ATP Bastad 2021 Preview and Picks

Favorites, top seeds, and dark horses to watch

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History

Founded In 1948 the Swedish tournament in Bastad has a rich history of legends winning the event.  Magnus Gustafsson is the leader in titles with 4 followed by Mats Wilander and Bjorn Borg with 3. In last 20 years only, multiple champion is Robin Soderling capturing the titles in 2009 and 2011.

Last year’s edition was cancelled due to Covid-19, in 2019 final Nicolas Jarry defeated Juan Ignacio Londero in straight sets to capture the title.

Favorites and Dark Horses

Casper Ruud is the top seed and only one of the two top 20 players taking part of this competition. The Norwegian is steadily climbing the ranks all year and with SF in Monte Carlo, Madrid and a title in Geneva he was able to jump from the mid-20’s to top 15 in the ranks. And with 17-5 record on clay this year and +26.7% ROI he has been very reliable betting wise with not that many bad losses to his credit.

Ruud can face Musetti in the 3rd round, which would be interesting to see as Lorenzo was leading world no.1 Djokvoic 2-0 in French Open when basically he was blown out rest of the way and at one point he was unable to win points, but was a great performance nevertheless from the Italian and could prove to be a dark horse and is bad that he falls to the top seed so early as for example Fabio Fognini who Is the 3rd seed and a potential SF opponent to Ruud is really out of form and unreliable and Musetti could have used that to catch a win or two more in the event.  

Despite winning the title in 2018 Fabio is just 17-15 on the year and if it weren’t for 2 huge underdog wins – against Carreno-Busta in ATP Cup (+350) and De MInaur in Aussie Open (+540) his ROI wouldn’t be on the plus side at all. If we take down the hard-court heroics from the beginning of the year and change it to only clay, he is just 7-7 with -14.3% ROI and I could question his motivation coming to Sweden for this event.

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Cristian Garin who is returning here as the 2nd seed of the event, lost as the 1st one 2 years ago in R1 and hasn’t basically been able to move past R1 in 3 tries.  He is somehow destined to make it this time as he is starting directly from R2 and will face a qualifier of Pedro Martinez to make it at least to R3. Garin is a typical clay courter with 79% of his points coming on that surface and is usually considered a favorite in such low-end tier tournaments where there’s not many players higher in the rankings than him.          

Picks

Barring any significant surprises Casper Ruud and Cristian Garin should be the projected finalists as I simply can’t see anyone defeat them and I can advise you to   lower the stakes in such tournaments especially after Grass court season and used to fill the calendar just before we move into the Olympics and the US hard court season.

   

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