We signed off from week 24 of the ATP World Tour with a couple of winners on Sunday and the grass swing continues in Nottingham in week 25 with the AEGON Open 2015.
Andy Murray completed our ‘sure thing’ double left over from Saturday when he put paid to my chances of landing the 66-1 outright shot on Kevin Anderson at Queen’s, while my ‘value bet’ was also successful.
The 2.25 about there being a tie break in the Roger Federer vs Andreas Seppi clash in the Halle final came good in the opening set of an entertaining match that was competitive and no easy ride for the Swiss.
We head to the East Midlands this week and a new event for the tour staged in the extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon this season and it sees the return of top class men’s tennis to the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Replacing Eastbourne in the schedule this ATP 250 event on grass can see matches sometimes played on the indoor hard courts if the weather poses a problem, so it’s something to bear in mind when betting this week.
Sam Groth vs Mischa Zverev
To me this looks the best opportunity of Monday in terms of a value bet, with the 2.16 about over 10.5 games in set one looking good in this 14:00 approx. UK time encounter.
I’m on Groth on the outright this week and the last opponent I wanted him to draw when the qualifiers were finally completed last night was Zverev, who has been in great form on grass of late.
The perennially injured German seems to be in good health and fitness at the moment for a change and his lefty game is very effective on grass, as he showed both in Stuttgart and here in qualies.
Never the best of returners Groth is down the ranking again for 2015 in the ‘return games won’ category on grass, with only two won from 42 (five percent) so far.
Zverev fares much better, with a healthy 22 percent of his opponents’ return games won on grass in 2015, but he hasn’t faced a really big server on grass yet this swing.
Groth has won 90 percent of his service games so far on grass in 2015, while Zverev has won 94 percent, and this one has ‘tie break’ written all over it.
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman vs Aljaz Bedene
Newly assimilated Brit Bedene should be very much up for this one in front of his home fans and he couldn’t have asked for a much better draw against an opponent who has never played a match on grass in his career.
Schwartzman’s feeble serve can surely be easily attacked on grass and I can’t imagine the diminutive Argentine is really looking forward to or is bothered by this swing of the tour.
Bedene can play on grass and he’s also beaten Schwartzman on clay in their two previous career meetings, so there isn’t a lot going for the Argentine in this one.
Another option I considered was Dudi Sela, who plays Daniel Gimeno-Traver, and the Spaniard’s loss to Fernando Verdasco in Rosmalen a fortnight ago made it 15 defeats from 17 matches at main level on grass.
Sela is not exactly one to trust though and I prefer Bedene today as a ‘sure thing’ at 1.26.
Leonardo Mayer vs Hyeon Chung
New sensation Chung looks to me like he’ll be up against it with the big-hitting Mayer in this 16:00 UK time start.
The 19-year-old made the Wimbledon Juniors final on grass in 2013, beating the likes of Nick Kyrgios and Borna Coric en route to that title match, but since then he’s played only three matches on the green stuff.
He beat Albert Ramos yesterday in round one, but Ramos is 1-5 on grass in his career at main level, and this is a much tougher test and one I expect to be too much for him at this stage of his career.
Mayer has a good game for grass, with a big serve and power off both wings, and Chung will do very well to be able to rush Mayer, which you need to do to expose the Argentine’s long backswings.
It might be a three-setter, with this being Mayer’s grass debut in 2015, but I like the -2.5 games at 1.97 as one part of a ‘long shot’ double.
Part two is for Yen-Hsun Lu to beat Ruben Bemelmans -2.5 games to make a 3.60 double.
Lu has done well in the past both on grass and during the week ahead of a major and he should be too good for Belgian qualifier Bemelmans, who rarely plays on the green stuff at main level and comes up short by and large.
Bemelmans has won only two of 18 matches against the top-50 and four of 23 against the top-65, and on grass he’s won only three of 10.
In qualies here he had a good draw against two low-ranked Brits and dropped a set to 532-ranked Dan Smethurst yesterday and Lu played well at Queen’s last week.
Lu lost out to Murray at Queen’s 4-6, 5-7, which is not bad at all, and he’s won his last five on grass against players ranked outside the top-50 going back to 2013.
Sure thing: Back Bedene to beat Schwartzman at 1.26
Value bet: Back over 10.5 games in set one of Groth/Zverev at 2.16
Long shot: Back Mayer -2.5 games and Lu -2.5 games at 3.60