The Kremlin Cup takes place in Moscow this week, and with most of the tennis big guns taking the week off, it’s a chance for some of the lesser lights to bag some end of season ranking points.

Top Seeds

Alexandr DolgopolovThe top two seeds are Serbians Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki. 27-year-old Tipsarevic is the highest seeded of the two, and indeed the tennis betting favourite for the event. He has had a solid year and finally made his ATP title break through this year, with victory in Kuala Lumpur.

Couple that with final appearances at Eastbourne and Del Ray beach and it’s easy to see why, when the top names aren’t present, Tipsarevic quickly becomes one of the favorite tennis picks for any event. Janko loves to play on the indoor hard courts, the same surface on which he secured his breakthrough title, and at odds of 4/1, you could certainly do worse than a tennis bet on the big serving Serb.

Also at tennis odds of 4/1 is Viktor Troicki. 25-year-old Troicki comes into this one as the defending champion and the title he won here last year, still remains the only title he has won to date, despite showing some consistent for across 2011.

For me, when you’ve only won one event on the ATP tour, it’s highly unlikely you are going to come back the very next year and win the same event. There’s an extra pressure when you’re defending champion and Troicki hasn’t been right up on the top of his game in the last fortnight. 

Two Likely Challengers

For me, the real dangers at this event are home grown Russian, Nikolay Davydenko and the rising tennis star that is Alexandr Dolgopolov. Davydenko loves playing back home in Moscow and would probably rate the indoor hard courts as his favourite surface.

The 30-year-old Russian has not had his best year on the Tour, by any means, but he has won this event three times and without any of the big four, or even the top 10 around to stop him, Davydenko will be all too aware that some good concentration and plenty of application can put him in with a great chance.

On the other side of the draw Alexandr Dolgopolov is the big threat and with some very solid results behind him in the last few months ‘The Dog’ looks just about ready to build on his first title, which came this year in Umag. Davydenko can be backed with tennis bookmakers, Victor Chandler at 6/1, whilst you’ll get 9/2 on Dolgopolov. 

Outsiders

A couple of names jump out and with such an even looking playing field, don’t be too surprised if we do see one of the outsiders make it through to Sunday’s final. For me the two names worth considering both come in at odds of around 20/1 with Paddy Power. Alex Bogomolov and Andreas Seppi both have chances here. Despite being an American, Bogomolov was born in Moscow and is long overdue his first ATP title.

It’s always been a tough ask for him to play consistently well enough to move right through an event. However, on his day, he is capable of beating anyone in this draw and there’s a chance he could do it here. Seppi has to be considered after the Italian won his first Tour event in Eastbourne in June. He defeated the number one seed, Janko Tipsarevic in the final so again he’s a name that has to be taken into account when betting on the Kremlin Cup. 

Picks

I really fancy Davydenko or Dolgopolov. Davydenko is always liable to a dreadful performance which could end his hopes in an instant, but he is the most experienced player here and if he is playing anywhere near his best tennis, the Russian could breeze through this event.