Having been missing from the ATP Tour calendar for nine years, Serbia play host to a second ATP 250 event in as many months at the Belgrade Open.
Held at the Novak Tennis Centre, the same location as April’s Serbia Open won by Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, the Belgrade Open will be headlined by home favourite Novak Djokovic.
The world number one is chasing his 83rd tour-level title and is hoping for the perfect preparation for next week’s French Open, where he will be eyeing his 19th Grand Slam crown.
Djokovic spearheads a strong Serbian challenge, with Filip Krajinovic, Dusan Lajovic and Laslo Djere also attempting to reward home support.
There is also a powerful raiding party from France with Gael Monfils, Jeremy Chardy, Lucas Pouille and Adrian Mannarino all competing.
Djokovic Skinny Price for Title Triumph
All eyes will be on world number one Djokovic, who twice lifted silverware on his own patch during Belgrade’s previous four-year stint, prevailing in 2009 and 2011.
Djokovic was unable to reward his home faithful in last month’s Serbia Open, where he was beaten in three sets in the semi-final by improving Russian Aslan Karatsev.
But the Serbian Open finalists – Karatsev and Berrettini – have not returned to Belgrade to compete again, which gives Djokovic a significant class edge on his rivals.
Clay competition can often be the time to take on Djokovic and his main focus will undoubtedly be on the upcoming French Open.
Delbonis May Pose Biggest Threat
With Djokovic likely to take some stopping in the top-half of the draw, punters are advised to focus on the bottom-half with Federico Delbonis the standout selection.
The 30-year-old Argentine is only a two-time winner on the ATP Tour but both of his title triumphs came on clay, a surface players from his country often specialise in.
Delbonis arrives in Belgrade operating at the top of his game having recently reached the quarter-finals in Rome, where he was beaten by big-serving American Reilly Opelka.
The world number 52 had previously accounted for Karen Khachanov, David Goffin and Felix Auger-Alliassime, three players who would be much shorter than him in the betting here.
Delbonis had also won four matches in Madrid, where he accounted for reliable Spanish pair Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Rinderknech Can Outrun His Odds
If Delbonis fails to convert what looks like a gilt-edged opportunity to tee up a title decider, then perhaps Arthur Rinderknech can defy big odds.
The Frenchman is relatively unknown on the ATP Tour – he is the world number 117 – but he has been prolific on the Challenger Tour, scooping three titles from just four finals over the last year.
Rinderknech looks at home on clay and he showed what he is capable of in Lyon last week, where he defeated Makael Ymer and impressive Italian Jannik Sinner before losing in three sets to eventual runner-up Cameron Norrie.
*All odds correct at time of writing