No trouble expected for Murray at Queen's
Lisicki should return in promising style
ATP Queen's Club
Eurosport from midday, BBC2 from 1pm Tuesday
Andy Murray starts his grass-court season in familiar surroundings when he sets off on his attempt to win a sixth Queen’s Club singles title in west London.
The world number one, champion at the Palliser Road venue in the last two years, is 1-12 to make a positive start in the all-British clash with Slovenia-born Aljaz Bedene.
Murray, who is 11-4 favourite to win his third Wimbledon singles title this summer, has been backed at 13-8 to make it three Aegon Championships on the spin, although 11-8 is generally the best quote on offer about Murray.
The Scot has won all five finals he has contested at Queen’s, but those quotes – and the fact he is odds-against – reflect the fact that Murray is likely to have to work hard in most of his rounds this week.
After his opener against Bedene, who is in decent nick, the top seed, who is 1-3 to open with a straight-sets win, is likely to have to stop Sam Querrey, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic – Nick Kyrgios exited the tournament on Monday – just to reach the title match.
Kokkinakis v Raonic
Racing Post Sport colleague Dan Childs has advised Milos Raonic to win the Queen’s Club title this year, but while the Canadian ace has been supported to win his opener pretty much as if defeat is out of the question, he is up against a seriously talented performer in Thanasi Kokkinakis.
And while Raonic will probably win the day, it could still pay to try to find a way to get with the Australian outsider.
Like Raonic, Kokkinakis is a big server and it will be no surprise if at least one of today’s sets goes long, so punters can consider the odds about the clash featuring at least one tiebreak when quotes appear today.
Kokkinakis, a 6ft 5in 21-year-old who played only one match in a 2016 season marred by shoulder surgery, has performed promisingly since returning from training in Dubai. He took a set off Kei Nishikori in the French Open, then defeated Mikhail Youzhny, who was once no slouch on grass, before falling to Daniil Medvedev in Den Bosch last week.
Kokkinakis is 15-8 to win at least a set, which is not the worst price in the world, and is 4-6 getting a start of 4.5 games. It’s 8-11 with Betway that over 21.5 games are contested, while the match going to a deciding set is 3-1 with bet365.
It’s difficult to pick the best of the above four options – going over the games is often a good betting medium but the odds aren’t great considering a tally of 22 is required – so it may be wiser simply to back Kokkinakis to win at least a set.
T Kokkinakis to win at least a set
1pt 15-8 Betway
Lisicki v Bertens
Sabine Lisicki was granted a wild-card entry to the Majorca Open this week and the 2013 Wimbledon finalist could put in a decent performance against Kiki Bertens.
The German, who was runner-up to Marion Bartoli in south-west London, could be well prepared for her Spanish return from a shoulder injury after training in Miami.
Backing her to upset the Dutchwoman can be considered, but given that match fitness could be a factor it may be wiser to take the 4-7 that Lisicki wins at least a set.
S Lisicki to win at least a set
1pt 4-7 Betway, Paddy Power