ATP Halle: Haas and Gulbis to go the distance


It was a frustrating day to be a tennis player, spectator or punter on Wednesday at Queen’s Club, as rain washed out most of the day’s play at the Aegon Championships.

Of the few matches that were completed, Lleyton Hewitt schooled Grigor Dimitrov on the grass, while Dan Evans continued his good form here with a win over Jarkko Nieminen.

The last of my Wednesday bets is still looking good, as Feli Lopez will resume at a set, 2-0 and 15-40 ahead of Julien Benneteau.

The tournament in Halle has a roof, so we’re guaranteed play in Germany, where the match of the day is the 4.30pm UK time clash between Tommy Haas and Ernests Gulbis.

This will be the fifth meeting between the pair and, to me, Tommy is a little short at 1.45 for what will be his first singles match on grass of the swing. And against a player he’s lost to twice on hard courts and won twice against on clay.

Grass isn't Gulbis's favourite surface and Haas has a far better record on it, but I like the overs in this one, as I can’t see it being anything less than a bit of a struggle for the German.

Gulbis is still playing well at the moment and despite snapping a racquet in two it was a decent performance against Marcos Baghdatis, and certainly one of his better ones on the grass. The overs is set at 22.5 games and I think it will take more than that to sort these two out.

I would expect Florian Mayer to defeat Leonardo Mayer on grass with something to spare and, I may well live to regret this, but I have a feeling that Flo Mayer will have enough to cover the minus 3.5 game handicap against his Argentine opponent, who has only once been past the second round of any grass tournament in his career.

I was courtside for that match in 2009 when Leo defeated Benneteau in Eastbourne to reach the last eight, but it was hardly a classic and at the moment he’s coming back from injury and Mayer’s substantial advantage in grass experience should see him through with enough to spare.

Mayer is hardly one to invest heavily in, but he is a two-time Wimbledon quarter finalist, including last year, and I can see him bamboozling Leo on this surface which makes the minus 3.5 games at 1.72 a decent wager.

Best Bets

Back over 22.5 games in Gulbis vs Haas at 1.75

Back F. Mayer –3.5 games to beat L. Mayer at 1.72