US Open in early last September and is hard to win with anyway. Anderson has won the week prior to a Grand Slam however when he took the Winston Salem title prior to that US Open run to the last eight however a repeat here is unlikely.
Second and third seeds Pablo Cuevas 33/1 & Joao Soasa are easily opposed on grass, and Alexandra Dolgopolov the fourth seed 14/1, despite being able to handle this surface is reportedly injured and not played any tennis for a while, so that leaves fifth seed Sam Querrey as the most likely winner of the eight seeds at 8/1.
Last year's runner-up to Denis Istomin is enjoying his best season for some time now free from injury and the former Queens winner looks like being the chief threat to my selection this week in the unseeded Marcus Baghdatis of Cyprus at 12/1.
Baghdatis loves the quick conditions here in Nottingham which is very similar to next week's major in which he has made a semi-final here. withdrew injured last year prior to semi-final). He is the class act on this surface in what is a field build up of one-dimensional big server and serve-volleyers and will be highly motivated to defend points from last year and go better.
Eighth seed Gilles Muller 8/1 would be the main threat in this bottom half, however, Baghdatis leads Muller 3-0 in this head to head series and is taken to excel in Nottingham this week having proven he is in good form and health on what is now his favourite terrain.
ATP Aegon Open - Nottingham. Marcus Baghdatis to win Outright @ 12/1 Bet365 & Betfred.