Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 ATP Tour: BettHulks 1 Championship

2020 ATP Tour: BettHulks 1 Championship

We take a look at the Selected Round of 16 Matches from the BettHulks 1 Championship taking place at Cologne, Germany. 

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

BettHulks 1 Championship
ATP 250 Series 
Selected Round of 16 Matches- 21st October

Gilles Simon (3/1) vs Denis Shapovalov (3) (1/4)
You have to hand it to Shapovalov: he’s getting some consistency into his game. He has started to show some restraint in his ‘go for broke’ tactics. Perhaps that tactical restraint was sublimated into his slightly immature semi-final outburst against Rublev in St Petersburg. He actually wanted a fan to be evicted from the tight clash for constant disruption. He ultimately lost that match but further underlined his status as one of the potential successors to the ‘Big Three’ crown (I’ll believe that when I see it). He has already reached a semi-final in Rome this season (not to mention that Grand Slam quarterfinal run in New York). Last year’s Paris Masters finalist is an indoor beast with the propensity to beat anyone. He beat Wawrinka in resounding fashion last week and will be a force to be reckoned with in Cologne.  

On paper this should be a cakewalk. Gilles Simon- a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist- has been pretty much on the periphery of men’s tennis this year. The former World Number 6 has reached the age of 35- and his results have been in a steady rate of decline. But there is something about the swift functionality of these indoor events that seems to suit the Frenchman. He has been involved in nine indoor hardcourt finals on the ATP Tour. His best result of this year by some distance came on the quick indoor courts of the Open 13.  These indoor events are in some ways analogous to T20 events for aged cricketers. All you need is three quick games and the match can quickly run away from the favourite.  

The head-to-head stats seems to bear out the inevitable.  Shapovalov leads 2-0. But Simon retired in their hardcourt encounter last year while the Canadian won in four sets at Roland Garros. I think there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that an upset could be on the cards here, especially when you look at Shapovalov’s mercurial nature.

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Felix Auger Aliasimme (1/3) vs Egor Gerasimov (5/2)
Felix Auger Aliasimme completes my double bill of Canadian talent this week.  He has had the most peculiar year. The baseliner picked up back-to-back ATP Final appearances in Rotterdam and the Open 13.  But the pandemic break seemed to take all the momentum out of his season. His post-pandemic form was atrocious leading into last week’s initial BettHulks event. But the Canadian pulled out all the stops, losing to Alex Zverev in the final. In the process he picked up the unwanted (if impressive) distinction of losing six consecutive ATP Finals. In the process, he beat minor tournament Goliath Roberto Bautista Agut, further augmenting his status as one of the most in-vogue players. He loves indoor events and will clearly be the favourite going into this match.  But there is a mercurial quality to Aliasimme that Egor Gerasimov will be eager to exploit.  

Egor Gerasimov is in a similar bracket to Marton Fucsovics. He probably doesn’t have the ability to string together four great matches. But his power-based baseline game enables him to compete with anyone on his day.  He reached his first ever final earlier this year, going to the Maharashtra Open final prior to lockdown procedures.  His indoor hardcourt game certainly presents his best opportunity of success. He reached the semi-final of the Slovak Open towards the end of last year. This year he also reached the quarterfinal of the Open 13 (which seems to be showing a strong correlation with this event despite its newly formed status).  Clearly these pandemic-born events are going to have a more random feel to them.  There’s no real history involved and all the players have had their ideal preparations disrupted.  

This will be their 3rd ever meeting.  Much like the aforementioned Shapovalov match, Aliasimme holds an expected 2-0 lead. But once again I hold a candle up for surprise- especially when you look at the prices involved. I think that the Canadian may find it hard to replicate his run from last week- especially looking at the way it ended.

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