The solid start to the week’s ATP betting continued on Tuesday when my two best bets were winners in Austria.
Twenty-year-old Dominic Thiem had to battle, but he held strong to take down Daniel Gimeno-Traver in three sets before Vasek Pospisil took down veteran Aussie Lleyton Hewitt in the late match.
There are several matches that catch my eye on Wednesday across the three ATP 250 events in Vienna, Moscow and Stockholm and the first up is in Sweden.
Jarkko Nieminen vs Benjamin Becker (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV FROM 11.05 BST)
The Finn considers this his home event, with no tour level tournament in Finland and he’s got a good record here, reaching the final two years ago and beating the likes of Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka and Tommy Haas at the Kungliga tennishallen.
At this time of year one needs to be on the lookout for players who are still motivated and Nieminen fits the bill, being treated like a home player in the absence of any decent Swedish players at the moment (with the exception of the returning Pim Pim Johansson).
He also has a fine record against Becker of four wins from their last five meetings. The only one that the German won was on his favourite grass surface and I can’t see the surface here in Stockholm being quick enough to aid his game in the manner he needs.
I like the minus 3.5 game handicap here on Nieminen at 2.00. He’s beaten Becker by that margin or more in their last three meetings and he’s sure to be giving it his all today.
Sergiy Stakhovsky vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 13.05 BST)
Over in Moscow at around 2pm UK time this clash between the Ukrainian and the Frenchman looks to hold some value in the former at around 1.98. Again, there’s an element of motivation here, with Stakhovsky aiming to do well in what for him is a home tournament of sorts and after performing well to defeat flavour of the month Joao Sousa in round one I expect a similar effort here.
Roger-Vasselin is very much a journeyman pro and he was made to work hard in the previous round here by young Czech prospect Jiri Vesely, who in all honesty is a touch green on hard courts to put it kindly. The layers have probably made ERV favourite here based on the head-to-head, which favours the Frenchman 3-1, but three of those matches were on clay and although it’s slow in Moscow Stako can progress here at Roger-Vasselin’s expense.
Elsewhere in Moscow, Ivo Karlovic looks very short at 1.45 against Denis Kudla in these conditions, while I wouldn’t be at all surprised if young Russian Karen Khachanov pushed the burnt out Janko Tipsarevic harder than his price of 5.20 suggests. The kid can play, as he showed by beating Albert Ramos first up here and I wouldn’t have a penny on Tipsy at 1.16 in that one.
Back in Stockholm Jerzy Janowicz could be vulnerable as favourite in his first match since losing to Maximo Gonzalez at the US Open. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez plays well on medium slow indoor surfaces and has a chance of doing some damage there, while Pablo Carreno-Busta might fancy his chances against an injured Benoit Paire.
Back Nieminen –3.5 games to beat Becker at 2.00
Back Stakhovsky to beat Roger-Vasselin at 1.98