Tennis fans are in for a treat during September, with the schedule packed with a host of top-class tournaments in Europe.
The early part of the month is dominated by the United States Open Championships, although a few high-profile withdrawals have taken some of the shine off this year’s event.
That certainly won’t be the case in Europe, with extremely strong fields expected at upcoming events in Italy, Germany and France.
The first two tournaments are sure to be fiercely contested as players put the finishing touches to their preparations for the French Open.
Usually staged as the second Grand Slam of the season, the event has been pushed back to the end of September and will be the final ‘major’ this term.
Read on as we take a look at the upcoming tennis programme and assess how punters can take advantage of the live betting opportunities they will offer.
Big Guns Head to Italy
The eyes of the tennis world will be on Rome from September 14 as the prestigious Italian Open takes centre-stage.
It is anticipated that 19 of the top 20 men in the world will play, with only Roger Federer missing as he continues to recuperate from double surgery on his right knee.
Novak Djokovic is seeking his fifth success in the event, but he will face a tough task with nine-time winner Rafael Nadal in the field.
Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas are also entered in the event, while Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka add further depth to the line-up.
Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini could be worth following in the in-play betting on the Italian Open, with the pair keen to shine on home soil.
Barty Tops Stellar Line-up in the Women’s Singles
Six of the top eight women in the world rankings withdrew from the US Open, devaluing what is normally a hugely important fortnight in the calendar.
Things will return to normal in Rome, with all of the top stars set to compete in an event that will serve as a warm-up for the French Open later in the month.
World number one Ashleigh Barty was beaten in the third round in Rome last year but subsequently went on to win her first Grand Slam in France a few weeks later.
Reigning champion Karolina Pliskova should be tough to beat, while Simona Halep and Sofia Kenin will also be eager to make their mark.
Bianca Andreescu could make her comeback to the circuit after nearly a year out injured, although she will undoubtedly be lacking match fitness if she does return.
Germany Set to Welcome Top Stars
The live betting opportunities will continue apace the following week as the 2020 Hamburg European Open gets underway.
The 114th edition of the event is shaping up to be an exciting affair, with 12 of the top 20 men in the world expected to be in the line-up.
Medvedev and Tsitsipas have already confirmed they will participate, while Berrettini, Gael Monfils and David Goffin have also entered.
Nikoloz Basilashvili is seeking a third successive title in Hamburg, although he may have his work cut out after a disappointing 2020 season to date.
Berrettini should be an interesting proposition in the outright market, having proven his prowess on clay with victory at the 2019 Hungarian Open.
Nadal Aiming to Dominate in France
The French Open will be the third and final Grand Slam of the year, and all of the world’s top players are expected to be in attendance.
The men’s event has been dominated by Nadal in recent years, with the Spaniard lifting the trophy on 12 previous occasions.
His tally is a record for any player, male or female, in any one of the four major tournaments and he is rated as the 9/10 favourite to win the title this year.
Thiem may be the biggest danger to Nadal having reached the last two finals, while it would be foolish to write off Djokovic’s chances of success.
Barty is the second favourite behind Halep to win the women’s event, but Kiki Bertens could be the value bet at odds of around 10/1.
Cash in Via the In-Play Markets
While all three tournaments will offer punters a plethora of wagering opportunities, it can often be difficult to extract value from tennis matches.
However, in-play betting is a great way to beat the bookmakers, particularly if you can identify the right spots to get involved in.
For instance, Petra Martic was a heavy favourite to beat Tereza Martincova in their first-round match at the US Open, but surprisingly dropped the opening set.
Martic’s odds to win increased significantly from her initial starting price, and this presented a golden opportunity for punters to cash in.
The world number 14 dropped just six games in the next two sets, to deliver the perfect result for fans of live betting.