- With the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev becomes the top seed in Rotterdam
- Medvedev is just a week removed from his Australian Open final in Melbourne
- With so little turnaround time for Medvedev, we look at who else could win the tournament
Daniil Medvedev reached the Australian Open men’s singles final in Melbourne less than a week ago.
That’s not nearly enough time to get home to Monte Carlo, get over the jet lag, and process.
You’d have to think it will all kick in for the Russian at some point, especially as this event – unlike the Australian Open final – will be played behind closed doors. There will be none of the adrenaline rush that the live audiences provided Down Under.
ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament Singles Odds
|||Daniil Medvedev (RUS)||+175|
|||Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)||+450|
|||Andrey Rublev (RUS)||+500|
|||Alexander Zverev (GER)||+650|
|||Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)||+2000|
|–||Ugo Humbert (FRA)||+2200|
|–||Karen Khachanov (RUS)||+2500|
|||Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)||+2500|
|||Stan Wawrinka (SUI)||+2800|
|||David Goffin (BEL)||+2800|
|[WC]||Andy Murray (GBR)||+3300|
|–||Alex de Minaur (AUS)||+3300|
|–||Reilly Opelka (USA)||+5000|
|–||Borna Coric (CRO)||+5000|
|–||Hubert Hurkacz (POL)||+6600|
|–||Kei Nishikori (JPN)||+8000|
|–||Alexander Bublik (KAZ)||+10000|
Odds from Feb. 27 at Bet365
Rotterdam Field Hit by Withdrawals
Eight of the top 20 players in the world are in Rotterdam this week.
But it could have been so much better; the withdrawals were numerous as those returning from the long and quarantine-filled trip to Australia needed a break.
That will make the tournament (relatively) easier to win, with fewer major early-round challenges. Still, the field remains strong.
It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne. We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week 👇🏻
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) February 25, 2021
Here are some of the players who entered the Rotterdam tournament, but pulled out before the draw was made on Saturday:
*Pablo Carreño Busta
Medvedev on an Indoor Roll
Regardless of whether he’s still recovering from his Melbourne experience, Medvedev currently is the hottest of the younger generation indoors.
Alexander Zverev won back-to-back titles at smaller events in his native Germany in October.
Meanwhile, Medvedev won the Paris Masters 1000 and went undefeated in the ATP Tour Finals, against superior competition, to wrap up the 2020 season.
No. 2 Spot in the Rankings at Stake in Rotterdam
The absence of Nadal at this tournament means that if Medvedev reaches the final, the Russian can rise to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
Even if he’s tired, that might be enough to motivate him.
the Top 20 on the ATP Tour the last time someone other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, or Murray was ranked No. 2 pic.twitter.com/Ajkyoi61Xi
— Ricky Dimon (@Dimonator) February 25, 2021
If he does it, it will have been … quite some time.
Next Gen Accomplished Indoor Players
It’s no surprise that the younger crew – Zverev, Medvedev and Tsitsipas – made their early marks indoors.
Most of the indoor events come either right after Australia, or at the end of the season when the older players’ bodies are sending them unwelcome messages.
And if they did have to face the Big Three, it was in a best-of-three set format – not best-of-five as in the Grand Slam events.
But Medvedev and Zverev may have to face each other in the semifinals; Tsitsipas could face Andrey Rublev, whom he defeated twice in 2020.
That’s one reason Tsitsipas’s chances look good to take the title.
Career Indoor Titles Won by Top Players
|Player||No. of Indoor Titles||Total no. of Career Titles (%)|
|Roger Federer||26||103 (25.2%)|
|Andy Murray||15||46 (32.6%)|
|Novak Djokovic||13||82 (15.8%)|
|Alexander Zverev||5||13 (38.4%)|
|Daniil Medvedev||4||9 (44.4%)|
|Stefanos Tsitsipas||4||5 (80%)|
|Rafael Nadal||3||86 (3.4%)|
|Dominic Thiem||2||17 (11.7%)|
(Rotterdam players in red)
Potential Early-Round Upsets
Almost every first-round match is an upset in the making. Here are three tempting choices.
Karen Khachanov (-132) is the favorite over No. 8 seed Stan Wawrinka (+106). But Wawrinka (the 2015 Rotterdam champion) is rounding into 2021 form after a bout with COVID-19 over the holidays. He’s 2-1 against Khachanov, who has a good won-loss record in 2021 but hasn’t beaten anyone especially notable.
No. 6 seed David Goffin (-162) is favored over Jan-Lennard Struff (+130).
But Struff defeated Goffin the last two times they played. And after losing in the first round of both his tournaments in Australia, Goffin is coming to Rotterdam after a run to the final in Montpellier, France (or even a title). He’ll be drained, and ripe for the upset.
Borna Coric (-275) might have a tough time with on-the-rise wild card Botic Van de Zandschulp (+210). The Dutchman will be the hometown favorite in his Rotterdam main draw debut (even if there are no fans).
A late bloomer, the 25-year-old impressed in Australia as he rose to a career high No. 145, while Coric’s performance wasn’t particularly noteworthy.
Best Bet: Stefanos Tsitsipas (+450)
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