Somdev Devvarman ensured that it was a good start to the week for this column with a comfortable straight sets win over Igor Kunitsyn in Dubai on Monday.
The Indian player was the subject of a bit of a gamble, that saw his price tumble from over 1.9 to around 1.72 at the off, so early bird punters would have got the best value out of that one. Devvarman was never troubled by the Russian and came through 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.
Tuesday's play in Dubai features the world number one Novak Djokovic taking on Davis Cup team mate Viktor Troicki for the 13th time, having won the last 12 straight. The under 19.5 games looks worthy of consideration in that one if you're having a bet.
It's always a bit of a risk backing short-priced favourites in the first round in conditions where the ball flies around, as Roger Federer highlighted on Monday by dropping the opening set against Malek Jaziri.
That said, only two favourites were beaten (in completed matches) in the 16 first round matches here 12 months ago and one of those was Nikolay Davydenko who I'm going to oppose again today.
The Russian takes on Janko Tipsarevic at 10am UK time on Centre Court on Tuesday and I'm happy to side with the Serb at a decent price of around 1.67 in this one.
Davydenko has a poor recent record in Dubai and although Tipsarevic has lost his last three matches straight, the only one that was a bad loss was to Dmitry Tursunov last week in Marseille, where one would have to question Tipsy's intentions in that tournament.
I suspect that we'll see him back to his best in a tournament that he reached the quarter-finals last year, before losing to Djokovic and where he beat Andy Murray a few years ago.
The quick conditions should suit Tipsarevic and he's had the better of Davydenko in their recent meetings, which is no surprise given their respective results over the last few years.
Elsewhere, Juan Martin Del Potro could be vulnerable if Marcos Baghdatis has a good day on serve, as he has beaten Delpo in their most recent tour level meetings and 1.18 is too short on the big Argentine.
Best Bet: Back Tipsarevic to beat Davydenko at 1.67
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