The second round of matches are the order of the day in Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday in this week’s two ATP 250 tournaments.
And surely the sour luck we endured yesterday won’t continue after two very frustrating outcomes were the result of Tuesday’s wagers at the Shenzhen Open.
Firstly, Maxi Gonzalez lost the opening set against Andreas Seppi on a tie break, having failed with all four break point opportunities and faced none himself.
To follow, Martin Klizan won the first set against Viktor Troicki and then managed to record just one further game in his favour before retiring with a wrist injury in the final set.
Wednesday’s card in Shenzhen features four second round matches, while at the Malaysian Open there are six matches on the schedule and we start at 06:00 at both venues.
Tommy Robredo vs Samuel Groth
I’m not convinced about Robredo’s intent in these kinds of tournaments at the back end of his career and along with his poor record against big servers this could be an upset waiting to happen.
Since making the final of the China Open in 2007 and the quarters of the same event a year later Robredo has a best of two third rounds in all his visits to Asia since.
He’s been beaten in either round one or round two in every tournament in Asia since 2009 and I can’t see this ATP 250 event being too high on his agenda for what remains of a gruelling season.
The Spaniard doesn’t often enjoy the big servers and Groth certainly falls into that category and it’s worth chancing the Aussie to win set one here at 2.55.
Having never faced Groth before Robredo may take a while to figure his serve out – if he fancies the job at all that is in this 12.30pm UK time start in Shenzhen.
My second bet is a tough choice between siding with Joao Sousa in Kuala Lumpur or Gilles Muller in Shenzhen.
Sousa has been given an extra day by the organisers and will be last of the first round matches to play after the defending champion was a late arrival after Metz last week.
It’s still quite a tough ask though and I just prefer taking a chance on Muller instead.
Gilles Muller vs Richard Gasquet
Muller won the Challenger tournament here in Shenzhen on week 17 of the season, beating the likes of Yen Hsun Lu and Lukas Lacko, so conditions here clearly suit him.
He may also be facing a less than fit Gasquet after the Frenchman withdrew from the doubles here citing an elbow injury.
Muller has also won his last two matches against Gasquet, so the lefty from Luxembourg will fancy his chances in this 08:00 UK time clash.
The world number 60 has had one match to get himself used to the conditions and he should be able to at least put some pressure on Gasquet today – whether or not the Gasman is injured.
Again, the set one to the underdog is tempting at 2.50, but with a possible fitness issue with Gasquet the 2.80 on Muller outright is probably the one.
Elsewhere, I like Simone Bolelli’s chances of winning the all-Italian affair with Andreas Seppi, but he’s a little short in price and in Kuala Lumpur there’s every chance that Pablo Cuevas can back up his win over Jurgen Melzer with one over Ivan Dodig.
At a very big price Rajeev Ram is worth considering against Kei Nishikori, whose motivation here may not be that great after the US Open and before Tokyo next week.
Back Groth to win set one at 2.55
Back Muller to beat Gasquet at 2.80