It was back to winning ways on Friday with a comfortable success for my best bet at the Aegon International in Eastbourne.
On a cold and very windy day on the south coast Feliciano Lopez eased past Ivan Dodig in straight sets with the minimum of fuss in difficult conditions.
Those of us in the crowd without blankets or winter clothing were at a distinct disadvantage as the wind whipped in off the sea and made playing tennis considerably tougher, but Lopez adapted well and never looked like dropping his serve against an increasingly frustrated Dodig.
In the final today, Lopez faces Gilles Simon, who, in a bizarre twist of fate, also face each other next week in the opening round of Wimbledon, so this match will have more on it than it otherwise would have.
Simon has overcome various ailments to reach a final on grass for the first time in his career and it’s also a first for Lopez, who has never been beyond the semi finals before on the green stuff.
The Frenchman has never been a big fan of the grass due to his propensity for counter punching tennis, but if he attacks a bit more then he’ll find that he’ll get his rewards on the surface.
Lopez has been imperious on serve this week, as the conditions suit his game. It will be fascinating to see if Simon, who is probably the best returner Lopez will have faced this week, will fare any better.
The Spaniard certainly has the advantage in that department and it’s soggy and damp in Eastbourne today and if they manage to get their finals done it might be late afternoon/evening by the time Lopez and Simon get onto the court.
But those slippery conditions will make Lopez’s game very tough to beat and I have to like his chances at 1.65.
Over in Rosmalen, the final there between Stan Wawrinka and Nicolas Mahut begins at 1.30pm UK time with the Swiss number two a pretty warm order against the grass-loving qualifier.
Mahut took advantage of another Xavier Malisse meltdown in their semi final on Friday, while Wawrinka saved all 10 break points he faced against Guillermo Garcia Lopez in their last four clash.
The pair will be meeting for the first time since 2004 and for the first time on the ATP Tour, with Mahut surely jaded and possibly creaking a bit with his dodgy knee.
Wawrinka is no grass court God though and depending on how fit Mahut is after coming through qualifying and playing three matches more than his opponent the Frenchman could push Stan.
It’s a little bit of guesswork with Mahut’s fitness though and this one doesn’t appeal to me at all as a betting medium, with Stan too short at around 1.30.
Best Bet: Back Lopez to beat Simon at 1.65