The ATP Tour continues its journey in February and arguably the biggest tournament of the month takes place in the Netherlands. The 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament will be played between the 12th and 18th February 2018 in Ahoy Rotterdam.
This tournament will be the first ATP500 tournament of the year and has generated much interest, not least because of the participation of Roger Federer.
The Swiss legend announced he was taking a wildcard entry into the event at a tournament he has not played since 2012. The ease in which Federer won the Australian Open in January plus the fact the world number one position is up for grabs, are possibly the reasons which persuaded him to take part.
If Federer can get to the semi-final or further, he is guaranteed to take the number one sport off Rafael Nadal, who is due to play again in a few weeks’ time.
However, Federer’s participation is bad news for the rest of the draw in Rotterdam and the 20-time Grand Slam winner has immediately been installed as the favourite to win the 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament at Evens with WilliamHill.
Federer will meet a qualifier in the first round but faces the possibility of a tough match in the quarter-final where he could meet his fellow countryman, Stan Wawrinka. However, you must go back to 2015 and the clay courts of the French Open to find the last time Wawrinka defeated Federer.
Perhaps Federer’s biggest challenger in this tournament is the second seed, Gregor Dimitrov. The Bulgarian starts his campaign with a first round match against Japan’s Yuichi Sugita and will expect to come through without any problem. The issue will be how Dimitrov copes psychologically if he meets Federer in the final because he has failed to defeat the Swiss in six previous attempts.
Therefore, even at odds of 7/1 with William Hill, Dimitrov is up against it in Rotterdam.
Elsewhere and in the same half of the draw as Dimitrov is Australian Open quarter-finalist, Tomas Berdych. The Czech has many career titles to his name on the ATP Tour but with some tough customers in his draw, will do well to reach the final. Berdych is out at 10/1 to win the tournament.
The biggest threat to Federer in the 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament could come from his own half of the draw in the way of Alexander Zverev. The young German knows what it takes to beat Federer, having defeated him in two of their five meetings, the most recent of which came last year in the Canadian Open.
Zverev won five titles last year, including the Canadian Open and would relish the chance to play Federer in the semi-final and try to even things up between them. He will play in the second round against Andreas Seppi. Zverev is 8/1 with William Hill to win the 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, which has the makings of being a thrilling event.