On an insanely windy day in Nice, followers of my advice of backing Yen Hsun Lu on the handicap against Andreas Seppi were quids in on Monday at the Open de Nice Cote d’Azur.
And those who were braver and backed Lu for the victory would have been rewarded with a 6.50 payout, as 1.12 favourite Seppi flopped yet
again on clay and this time to a player who rarely wins on the red dirt.
My advice on Monday was that Seppi was a ridiculously short price bearing in mind his recent struggles. And other than a one-sided second set, the Italian failed to impose himself and eventually paid the price.
Tuesday’s forecast is for sunshine in Nice, but the winds are still going to be there, so conditions will be tough and there are just the
five matches scheduled in France today.
Over in Dusseldorf, Jarkko Nieminen described the conditions on Monday as: “heavy, cold and damp,” after his win over Lukas Lacko. The line-up in Germany features four matches that don’t exactly set the pulse racing in terms of either entertainment or betting options.
The only match that interests me there is to take a chance on Aljaz Bedene to get the better of Nikolay Davydenko with a 1.5 set start at a price of around 1.72 in their match, which begins at around 2pm today, weather permitting.
Bedene has big ambitions in the game and he’ll relish the challenge of taking on a former top-three star such as Davydenko for the first time
today and this confident character will be up for this match.
Bedene, who is here as a lucky loser after being beaten by Evgeny Korolev in qualifying, certainly has a shot of the win at a price of around 2.70 after picking up the Rome Challenger title a couple of weeks ago.
Davydenko is priced on reputation after winning just two matches on clay this season. His current form is awful, losing in straight sets to Ivan Dodig, Milos Raonic and Marcel Granollers - not ideal preparation for Roland Garros.
He should be aiming to get a few matches under his belt here in Dusseldorf this week, but after a promising start to the season he has faded badly and shows only flashes of his brilliant best these days.
The Russian is tough to predict, but he is too short at 1.45 to take down a hungry up and comer and Bedene is more than capable of taking a
set in this.
In Nice, I'm tempted to take Paul-Henri Mathieu to halt his losing run on the ATP Tour by beating another lucky loser, Ryan Harrison, who has
very little idea of how to play matches on a clay court.
Mathieu has been distracted by off-court problems though and he is far from focused on the sport at the moment. The 1.72 may turn out to be
a very good price against a poor opponent on this surface, but I'm not sure I want to put much trust in PHM in these circumstances.
Best bet: Back Bedene +1.5 sets to beat Davydenko at 1.72