This weeks BB&T Atlanta Openmarks the start of the US hard court season with a strong number of US players lining up to win the title.
With the majority of European players – including the big 3 – preparing for the Olympics which will be the last grass court tournament of 2012, there is three of the worlds top-20 lining up here.
John Isner is top seed and favourite at 5/2 in the betting, with Mardy Fish and Kei Nishikori also making it to Atlanta which is hosting this ATP tournament for only the third time. Also making the trip is tour favourite Andy Roddick, 5/1, who probably playing his last full year on the tour.
Fish is the two-time defending champion and the American No. 1 had one of his best years on tour in 2011, winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and reaching the finals in LA and Montreal. He had some setbacks earlier this year which caused him to miss some tournaments but he will be relishing his return to Atlanta given what he achieved the last two years.
Isner is a fan favourite around Atlanta having gone to college at the University of Georgia where he won the 2007 NCAA Championship. His profile has grown over the last number of years with victories over World No. 1 Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic but more famously Isner is known for winning the longest match in tennis history at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
Japaneses player Nishikori makes his first appearance at Atlanta and will cause problems with his incredible speed around the court despite struggling with injury in recent months.
Mardy Fish has the easier side of the draw with both Isner and Roddick in the top half so should be able to make it to a third consecutive final and at 4/1 ranks as the week’s best bet.
Other players to consider include Kevin Anderson at 10/1 who has beaten Isner in his last two starts and will be confident of doing so again should the duo meet in the semi-finals.
Recommendation: Mardy Fish @ 4/1