ATP Eastbourne & ATP Mallorca Tips: Wimbledon warm-ups look competitive

Read Dan Weston's tennis preview as the ATP Tour grass season continues with two competitive warm-up events before Wimbledon starts next Monday...

Humbert and Berrettini pick up opening week grass titles

Ugo Humbert and Matteo Berrettini claimed titles on the opening week of the grass season yesterday, defeating Andrey Rublev and Cameron Norrie respectively. We took a clear watching brief across the week, with a lack of usable grass data available to ascertain the likely level of players competing, and it's more of the same this week.

We don't have enough recent grass court tennis data to even consider using it, and that naturally affects my confidence in pricing up matches and looking at outright value. We will pick up more data on players this week in advance of Wimbledon.

Conditions in Eastbourne likely to be slightly slow for grass

We have two lower-profile events to discuss this week, both at 250 level, in Eastbourne and Mallorca. Historical data suggests that conditions at Eastbourne are likely to be on the slow side of medium for grass courts - over the last three years, service points won and aces per game are markedly down on ATP grass court average levels.

This should have some impact on the likelihood for tight sets and, in particular, tiebreaks, so there might not be as much value in the first-set tiebreak markets in Eastbourne as there might be in a couple of matches next week at SW19.

De Minaur favourite in competitive event

Gael Monfils, Lorenzo Sonego, Reilly Opelka and Alex De Minaur are the four seeds with opening round byes and it's the Australian, De Minaur, who is the 5.7 favourite on the Exchange - in fact, he's the only player in single-digit pricing in what looks a competitive event.

There's not even a clear second-favourite, with the likes of Opelka, Monfils and Sonego vying for that status, plus also Norrie who got to the final of Queen's last week. Whether he's capable of backing-up such a positive display again, particularly given potential fatigue, is difficult to answer.

There are a few unseeded players with good historical grass data, including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andreas Seppi, so the tournament clearly has a number of players capable of competing for the title. I'm interested to see how Emil Ruusuvuori 20.0 gets on - he has a good record indoors, so the quicker conditions could suit the young Finn - and he is in Monfils' top quarter of the draw.

Mannarino's victory sets up tough test for Thiem

Over in Spain, there were a couple of opening-day victories yesterday for Jordan Thompson and Adrian Mannarino, and Mannarino's victory gives him an intriguing clash against second favourite Dominic Thiem, who looks opposable at 5.50.

Mannarino is a decent grass-courter and could pose problems for the out-of-form Thiem.

Ahead of Thiem in the market is Daniil Medvedev 3.70 and his decent showing at the French Open suitably illustrates the continual improvement from the Russian. Back on his preferred quicker conditions, I expect the Russian to be extremely difficult to beat on grass.

Joining those two as seeded players with first-round byes are the Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno-Busta and Roberto Bautista-Agut

Carreno-Busta 19.0 has a dreadful career record on grass, and his quarter two looks wide-open - could Jiri Vesely 28.0 make the last four?

Fellow Spaniard Bautista-Agut looks more capable of a challenge along with Karen Khachanov and possibly the Halle winner Ugo Humbert.

As with Eastbourne, there are a number of unseeded players back in the market who have done well on grass historically, including Sam Querrey, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the aforementioned Mannarino, so with the exception of Medvedev, who's likely to be a class apart, the tournament again looks pretty competitive.

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