2018 ATP Tour: ATP 500 Series Selected Quarter Finals Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

Damien Kayat previews the selected quarter-finals from the ATP 500 series taking place in Vienna on the 26th of October.

2018 ATP Tour
ATP 500 Series
Erste Open
Wiener Stadhalle
Selected Quarterfinals- 26th October 2018

Borna Coric (6) (21/20) vs Kevin Anderson (2) (7/10)
The 21 year-old Croatian has picked up some high profile victories over Roger Federer this season that just underline the enormous potential he possesses. The hardcourt specialist started the year well with quarterfinal runs at both Dubai and Qatar, but it was at Indian Wells where he really flourished.

The unseeded Coric defied expectations to reach the semi-final stage and followed that up with a quarterfinal run in Miami. He still has some way to go on clay whilst he won the Halle title on grass, beating Federer in the final.  His North American hardcourt campaign was largely disappointing, culminating in a decent enough Round of 16 showing at Flushing Meadows. But he seems to have found some momentum in this late part of the season, with a tremendous run to the Beijing Final. For all the prattle surrounding the likes of Zverev and Thiem, here we have a player with actual giant killing potential.

Kevin Anderson has been the example of consistency this season, with brilliant performances on all surfaces.  He is on the brink of qualification for the season ending ATP Finals and will be looking to draw on his last reservoirs of energy as the season winds down.

He won the New York Open prior to a final appearance on the clay in Mexico. He had back-to-back quarterfinals in the ‘Sunshine Double’. He defied expectations on the European clay-courts, reaching the semis in Madrid before a 4th round run at Roland Garros. But it was that herculean run to the Wimbledon final that really defined his season.  This is his 4th quarterfinal or better since Wimbledon, which highlights the industry that the South African exudes.

Anderson leads the head-to-head 3-1, though that victory for Coric crucially came this year at Indian Wells. I think that Coric represents great value at 21/20.  Even if you look at Anderson’s opening round victory over Basilashvili, there certainly was something somewhat laboured in the South African’s game.  The Croatian looks to be more energized at present.

Gael Monfils (5/10) vs Fernando Verdasco (15/10)
This should be a proper baseline slug fest between two of the perennial entertainers on the ATP Tour.  Verdasco overcame recent first time ATP winner Kyle Edmund in the last round and should be brimming with confidence this week.  Once also shouldn’t forget his recent run to the semi-final of the Shenzhen Open.

The seven time winner on the singles circuit has enjoyed a fairly nondescript season, the highlight probably being a run to the final of the Rio Open.  He showed decent form on those demanding hardcourts that comprise the ‘Sunshine Double’, hearkening back to that glorious semi-final run in the 2009 Aussie Open. A 4th round French Open campaign was heartening while a semi-final appearance at the Swedish Open showed that he still possesses the ability to go deep in events.

Monfils has had a strange end to the season which makes this match almost impossible to call.  He won a Challenger event in Kaoshing prior to three consecutive losses on the Asian hardcourt swing.

He then reached the final of the European Open, indicating the difficulty I’m facing in assessing Monfils this week.  Monifils’ early win in Qatar seemed portentous, a harbinger of the season to come.

But it hasn’t really panned out that way.  Monfils played well in South America, reaching the semi-final in Argentina.  It was on grass that he had his greatest success, reaching the semi-final of the Antalya Open before an epic 4th round loss to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon.

These two are no strangers to each other and this will be their 6th meeting.  Monfils leads the head-to-head 3-2, though it is Verdasco who actually has won the last two meetings.  Verdasco beat Monfils has recently as Beijing this year and looks a brilliant price at 15/10.

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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