Both major tours finally arrived indoors and we have the WTA Premier event in Ostrava as well as two ATP 250s, one in Antwerp and another one in Cologne, this week.

Vulnerable Favorite

David Goffin is the #1 seed and tournament favorite in Antwerp and the latter really surprises me. There are still concerns about him participating as far as I'm concerned and even though his first match would only take place on Thursday, he was quarantined for the last two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 twice. That's not an ideal preparation. However, the Belgian should still manage to get through his first match against either qualifier Marcos Giron or wildcard Luca Nardi.

In the other eighth, Feliciano Lopez beat Tommy Paul yesterday and will await either Richard Gasquet or Alex de Minaur in round two. The two already faced off in the final of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown 3 on Sunday and the Australian won 24-9 15-14 16-17 19-11, whatever that means. Despite his disappointing results on clay, I do like the Demon this week. He's more than capable indoors and also beat Goffin in the Davis Cup Finals last year 6-0 7-6. There are easier first round opponents than Gasquet, but if De Minaur gets past him, he can surely go on a run.

The second quarter is headlined by Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic and the Canadian's form was superb in St. Petersburg last week - until he collapsed against Borna Coric in the semifinal. I'm not sure if Raonic is still playing semi-injured, but something keeps me off betting him, even though he should be the best player in the field on these courts. His draw also isn't the easiest as he faces Aljaz Bedene first and probably Emil Ruusuvuori second. The Finn had to go through qualifying yet again and might even be a dark horse this week as he has a feasible first round with Cameron Norrie.

Grigor Dimitrov has a first round bye before playing Kei Nishikori or Pablo Andujar in the second round. The Bulgarian didn't look too bad in the shortened clay court swing, but I can't remember the last time he actually won a tournament. Yet he's still among the favorites and therefore is not a valuable outright pick in my opinion.

Indoor Lover

The bottom half of the draw is divided into two varying quarters. While the fourth quarter is as balanced as a quarter in an ATP 250 event can be, the third quarter has clay courters Salvatore Caruso and Albert Ramos-Vinolas as well as Zizou Bergs in it. The young Belgian got the wildcard from fellow countryman Ruben Bemelmans who also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Karen Khachanov is the #3 seed and starts against either Ramos-Vinolas or Bergs. The Russian should get to the quarterfinal stage rather easily and I don't hate his odds, wouldn't there be another player catching my eye in his section. Daniel Evans loves his indoor hard courts. The Brit has played more matches on the surface than any other player in the field. Caruso is his first round opponent and Frances Tiafoe awaits in round two. I think Evans, whose slice can become such a weapon on these courts, can reach the quarterfinal and has all the tools to annoy Khachanov at that stage.

As mentioned before, the last quarter is very even. Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka, Corentin Moutet, Lloyd Harris, Ugo Humbert and Pablo Carreno Busta could all go on a little run here. Humbert is a player I was looking out for this time of the year, but given his draw and especially the books only offering odds between +1100 and +1400, I have to pass.

My two outright picks for Antwerp are Alex de Minaur at +900 and Daniel Evans at +2200.

All bets

De Minaur to win outright

ATP Antwerp

  • -0.50 u

Evans to win outright

ATP Antwerp

  • -0.25 u