There are five matches to dissect at the 2013 Moselle Open in Metz on Thursday, as the second round completes in this ATP 250 event.
Wednesday was a good day for my best bet of Benjamin Becker, who not only took the opening set against Benoit Paire, but put the moody Frenchman out of the tournament in straight sets - much to annoyance of the home crowd. But perhaps not to Paire himself, who returned the boos from the crowd with interest.
Conditions here in Metz seem to be suiting the bigger servers, with the likes of Albano Olivetti, Becker, Kenny De Schepper and Nicolas Mahut all through to this stage and in action today.
Again, value in Metz is pretty hard to come by, with the only outsiders worth considering being Mahut against Seppi and maybe De Schepper against Gilles Simon, who returns from injury and a break for the birth of his son today. But Mahut doesn’t look great value at 2.10 and it might be worth backing De Schepper to win a set, but I really don’t rate him much and if Simon’s fit he shouldn’t have too many problems.
Benjamin Becker vs Albano Olivetti
We did well with Benji Becker yesterday and he’s certainly a level above the limited Olivetti, whose game is built almost entirely on his serve. As ever with the Frenchman it depends on his delivery and he had a good day against the seemingly always injured Mischa Zverev to reach this stage sending down 20 aces in the process.
The conditions here suit both of these players and Becker’s serve can be equally if not more effective than Olivetti's and the German is streets ahead on the ground, although his backhand has always been slightly questionable. The wild card is highly unlikely to have the skill and dexterity to find it out though and one break of serve or maybe two will be enough for Becker here.
Olivetti’s game has time to develop of course at the age of just 21, but at the moment his only two top-100 wins came in a third set breaker over Daniel Gimeno Traver on a hard court and a similarly tough success over Denis Kudla on clay, so this would be a big win for him.
Becker has a good recent record against players ranked below him, winning 11 of his last 14 and when he has conditions to suit he can be a tough nut to crack.
The over total games in an option here, but it’s set prohibitively high and although it’s not a great price, the 1.50 about him winning today looks good to me.
Back Becker to beat Olivetti at 1.50
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