Carlos Alcaraz is the overwhelming favorite for the Rio Open this week, but he is worth opposing with a couple of other contenders, including rising star Lorenzo Musetti.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it’s clear that tennis bettors make Carlos Alcaraz the overwhelming favorite in Rio. The US Open champion is as short as -135 to win this competition and there is a huge gap between the favorite and the rest of the field. Cameron Norrie and Sebastian Baez are regarded as his closest challengers, while Dominic Thiem, the winner here in 2017 is priced at odds of +1800, along with Francisco Cerundolo.
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ATP Rio de Janeiro 2023 Betting Briefing
The Rio Open is a clay court tournament based at the Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro and is one of the newer competitions on the ATP Tour. First staged in 2014, it was won by Rafael Nadal and then by David Ferrer in the following year. Last year, it was the turn of Carlos Alcaraz to lift the trophy and in the process, he became the youngest champion since the ATP 500 was created in 2009.
The clay court season proper doesn’t really get underway until April, but this is an early opportunity for clay courters and those hoping to improve on the red stuff to go through their paces.
ATP Rio Futures Favorite Betting
Based on the markets, this looks like a straightforward tournament. Reigning US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz is the clear favorite and if he can recapture his form from the second half of 2022, then on paper, there are few if any players in the world who can match him.
He has been hailed as the next great dominant force in tennis, and there is nothing on his resume to make us doubt that, given that he has already become the youngest ever men’s number one, and on paper he faces very little opposition here, being the only top-ten player in the competition.
Going into last week’s Argentina Open, there may have been some caution among bettors given that he had been off for four months with the injury that kept him out of the Australian Open. That proved not to be a problem, as he dropped only one set on his way to the trophy.
Does that make him a good pick here? There is a case for backing the favorite in tournaments like this where there are few other top-ranked contenders, however, the value pick was probably wagering on him last week. His price is much shorter here and he faces a quick turnaround after his Buenos Aires exertions, which isn’t ideal after a long layoff.
ATP Rio Futures Contenders
So, are there any viable alternatives among the Rio contenders? Last week’s runner-up Cameron Norrie is the second favorite here, however, he was well beaten in the end by Alcaraz and he made heavy work of getting to the final, being taken to three sets by both Facundo Diaz Acosta, currently ranked 177 in the world, and the 75-ranked Tomas Martin Etcheverry. This is his best surface, but his inconsistency is always an issue and he’s a risky pick for a second favorite.
Fortunately, there are a couple of options just below Norrie in the betting who can give you a good run for your money this week, including Lorenzo Musetti.
The Italian made his ATP Tour debut in 2020 and last season was his breakthrough year as he won his first and second ATP titles and rose up the rankings steadily, breaking into the top 25. Although he exited at the first-round stage of the Australian Open, he is now ranked inside the top 20 and is clearly one of the rising stars of the ATP Tour. There is also the fact that his second ATP title, in Hamburg, saw him beat Alcaraz in the final, on clay. That has to make him a serious contender here.
The other option to consider is a player at the opposite end of his 20s, Dominic Thiem. The Austrian has had a miserable couple of years, but 2022 saw him making a steady comeback. He picked up his first win of the season in Argentina and that will have boosted his confidence, as well as helping him to find his clay court range. Clay has always been a successful surface for Thiem, thanks to his heavy topspin serve and stamina, and as a former winner here, he should be a shorter price.
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