Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: ATP 250 Series: Great Ocean Road Open

ATP 250 Series: Great Ocean Road Open

We take a look at the ATP World Tour 250's Great Ocean Road Open matches between Jordan Thompson and Thiago Monteiro as well as Karen Khachanov against Botic van de Zandschulp.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

ATP 250 Series
Great Ocean Road Open
Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, Adelaide, South Australia (Hardcourt) 
Selected Quarterfinals- 5th February

Jordan Thompson (11) (8/15) vs Thiago Monteiro (6/4)
Clearly Jordan Thompson is always a favourite with the Aussie fans.  The indefatigable Thompson has slowly been working his way through the tennis wilderness over the past few years, picking up gradually bigger scalps along the way.  His brand of all-energy tennis is very much moulded upon his idol Lleyton Hewitt.  He also tends to play well on all surfaces: his only final came on grass at the 2019 Rosmalen Tennis Final.  One look at the past few years shows his steady progress.  In 2018 he reached eight Challenger Finals.  In 2019 he reached his first ATP Final and progressed incrementally up the world rankings.  Last year was very chaotic for all players.  Thompson did however show some signs of life on the North American hardcourts.  He reached the quarterfinals of the New York Open and then reached the 4th round of Flushing Meadows.  Thompson has to grind through his first two matches but looked far more emphatic against Viella Martinez.

If you have a good memory, you may recall the sudden emergence of Thiago Monteiro in 2016.  He amazingly won his first ever full ATP Tour match against a then-formidable Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: that was the 2016 Rio Open.  Since then, things have been fairly quiet for the unassuming clay-court specialist.  Just to give you an indication of his clay-court preference, he has not reached a Future or Challenger Final on hardcourts since 2013.  In that interim he has appeared in ten clay-court finals.  He even tasted a modicum of success on the tour proper last year, reaching the quarterfinals of both the Argentina and Chile Open.  It will be interesting to see how he adapts to this upgrade in opponent.  He will no doubt be thrilled at making it this far.  He will look to use a variety of topspin slices to slow points down.

These two have only met once, with Thompson winning in straight sets at last year’s Davis Cup.  This week I predict the exact same result.  Thompson will look to flatten out the points and should keep Monteiro on the back foot throughout.  Thompson to win in straight sets at 11/8.

Karen Khachanov (2) (2/7) vs Botic van de Zandschulp (11/4)
Russian Karen Khachanov has really been forgotten with the rise of both Danil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.  He rose to prominence before either, inexplicably winning the 2018 Paris Masters.  2019 saw him break into the world’s top 10 courtesy of a French Open quarterfinal run.  He augmented his stature with a semi-finals in Montreal and the China Open.  But 2020 proved to be an extremely frustrating year for the Russian baseliner.  It looked very promising at the outset.  He won four of five matches playing in the Russian side at the ATP Cup.  The only real bright spark of his season was a 4th round run at Roland Garros.  His results at Roland Garros seem to run slightly counterintuitive to his playing style.  But he looks laser focused this week and has yet to drop a set.  That incudes victory over the always tricky South African Kevin Anderson.  Let’s see if he is able to get that prodigious forehand working.

25-year-old Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp is coming off one of the biggest wins of his career over the gargantuan Reily Opelka.  He has largely operated in the lower reached of the world rankings.  He picked up his first Challenger Tour title in 2019 at the Hamburg event: he actually lost a Challenger Final in October last year.  He is thus clearly comfortable on harder surfaces.  Van de Zandschulp is actually on quite a run at present.  He won three consecutive matches in January to qualify for the Aussie Open.  That means he enters this back on the back of a six-match unbeaten streak.  You always have to be wary with these relatively unknown prospects.  To take down Opelka’s mighty serve on this service must have taken some skill and mental fortitude.

This is unsurprisingly their first ever meeting.  I think that the Russian’s class should ultimately see him prevail.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if the in-form van de Zandschulp is able to prise a set away from him.  Khachanov to win in three at 3/1 has some value.

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