Not since 1997 has a player been able to retain the Delray Beach Open. Hubert Hurkacz upset the odds to win the title last year. It looks as if we’ll see a new champion crowed in February, perhaps the fifth American winner in seven years?
The 2022 tournament takes place between February 14 and 20. It’s back in its usual spot after last year beginning just four days into 2021. The betting was on top seeded Cristian Garin to win the Delray Beach Open but that wasn’t to be.
Betting on sport isn’t an easy task at times. Take the 2021 tournament for example and the progress of Cristian Garin. He received a bye to the second round and took on qualifier Christian Harrison. Now at the time, Harrison was ranked 789th in the world, so beating the top seed wasn’t a popular wager. However, he beat Garin in straight sets and the number one seed bit the dust, well hard court.
Hubert Hurkacz began last year ranked 37th in the world. You wouldn’t have had many people betting that later in 2021 he’d become a top 10 player. He was the fourth seed last year and won the title (his first since 2019) without dropping a set. He ended the run of Harrison and bookmakers didn’t have to pay out on another shock win.
Hurkacz beat American Sebastian Korda in the final. He didn’t beat any player who was in the world’s top 100, but a title is a title and it led to more success later in the year when winning the Miami Open.
He’s not scheduled to take part in the Delray Beach Open this year, so who could the new champion be? There’s still a strong field on their way to Florida next month. It’s a popular event for gamblers and there will be plenty of betting promotions available on the tournament.
Looking at the current world rankings of those players named, it’ll be Cameron Norrie who’ll be the top seed. Bookmakers will likely make the British number one the likely winner of the Delray Beach Open. He’s currently 12th in the rankings but is likely to drop a little from that position. That’s due to his poor performances so far this calendar year.
Norrie lost all three of his matches when representing Great Britain in the ATP Cup, only winning one set. He was seeded 12th at the Australian Open but again disappointed those who backed him. Norrie lost in straight sets to Sebastian Korda and described the match as his worst in eight months. Not what you wish to hear after just betting on him to justify his seeding.
Now the fact that he lost to Sebastian Korda will ring a bell with Californian tennis fans. You see, at the 2021 Delray Beach Open, it was Korda who beat Norrie in the semi-finals, before losing to Hurkacz in the final. Both are due to play in the 2022 event and betting on who’d win between them wouldn’t be an easy task.
While Hurkacz won the title last year without beating a top 100 player, that wasn’t the case with Korda. He beat four top 100 ranked players as he just kept on upsetting the odds. Korda beat the second seeded John Isner and fifth seed Tommy Paul. Backing him to go one better and win the title in Delray Beach this year could pay dividends.
America will be well represented in this tournament. Frances Tiafoe won this title four years ago at the age of just 20. Bookmakers didn’t expect him to triumph that week, especially with a draw that saw him up against Juan Martin del Potro, Chung Hyeon and Denis Shapovalov. Tiafoe only played because he received a wild card, but the outsider beat unseeded Peter Gojowcyzk In the final. Will we see more upsets this year, don’t bet against it.
One player to keep an eye on is Jenson Brooksby. This will be his first appearance at the Delray Beach Open. He broke into the top 100 last year, causing many an upset, particularly in Newport where he lost in the final. No one will want to draw him next month.
Reilly Opelka will also be a strong contender. He won this tournament in 2020 despite losing the first set in two of his matches. Not many were betting on him to win the title when facing match point in an earlier round. He didn’t play last year but this heavy server will again likely go deep at Delray Beach.
Others entered include the temperamental Australian Nick Kyrgios. He was the top seed two years ago but withdrew due to the pandemic. The Delray Beach Open promises to be a fascinating tournament for sure and with Kyrgios present, possibly noisy too.