It was another winning day on the ATP Tour on Monday as my best bet won in convincing fashion.
Jarkko Nieminen lost just a single game in a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Bjorn Phau in sweltering 44 degree heat in Sydney. The temperature gauge is set to drop a bit for today’s play though, so hopefully the players won’t have to battle the elements as well as each other.
There are a few matches that catch my eye tonight and these are Fabio Fognini vs Marcel Granollers, John Isner vs Ryan Harrison and Fernando Verdasco vs Denis Istomin.
Harrison stands a decent chance at odds-against versus Isner, who has a suspect knee and is on a poor run at the moment. I can’t see the big man enjoying the heat much either if it does remain stifling out there. He has had Harrison’s number in the past, but this looks an opportunity for the 20-year-old to get back on track after a dodgy spell of his own.
Istomin also has a great chance against Verdasco, who is on a poor run of his own and I can see Istomin going close tonight at around 2.25, but surely Granollers is a great price at 1.75 to beat Fognini.
I’m very much of the school of thought that Fognini’s win over Grigor Dimitrov last night was down to fatigue and, let’s face it, a bit of a tank from the young Bulgarian, who had a big week in Brisbane and Granollers should see this as a great opportunity.
Fognini’s hard court form in general and particularly in Australia is awful and I can’t see him getting the better of Granollers on this surface in these conditions.
They have met on five previous occasions and Fogna leads 3-2, but this will be their first meeting on a hard court – all the others have been on clay, where you would expect a closer match-up. On hard I would give a big edge to Granollers and 1.75 seems like value to me.
Best Bet: Back Granollers to beat Fognini at 1.75.