The US swing of the ATP Tour continues this week with the Delray Beach Open in Florida. But before the event began, the draw took a hit as No. 7 seed John Isner and Dallas Open champion Yibing Wu both withdrew. Wu beat Isner in the Dallas final in a three-set match on Sunday that took more than three hours, and both players cited exhaustion in skipping this event.
The field is also without Frances Tiafoe, who was the No. 2 seed in Dallas. However, Tommy Paul returns to action this week after his trip to the Australian Open Finals. Taylor Fritz is the top seed for the second week in a row, and J.J. Wolf was bumped up to a seed after Isner withdrew. Let’s take a look at some of the ATP odds to approach the Delray Beach Open at MyBookie.
Tennis Picks and Analysis: ATP 250 – Delray Beach Open
When: February 11th to Sunday February 19th
Where: Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Time: See the Schedule
TV: Tennis Channel / TSN / beIN Sport
An American has made the finals in seven of the last nine years at the Delray Beach Tennis center. However, the only past champion in the field is Jack Sock (2017), while the last two winners, Cameron Norrie, and Hubert Hurkacz, are playing elsewhere this week.
Fritz and Paul are the top two seeds and the top favorites to win this event. Fritz lost in the semifinals to Wu as the top seed in Dallas last week, while Paul hasn’t played on tour since the Australian Open finals loss to Novak Djokovic.
Denis Shapovalov is the No. 3 seed, but he lost early last week in Dallas. Yoshihito Nishioka is the No. 5 seed, and he reached the finals in 2020, falling to Reilly Opelka.
No. 8 seed Ben Shelton is a nice dark horse to back in this event. Fresh off a run to the Australian quarters, where he lost to Paul, Shelton is familiar with the Florida weather and courts.
Speaking of Shelton, the former Florida Gators NCAA Champion is -125 to win his first-round match against Marcos Giron (+100). The two have never played, with this being Shelton’s first full year on the ATP Tour.
Giron is 5-4 in 2023, and the California native lost to Fritz last week in Dallas in three sets. Shelton took time off after the Australian Open run, and he should be well-rested for his return to the courts this week. His big serve and powerful strokes provide a big advantage on the Delray hard courts as he moves on against Giron.
Of all the first-round matches in Delray Beach on Tuesday, the one between wild card Fernando Verdasco and journeyman Radu Albot has the closest odds. Albot, a 33-year-old Moldovan who is ranked 113th, is the favorite at -175. Verdasco, a 39-year-old Spaniard ranked 133rd in the world, is +140 as the underdog.
Both were out early last week in Dallas, with Albot losing to Wolf and Verdasco falling to Mackenzie McDonald. Albot is 1-2 this season, with a first-round win last week, and Verdasco is 0-3.
These two have met four times, with Verdasco winning each time. They went three-sets last year in the Estoril qualifiers and also went three sets at the Madrid Masters in 2019. Verdasco had a straight sets win at the 2019 Australian Open, the only meeting on a hard court, and won in two sets in 2016.
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