Week one of the 2015 ATP World Tour continues on Wednesday at our three ATP 250 tournaments, with 16 matches scheduled in Brisbane, Doha and Chennai.
Tuesday was a bumper day for this column, with all three of my best bets proving successful, as Ricardas Berankis, Blaz Kavcic and Jan-Lennard Struff were all victorious.
Indeed, those who took a couple of my other suggestions of Sam Groth and Elias Ymer would also have profited on those two underdogs on a pleasing day of tennis betting.
But the biggest priced winner of the day came in Doha when veteran German journeyman Michael Berrer took down Rafa Nadal from a set behind.
There are plenty of short priced favourites on offer on Wednesday and it was a tough choice to decide upon the most solid of these, with Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, David Goffin all under consideration.
Richard Gasquet vs Simone Bolelli
In the end I’ve opted for Gasquet to fulfil the role of the ‘sure thing’ on Wednesday and the Frenchman should enjoy this match-up against an opponent he’s beaten four times from four in the past.
Gasqet has been working on coming forward to the net more, which is what most observers have been crying out for him to do for years, but he may not do much of that today in what’s likely to be a baseline battle that the Gasman should win.
The inconsistent Bolelli played very well against Benjamin Becker in his first round in Doha, but he rarely performs well back-to-back and Gasquet should get too many balls back and make the Italian hit one ball too many in the rallies.
Gasquet has a 37-8 record as favourite in the last two seasons, while Bolelli has lost his last 17 matches on hard courts against top-30 ranked opposition stretching back to 2008.
Martin Klizan vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
Perhaps not one to pawn the family silver to have a bet on, but this 01:00 UK time clash between two of the games brightest attacking talents – and most frustrating campaigners – could go the way of the improving Klizan as underdog.
The Slovak claims to be operating at 100 percent again after a wrist injury hampered some of his progress last season and his lefty game could prove a problem for Dolgo, who lost his only previous clash with Klizan and has lost all three against a similar style of player in Fernando Verdasco.
Dolgo’s win percentage is slightly poorer against lefties in his career and with Klizan having emerged successful in a typically up and down match against Jurgen Melzer in round one he should be well versed with conditions here.
The Ukrainian’s win over Carlos Berlocq may not amount to much, taking into account the Argentine’s poor record in these conditions and I would make this match closer than the odds on Klizan of 2.50 suggest.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs Borna Coric
This will be a very interesting match to watch, with the burgeoning talent of 18-year-old Coric up against a man who won his maiden Slam and the Davis Cup last season.
It was a strange old year of peaks and troughs for Wawrinka, who was pretty woeful at times in between the Australian Open and the end of the campaign in a season in which he lost as favourite 13 times.
The likes of Andrey Golubev, Tatsuma Ito, Dominic Thiem and Mikhail Kukushkin are just some of the players who beat Stan last season and it would be no real shock for the talented Coric to add his name to that list.
The Croatian isn’t lacking in confidence, with a stated goal of world number one and he somewhat cheekily said yesterday: When I'm at my best I am more like Djokovic game-wise, when I'm not, I'm more like Murray.”
He probably didn’t mean that to sound as it does, but he won’t be overawed here after beating Rafa Nadal at the end of last season and taking Robin Haase apart in round one here and he could well catch Wawrinka cold here in his opening match of the year.
Sure thing: Back Gasquet to beat Bolelli at 1.27
Long shot: Back Coric to beat Wawrinka at 3.15
Value bet: Back Klizan to beat Dolgopolov at 2.50