Ferrer, Isner and Monfils’ last minute withdrawals provide some of the sports lesser names the chance to get their early season preparations of to the perfect start
Whilst the weekend withdrawals may have disappointed tournament organisers and fans of the Auckland event, it should not dishearten any punters looking to profit from the week.
Whilst there are admittedly less bankers to be relied on, the tournament now offers an opportunity for some realistic outright winners at much higher prices. But who exactly is good enough to capitalise?
Ernest Gulbis leads the market priced at 7/2 but should be well avoided. The French Open semi finalist is capable of some stunning tennis on his day, but is far too inconsistent and lacks motivation in smaller events. This is proven by his somewhat mediocre return of just six ATP world titles which is a great underachievement for a man of his talent. Ernest has never won a 250 event, and with early season fitness concerns he looks unlikely to break his maiden this week.
A far more attractive proposition is Tommy Robredo who is still available at odds of 4/1. The Spaniard enjoyed a stellar 2014 and climbed back into the world’s top 20, a feat many thought was impossible after he suffered a serious hamstring injury in 2012. Whilst failing to consistently claim titles he has recorded wins over Murray, Djokovic and Federer in recent years, and will be looking to kick on and jump the final hurdle after reaching the final in three separate events last season.
Tommy has winning head to heads against Lu Agut and Giraldo, who all occupy the seeded positions in his section of the draw. He also critically has winning record against likely final opponent Kevin Anderson. If he and Kevin were to reach the final then Tommy superior fitness levels should see him come out on top as he did against the South African in Casablanca two years ago.