Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 ATP Tour: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships

2020 ATP Tour: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships

ATP Tour 2020: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships

We take a look at the selected round of 32 and round of 16 matches from the ATP Tour's Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships taking place at Aviation Club Tennis Centre. 

2020 ATP Tour | ATP 500 Series | Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships
Aviation Club Tennis Centre (Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 32 and Round of 16 Matches | 25-26 February 2020

Round of 32

Stefanos Tsitsipas (7/20)
vs Pablo Carreno Busta (39/20)

You can’t deny the style of Tsitsipas’ victory last week in France. He defended his Open 13 title without dropping a set, despite being in an ATP 250 Series event that certainly had more depth than usual. The Greek returned to winning ways after a fairly disappointing start to the season. Many thought that his victory in last year’s ATP World Tour Finals would be the kickstart to a stellar campaign. The Greek star will be pleased to return to an event that he performed so admirably in last year: Tsitsipas lost to Roger Federer in last year’s final. Many are predicting a Djokovic-Tsitsipas final this year, but the Greek will need to overcome a dogged competitor with a little bit of form of his own. 

28-year-old Pablo Carreno Busta is a US Open semi-finalist who no player would embrace as a first-round opponent. A hardcourt aficionado- Carreno Busta finished 2019 in quite strong fashion. He won the Chengdu Open and reached the semi-finals in Stockholm. The Spaniard perhaps hasn’t quite reached the heights of his US Open run since, but he’s a formidable foe on this surface. And unlike Tsitsipas he will be rested after sitting out action last week. His last tournament resulted in a semi-final run at the Rotterdam Open. It was quite a grind for Carreno Busta, who made it through three consecutive three-set matches en route to the final. But it perfectly encapsulated the fighting spirit and real baseline quality that he possesses. 

I was slightly surprised to learn that this will only be their 2nd ever meeting.  Tsitsipas won in straight sets at Barcelona in 2018.  But that really does little to illuminate this encounter: Tsitsipas is a far superior clay-court player to Bautista Agut.  I think there is value in the Spanish underdog here, especially considering he had a week off after Rotterdam.  

Round of 16

Novak Djokovic (1/50)
vs Phillip Kohlschreiber (14/1)

What’s there to say about Novak Djokovic that hasn’t been said already? The phenomenal Serb reigned supreme in Melbourne, once again showing a dominance in that event that can only be bettered by Rafa in Paris. He probably needed that after an underwhelming US Open. But Djokovic always seems to come up trumps when his motivations are questioned. And this week he returns to an event that he has won four times. Granted, his last appearance in a final came in a runner-up finish in 2015. But few would bet against him this week, especially after his utter demolition of Malek Jaziri in the opening match. Sometimes you need to watch Djokovic against the so-called ‘lesser’ players to get a sense of his powers. He perhaps doesn’t possess the devastating single shot that can define a Federer or Nadal, but those unsexy defensive skills make him virtually unbeatable on certain days. 

36-year-old Phillip Kohlschreiber has absolutely nothing to lose here. He has enjoyed a venerated career, with 12 ATP titles to his name. To get a handle on his consistency, he has reached the 4th round in Australia three times and 4th round in New York on five occasions. He almost represents the pinnacle of the journeyman pro. Granted, results haven’t exactly been kind to him over the last year or so: he has had to contend himself largely with success on the Challenger Tour. He won a Challenger Event in Canberra to start the year. But Kohlschreiber has the ability to perform against the top players.  Last year he pushed Federer to three sets in this event. He also beat Djokovic in Miami last year, which happens to be their last meeting on hardcourts. 

Djokovic unsurprisingly has a dominant head-to-head record against the German. He leads 11-2. He led last year 3-1, though Kohlschreiber won their last meeting on hardcourts. With that in mind - added to his performance against Federer last year - there’s value in backing Djokovic to win in three at 9/2.  

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