Citi Open Betting Preview: Dimitrov and Raonic Given Wild Cards

Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic lead a strong field at the 2017 Citi Open, the duo having been given wild cards to compete in the event.

Kicking off the North American hard court season, the tournament is set to take place at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington D.C.

As long as there are no top players pulling out late through injury, four of the world’s top 10 are due to compete in the Citi Open, which has a very deep field of talent booked in.

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The Masters 1000 event is one of the most prestigious events on the tour, with plenty of ranking points up for grabs as players jostle for position as the season begins to wind down. This all combines to make for an exciting few weeks for all of us looking to bet on tennis online.

While Dimitrov and Raonic are both currently outside of the top eight for 2017, players including Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev who are in line to feature at the end of year World Tour Finals are set to play at the Citi Open.

With the US Open just a couple of weeks away, this is one of the main warm-up events for the last major of the tennis calendar year. But who should you look out for in the betting?

Top 10 Stars Dominate Odds

With four of the world’s top 10 featuring in the draw it is not surprise it is these names who dominate the Citi Open odds with most of the major bookmakers.

Raonic is a good place to start, with the giant Canadian in action for the first time since his defeat to eventual champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

The 26-year-old has the game to thrive on the hard courts and is one of a handful of defending champions in the draw, having come through an all-Canada final with Vasek Pospisil in 2014.

Raonic is certainly a decent option at 13/2 in the betting for the Citi Open, but plenty of tennis fans will be more tempted by Dimitrov for this event, with the Bulgarian always a threat.

Dimitrov was also beaten by Federer at Wimbledon, but unlike Raonic he has collected a title this year, winning hard court events in both Sofia and Brisbane.

At the same age as Raonic, Dimitrov is set to enter his peak years and he should be using the Citi Open to show he is a genuine contender in a wide-open US Open field.

Thiem is the top-ranked player in the draw, with the Swiss looking to claim his second title of the year. However, the 23-year-old has not won a hard court tournament yet in his career.

The Austrian was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, but a punishing schedule that has seen him enter 17 tournaments – more than anyone else in the world’s top 10 – is bound to catch up with him at some point. It may do so here.

Kei Nishikori completes the top 10 players in the Citi Open draw and the Japanese player has been priced up at 8/1 by the bookmakers for this event.

Nishikori is yet to win a title this season but he did collect the big prize on the hard courts in Memphis last year, so he has some pedigree on this section of the North American tour.

Defending Champion Out of the Running?

After an inconsistent 2017 it is hard to find reasons to bet on the Citi Open defending champion Gael Monfils, who is priced outside in the betting for the tournament.

The Frenchman beat the giant Ivo Karlovic in an epic three-set clash to win the event last year, but that was his last title and 2017 has been a slog for the 30-year-old.

A defeat in his first match at the Croatia Open, surprisingly losing to Brazilian Rogeria Dutra Silva, demonstrated that he simply does not have the form to be a challenger here.

Monfils has plenty of experience at the event though, having got to the final in 2011 only to lose to Radek Stepanek, so he may welcome the return to a place he has enjoyed lots of success.

Three-Time Winner in the Mix

Returning to the Citi Open seeking a fourth title at the event is the Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who won here in 2008, 2009 and 2013.

A second-round exit at Wimbledon to world number 589 Ernests Gulbis came as a surprise as Del Potro has shown signs in 2017 of getting back to his brilliant best, reaching the semi-finals in Florida – where he lost to Raonic – earlier in the year.

At current 2017 Citi Open odds, Del Potro looks set to either go very deep into the tournament or suffer a shock early exit to a little-heralded talent. It tends to go one way or the other for the 28-year-old, whose career has been plagued by serious injuries that dented his potential.

On the other hand, the 2009 US Open champion is on his preferred surface and he would be a popular winner if he was able to triumph at the Citi Open this year.

Isner and Sock the Home Hopes

The 2015 finalist John Isner could be the top American to watch out for at the Citi Open, but a price of 11/1 reflects the fact he will find it hard to challenge the four top 10 players.

Isner’s massive serve will always make him a threat on the hard courts, but there is a suspicion there is not enough else to his game to threaten at the biggest competitions.

At his appearance in the 2013 final, Isner took the first set but then won only three more games as he was blown away by a tremendous comeback from Del Potro, while it was Nishikori who came out on top when they met in the final two years ago.

Isner has won the Atlanta Open three times in his career – the tournament is in the previous week to the Citi Open – so he can be a challenger, but is likely to find the competition too strong. He has already lost in the final here three times in his career, so could be an each-way pick.

The top-ranked American in the draw is Jack Sock. Ranked 19 in the world, Sock has picked up a couple of hard court titles already in 2017, triumphing at Delray Beach and in Auckland, but early exits at Wimbledon and Roland Garros suggest he is struggling for form.

Value Picks at the 2017 Citi Open

With so many big-name players in the draw for the Citi Open, there is plenty of value to be found in the betting odds if you know where to look.

World number 11 Alexander Zverev is having a breakthrough year and he will be seeking to add to the three titles he has won in 2017 already. Zverev picked up his first Masters 1000 title in Rome and he has won on hard courts in Montpellier and St. Petersburg, meaning his current price could provide outstanding value.

While 20-year-old Zverev is arguably the best young player on the tour, another player star enjoying the best year of his career is on the other end of the age range.

At 34, Gilles Muller has climbed to his best ever world ranking of 22 having won two titles already in 2017, including one on Sydney’s hard courts. He has reached at least the quarter-finals of his last three events – beating Zverev in the Ricoh Open final – and could be an each-way selection to consider. Muller reached the final all the way back in 2004.

Talented Australians Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic always have their supporters, but questions over their focus make it hard to back them. The final recommendation is up and coming American Ryan Harrison, who won his first career title in Memphis this year.