Tuesday’s selection at the Topshelf Open was void as Igor Sijsling was forced to withdraw from the tournament with illness.
Sijsling was due to take on Stan Wawrinka, who instead faced lucky loser Steve Darcis, so it was a quiet day, although the other matches that I looked at all produced winners.
I said I was tempted by the set handicap on Xavier Malisse and that worked out as he knocked out David Ferrer, and Yen Hsun Lu proved a good bet at 2.75 as he defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Feli Lopez and Bernard Tomic also won.
Wednesday’s play in Rosmalen and Eastbourne features all 16 second round matches and of the early starts in the Netherlands I wouldn’t be putting too much faith in Robin Haase at odds-on against Evgeny Donskoy.
The Dutchman has a really poor record on grass and has won just three matches here since 2006 and has lost in the first round four times. He’s never been past round two here and Donskoy has a good chance at around the 2.40 mark outright.
I would expect Nicolas Mahut to have too much grass court nous for Andrey Kuznetsov, whose win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver here this week was his first ever main draw win on grass in a completed match.
Michael Llodra should win the battle of the veterans against Jan Hernych, but he’s too short to be backing, while the matches between
Daniel Brands and Guillermo Garcia Lopez and Roberto Bautista Agut and Carlos Berlocq look very tough to call.
Over in Eastbourne I don’t think that Milos Raonic will have an easy time of it against Ivan Dodig in their 11am start. The Canadian is vastly overrated on grass, as apart from the serve he doesn’t do any of the other elements of the game well enough and can be exposed, as his poor grass court record shows.
People are still prepared to back him at short prices nonetheless and they were stung last week in Halle when Raonic was schooled by Gael Monfils, who hadn’t played a grass court match for two years. The big man has only ever beaten one top-50 ranked player on grass and that was Pablo Andujar in Halle two years ago.
Dodig was impressive against Denis Istomin in round one here and he can at least test Raonic today, with the + 2.5 game handicap in the Croatian’s favour a decent choice at around 1.88. Raonic doesn’t return well and Dodig’s serve should ensure he keeps this close.
Feliciano Lopez should have few problems defeating Juan Monaco, who has won three grass court matches in his lifetime and the Spaniard, who has a very good record against Monaco on all surfaces, should take this minus 2.5 games on the handicap at 1.60
Martin Klizan should enjoy the conditions against Fabio Fognini, who had a fair amount of on-court treatment during his win over Grega Zemlja in round one and on the respective form of their opening round wins I quite like Klizan as slight underdog in this.
Radek Stepanek will fancy his chances against Philipp Kohlschreiber, who he has beaten six times from their seven meetings and with the benefit of a match under his belt here, the veteran Czech could cause an upset - but he’s shorter than I would like at 2.12.
I also think Julien Benneteau is very short at 1.65 against Tomic, who I would be backing in this if it weren’t for his suspect hamstring.
Benny took advantage of an injured Kevin Anderson in round one and he may have the same fortune in round two.
Back Donskoy to beat Haase at 2.40
Back Dodig +2.5 games to beat Raonic at 1.88
Back Lopez –2.5 games to beat Monaco at 1.60