Korea Open Tennis Championships men’s singles preview, predictions and best bets: Buy low on Denis Shapovalov

Denis Shapovalov
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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With all 4 of the majors having come and gone in 2022, we have arrived at the slow part of the tennis calendar. But it’s not yet the offseason. In fact, tennis is the sport with the shortest offseason of all; we will have action all the way through November. There are 5 tournaments this week across the ATP and WTA Tours, the most notable of which is taking place in Seoul, South Korea.

Let’s take a look at the odds and the best bets to be made.

Korea Open odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Casper Ruud +260
Cameron Norrie +375
Taylor Fritz +550
Denis Shapovalov +650
Jenson Brooksby +650
Daniel Evans +1100
Christopher O’Connell +2000
Radu Albot +2000
Yoshihito Nishioka +2200
Mackenzie McDonald +2200
Soonwoo Kwon +2200
Steve Johnson +2800

3-star value play: Taylor Fritz (+550)

Fritz got a first-round bye as the #3 seed, so he only has to win 4 matches to capture the title. The American’s draw is a good one overall aside from being in the top half of the bracket with top seed Casper Ruud. Whereas a lot of players stop caring after the U.S. Open, Fritz is in contention to make a first-ever appearance in the Nitto ATP Finals (the annual year-end championship in which only the top 8 players in the world are invited to participate). Even at a small tournament like Seoul, Fritz should be extremely motivated. Don’t be surprised if his third title of the season is incoming.

2-star value play: Denis Shapovalov (+650)

It is true that Shapovalov is in a slump, but there are certain spots in which it would be wise to buy low on his stock. This is one of those spots. The Canadian has a first-round bye as the #4 seed and his entire draw is quite favorable. Plus, he should have gained some confidence at the U.S. Open. Although Shapovalov lost in the third round, he picked up two solid wins and then lost to Andrey Rublev in a high-quality, five-set battle. Three of the left-hander’s 4 ATP final appearances have come during the fall months, as did his 1 title (Stockholm in October of 2019). If Shapovalov is going to start turning things around in 2022, this week is the time to do it.

1-star value play: Casper Ruud (+260)

This tournament is very top heavy, as the odds suggest. Only 5 players are priced outright in single-digits (Dan Evans, the 6th favorite, is +1100 to win and nobody after him has better than +2000 odds). Thus I can’t entirely pass on the #1 seed when there are not that many guys in the field who have a realistic chance to lift the trophy. The value on Ruud isn’t great, but it’s also not terrible considering that he is #2 in the world and the next highest-ranked player is #8 Cameron Norrie. It should also be noted that Ruud has won 9 titles in his career and all 9 have come at the 250-point level, which Seoul’s status.

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