The remaining first round matches and the start of the second round is the order of the day in St Petersburg on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s bets were unsuccessful, as Daniel Gimeno Traver’s bid to make the second round was hampered by injury in a three-set loss, while Adrian Mannarino was simply awful in his defeat to Evgeny Donskoy.
There are nine matches on the card today in this ATP 250 event and some of the bigger names are in action including Janko Tipsarevic, Fernando Verdasco and Mikhail Youzhny.
Plenty of players in action in Russia today have been on Davis Cup duty at the weekend and amongst those who may well be most fatigued are Joao Sousa, who lost a marathon five setter on Sunday, Tipsarevic, who also went the distance and Verdasco, who played both singles rubbers for Spain.
Fernando Verdasco vs Sergiy Stakhovsky
This pair were on opposite sides at the weekend in Davis Cup and it’s fair to say that Verdasco came out on top, as Spain defeated the Ukraine 5-0 to remain the World Group of that particular competition.
Both will have the issue of changing from quick clay at altitude to this slow indoor surface, and in these circumstances it’s hard to see the Spaniard having an easy time of it against an opponent who is a former winner of this tournament.
Stakhovsky’s efforts in Madrid amounted to little, as he received a drubbing from Rafa Nadal in three quick sets, while Verdasco played twice that amount in his two singles rubbers and I can’t see this tournament being high on his priority list with the Asian swing just around the corner.
The pair have met on one previous occasion, in which Verdasco was a narrow winner on clay in Nice back in 2010, but in these conditions I like Stakhovsky’s chances of at least taking a set here, so the 1.75 about him with a 1.5 set start appeals in this 3pm UK time clash.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs Mikhail Youzhny
The Spaniard has a fine record against the Russian and it’s worth an investment in GGL to grab a set here against the tournament favourite.
Youzhny had to go the distance in his previous round against Aslan Karatsev and has always struggled with the game of the Spaniard.
Garcia Lopez leads the head-to-heads 5-1 and Youzhny’s sole win came here last year, but even then GGL won one set 6-0 and went on to win their most recent encounter on the clay of Hamburg. The slow, high bouncing conditions here in St Petersburg should suit Guillermo and Mikhail won’t be looking forward to this one. The 1.85 about GGL with a 1.5 set start looks worthy of a wager here.
There are plenty of other matches that interest me in Russia today and they include Ricardas Berankis to continue Lukas Rosol’s miserable run of form in the 10am match and I was thinking about Konstantin Kravchuk over Horacio Zeballos, but not at odds-on.
Sousa looks vulnerable too, but I’m not sure I’d trust Paulo Lorenzi to do the job and I’m tempted by siding with Albert Ramos to return to form against Michal Przysiezny, who has retired three times in his last five matches and has been on Davis Cup duty.
Back Stakhovsky +1.5 sets to beat Verdasco at 1.75
Back Garcia-Lopez +1.5 sets to beat Youzhny at 1.85
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