Ace’s Fatigue Faders – Weekly Preview – ATP Challenger Edition

Welcome to a new form of preview – highlighting an area of interest of mine over the last few years. It is something I have always wanted to dedicate a bit of time towards, however now I am truly jumping in the deep end to give it a red hot crack.

It seems like every second week we have a major upset occur at the Challenger Level where everyone who has backed the short priced favourite will scream “Fix”, but is there more to it than we really think? Is it a profitable approach for us to oppose players coming off a long week or fortnight? I will be providing an update on all the players who made it to the semi finals or better from the previous week, that are scheduled to play again this week.

Initially, it will not be a hard and fast “oppose the player” approach, but these are players you really need to watch out for in their first two or three matches the week after a successful tournament. I will try and detail the previous tournament, the travel required to current tournament, and any other information I think would be beneficial.

Thoughts and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Summary of plays

5 unit bet (10/10 staking on Tipstrr) Bolt to defeat Hemery h2h at $2.01 at Pinnacle

3.5 units (7/10 Tipstrr staking) Eubanks to defeat Peliwo at $2.07 at Pinnacle

3 unit bet (6/10 staking on Tipstrr) Munar to defeat Elias h2h at $2.78 at Pinnacle

2 unit bet (4/10 Tipstrr Staking) Ito to defeat Robert 2-0 set betting at $2.80 at William Hill ($3 Ladbrokes)

The Winners

F Peliwo

Won ATP Challenger Knoxville (def Kudla 6-4 6-2)

First ever ATP Challenger Title – nil previous results regarding backing up from Challenger Title – has previously lost backing up from a Futures title win to play Challenger tennis the next week.

Tournament -> Knoxville to Champaign is either a 7 hour drive or a 3.5 hour flight including connections.

Weather -> Knoxville approx. 11 degrees Celsius, Champaign approx. 9 degrees Celisius (minimal difference with conditions)

Opponent -> C Eubanks – 11 days rest between last match and this match. Relatively solid form of late, with close 3 set loss to Mmoh in Charlottesville as a $2.80 underdog.

Predicted Outcome -> I actually have a decent opinion of Eubanks, and think he can take advantage of this position he has been afforded. When you consider Peliwo has come off the best tournament win of his career, and it has most likely ensured he has made the qualifying draw for the Australian Open, I think this has the potential to be a letdown spot for Peliwo, and Eubanks plays as he did against Mmoh, he should get the job done here.

Suggested Bet

3.5 units (Tipstrr staking 7/10) Eubanks to defeat Peliwo at $2.07 at Pinnacle

L Lacko

Won ATP Challenger Bratislava (def Copil 6-4 7-6)

Solid title performance from Lacko, with wins over Kovalik, Auger-Aliassime, Skugor, Zopp and Copil.

After his last finals appearance in China in 2016 (lost to Basilashvili), Lacko backed up the next week, only to lose as a $1.40 favourite to Saketh Myneni in straight sets.

Tournament -> Bratislava to Brescia is a 90 minute flight from Slovakia to Italy

Weather -> Bratislavia approx. 8 degrees Celsius, Brescia approx. 11 degrees Celsius (no major change)

Opponent -> L Klein – won both rounds of qualifying in straight sets, although both matches were tight, and against players well below the standard of Lacko, even if he is tired.

Predicted Outcome -> I think Lacko will still win here, but his past form may also suggest that an exit in the first few rounds. If anything, you could be forgiven for backing Klein to win the first set (odds not yet released), however there may be better value opposing Lacko in rounds 2 and 3.

Suggested Bet

Watch and wait for round 1 at this stage.

S Robert

Won ATP Kobe (def Hemery 7-6 6-7 6-1)

Very solid title win from the journeyman, with wins over Matosevic, Polansky (? Fitness concerns), Soeda, Santillan and Hemery to win the title. He only managed to drop one set, and that was the TB in the final.

Last month, when Robert managed to make the final in Turkey (lost to Marchenko 6-7 0-6), he attempted to back up the next week, where he lost in Orleans 4-6 0-6 to Zeballos on an indoor hardcourt.

Tournament ->  2 hour drive (or train) from Kobe to Toyota

Weather -> Weather near identical in both locations

Opponent -> Tatsuma Ito, playing at home and has shown patches of brilliance (highest ranked wins this year vs Benneteau, Kukushkin, Kravchuk, Fabbiano and Lacko). Robert does lead the head to head 2-0, but situationally he is not favoured in this instance.

Predicted Outcome -> When you track back through the previous finals of Robert to check how he goes the match after, one of his back-up wins was actually against Ito in Kobe Challenger in 2015. That being said, when you consider that Robert is 2-22 when losing the first set, and in 15 of those matches he has lost in straight sets. You would assume that Ito should come out the better early in the match, so perhaps the value play is Ito to win in straight sets.

Suggested Bet

2 unit bet (4/10 Tipstrr Staking) Ito to defeat Robert 2-0 set betting at $2.80 at William Hill ($3 Ladbrokes)


The Runners Up

C Hemery

Lost to Robert (Kobe Challenger Final)

The hardcourt performance kind of came out of nowhere last week. Before this week Hemery had not won at Challenger level on hardcourt since mid-April, and at one point found himself playing Futures tennis in Nigeria. Obviously something clicked for him this week.

All that being said, after the last finals appearance (where he beat Sousa in the final) in late July, Hemery did not win another match on any surface until Kobe last week.

Tournament ->  2 hour drive (or train) from Kobe to Toyota

Weather -> Weather near identical in both locations

Opponent -> A Bolt – definitely a player I will be keeping my eye on for the rest of this year as well as the Australian hardcourt swing. The young Aussie has put together a couple of pretty solid weeks, including reaching the Traralgon Challenger Final 2 weeks ago. A couple of shorter weeks since have allowed Bolt to refresh a tad, and he should be raring to go here against Hemery.

Predicted Outcome -> As you can probably figure from the paragraph above, I am exceptionally keen on backing Bolt in this matchup. When you consider the very solid form of Bolt over the last month in particular, the fact he will have had 4-5 days rest between matches and the fact the Hemery is backing up off a gruelling finals loss and has form in not performing to his ability the following week, I have to take Bolt here as an underdog.

Suggested Bet

5 unit bet (10/10 staking on Tipstrr) Bolt to defeat Hemery h2h at $2.01 at Pinnacle

G Elias

Lost to Cuevas (Montevideo Challenger Final)

Not a massive surprise dropping that final to raging favourite Cuevas. That being said, Elias has played 12 matches since October 25, which is one of the busier schedules currently being undertaken on the tour. After reaching the semi final the week previous, Elias actually dropped a set in each of his first three rounds (first two rounds started less than $1.35, third round won as $3 underdog vs Pella).

Tournament ->  2 hour flights from Montevideo to Santiago

Weather -> Montevideo weather around 25 degrees and cloudy on average, Santiago weather averaging around 30 degrees and sunny (increase in temperature on background of busy schedule noted)

Opponent -> J Munar – Definitely no pushover on the red dirt. In the past few weeks Munar has defeated Zeballos on clay and lost to Martin in 3 sets. The most interesting recent performance from Munar however was on September 4, where he actually beat Elias in straight sets.

Predicted Outcome -> Considering the heavy schedule, and the transition to 30 degree weather, and the fact Munar is more rested whilst also playing solid tennis of late, I cannot help but have a go at Munar at the current odds on offer. When you factor in beating Elias only 2 months ago as well, I am comfortable making a play on Munar to get the job done. For something safer, you could take Munar to win a set, but I feel based on schedules, if this turned into a 3 setter it would favour him anyway.

Suggested Bet

3 unit bet (6/10 staking on Tipstrr) Munar to defeat Elias h2h at $2.78 at Pinnacle

Semi Finallists

Obviously it is fairly self explanatory that these players played one less match that those listed above, but it may be worth remember that these players don’t receive the same favourable scheduling finallists receive, and as a result may have a similar turnaround time. These players won’t be discussed in depth at this stage, but if we start to notice some trends, I am more than happy to expand this aspect of the preview process.

B Klahn  -> ATP Champaign -> (backing up SF loss to Kudla) playing Scholtz at a $1.10 favourite – would expect to win here, but may get a nice price opposing him vs Fratangelo if they meet in round 2.

SW Kwon -> ATP Toyota -> (backing up SF loss to Hemery) playing Krajicek at current odds around $1.60 – looks a tad short for my liking, and may very well consider a h2h or a + handicap play on Krajicek in this matchup.

H Laaksonen -> ATP Champaign -> (backing up SF loss to Peliwo) solid week for Laaksonen considering he was backing up off a mid match retirement the week before. Finds himself up against Moraing as a very solid favourite around the $1.60 range. Moraing has actually been playing some pretty solid tennis lately, with wins over Escobedo and Novikov and 3 set losses to Brown, Smyczek (won title) and Fratangelo. Value rests with Moraing, and I will most likely end up making a play on him as well!

J Zopp -> ATP Brescia -> (backing up of SF loss to Lacko) found himself a pretty comfortable first round match against Pellegrino. Should be untroubled here, but I will keep an eye on Zopp throughout the week.




I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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