Can Favourite Monfils Take Home Bucharest Title?

Bucharest Open

Tennis
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Published: 21/04/2015

Frenchman Gael Monfils is the current favourite in the betting to pick up this year`s Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Romania. This favouritism comes after the defending champion Grigor Dimitrov decided against turning out for the tournament. The 28-year-old market leader was a semi-finalist in this competition in 2007 and managed to equal this best ever finish again last year. Last season the Paris born star was forced to retired after sustaining an ankle injury during his last four encounter with eventual winner Dimitrov.

Monfils has been impressive this year without managing to scoop the top prize in any of his tournament entries. The world number 15 reached the final of his home country`s Open 13 before losing out to compatriot Gilles Simon (4-6, 6-1, 6-7). He had previously reached the final four of the Montpellier competition before failing to get the better of Richard Gasquet (4-6, 3-6), another fellow countryman. Last time out, Monfils failed to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters despite having beaten world number two Roger Federer (6-4, 7-6) in the second round. Tomas Berdych would record a last four victory over Monfils, that tie ending 1-6, 4-6.

Both betfred and Coral have the best price of 5/2 on Monfils getting his hands on his first trophy of the year. He will meet Mikhail Youzhny in the second round after receiving a bye into this stage of the competition.

Gilles Simon, who would go on to take the Open 13 competition, is the second favourite in the betting following his blistering start to the year and his previous good form in the competition. Simon took top honours in consecutive years in 2007 and 2008 before snatching back the title in 2012. In this tournament last year, the 30-year-old would only make it to the quarter-finals after coming unstuck against Lukas Rosol. Rosol would take the first set on a tie-break before only dropping two games in the second.

Ranked 13 in the world, this year Simon also reached the semi-final of Rotterdam`s ABN AMRO tournament before only being able to win three games again then world number seven Tomas Berdych. He has failed to surpass David Ferrer in either of his last two competition outings (Miami Masters, Monte Carlo Masters). The lack of top 10 players in Bucharest should see Simon be in with a good chance of taking home the top prize.

The Frenchman will face either Serbian wildcard Janko Tipsarevic or Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano in the second round after receiving a bye to this second stage. He can be backed at the best price of 7/2 at betfair to pick up his fourth Bucharest Open title though he is already the most successful player in the tournament`s history.

After Viktor Troicki`s surprise defeat in the first round of this competition, the current third favourite for the title is Spain`s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The 6`2" 31-year-old reached the final here in 2013 before being seen off by Lukas Rosol (6-2, 6-2). He failed to appear at this tournament last year.

Garcia-Lopez reached the fourth round of the Australian Open where he was knocked out by defending champion Stan Wawrinka in four sets (6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-7). The La Roda born star would take a lot of heart from his performance in the first Grand Slam of the season and would run out the winner of the Zagreb Open on his reappearance. This has been, without a doubt, the highlight of his season so far.

The fifth seed will play Italian qualifier Lorenzo Guistino in the first round of the competition and will meet either Marcos Baghdatis or Steve Darcis should he make it through to the second stage.

Outside the top three, Rosol and Ivo Karlovic are also available at 14/1, the former at bet365 betfred and ladbrokes, the latter at Skybet.

© Frixo 2017

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