The final week of the 2015 ATP World Tour calendar is upon us and the players head to Paris in week 44 for the BNP Paribas Masters in Bercy.
We signed off from a good week in Valencia and Basel with a winner for the ‘value bet’ thanks to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal not playing a tie break in the final of the Swiss Indoors.
Those who took my suggestions in the Valencia Open final would also have profited, as Joao Sousa took the title there in a three set victory over Roberto Bautista-Agut.
We head to the Palais Omnisports in Bercy this week for more indoor tennis in slow conditions in the final Masters 1000 of the season and last tournament of the regular calendar, with only the World Tour Finals and Davis Cup left in 2015 after this week.
At this tournament last year there were 10 underdog winners in total, of which four were in round one, where Lucas Pouille’s 3.85 win over Ivo Karlovic was the pick.
It’s a really tricky-looking day on in Bercy on Monday, with 10 matches on the card, and 13 of the players involved on day one have losing records at this tournament.
Only two (Gael Monfils and Grigor Dimitrov) have winning records, while Dominic Thiem is 1-1, and four have never played in the main draw in Bercy.
Add to that equation the fact that the likes of Fabio Fognini, Bernard Tomic, Monfils and Benoit Paire are facing each other and you have one tough day’s betting in prospect.
There’s nothing remotely fitting for the ‘sure thing’ category today (with the possible exception of Dimitrov) and so I’ll take just two bets to start with on Monday.
Pablo Cuevas vs Andreas Seppi
Seppi’s season has faded away really badly, with zero wins since the US Open and he has a poor record here in Bercy, with five wins and eight losses in his career.
The Italian has only once won two matches in a row at this tournament and he hasn’t won a match on indoor hard since March – and that was in Davis Cup against Andrey Golubev.
After making the Zagreb final indoors in February he’s gone 2-4 on indoor hard and it’s hard to see what his motivation is here after a weak ending to the 2015 campaign.
Perhaps securing a seeded spot for Melbourne, but with the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Steve Johnson, Joao Sousa, Gilles Muller and Philipp Kohlschreiber not playing this week that seeding seems safe for the Italian.
Cuevas has a fine record in the opening round of indoor hard tournaments, with 10 wins from his 12 matches at tour level, and he’s played reasonably well indoors over the last month or so.
He defeated Seppi in their most recent career clash on clay in Umag last season very comfortably and he looks decent value as a 2.15 underdog in this 12:00 UK time clash on Monday.
Leonardo Mayer vs Martin Klizan
This is one of the many horrible-looking clashes on the card for Monday, but we might be able to make this pay for us by taking an unders double in two of the matches that look like they might be feebly contested.
Klizan was utterly dire in his last match against Steve Johnson in Valencia last week and he looks like he’s just here at this mandatory event as a stop-off on his way to a holiday.
Prior to that the Slovak was thrashed by Fognini in Beijing and after splitting with coach Martin Damm in August he’s looked a little lost, with Dominik Hrbaty unavailable to coach him full-time until next season.
So, it’s highly likely that he’s just having a swing until then, which might explain his display against Johnson, but he does bring a 3-0 head-to-head over Mayer into this 18:00 UK time match.
Mayer retired here a year ago against Cuevas and he hasn’t beaten a top-200 player on the tour since Montreal in August on a poor run that’s seen him latterly lose to Teimuraz Gabashvili in Basel and I sense another holiday-seeker here.
A quick win for either man seems likely and it also appears that Alexandr Dolgopolov is here for the round one cheque after retiring last week in Basel and there’s been a big move on opponent Jiri Vesely overnight, which would make sense.
Dolgo has a 1-4 record here and with a swift loss seeming likely the under 22.5 games in both matches looks the call and would pay at odds of 3.37.
Last year in round one in Bercy only five of the 16 matches went to three sets (and one of those ended in retirement) and unders could be a good play generally today looking at the list of names on the schedule.
Value bet: Back Cuevas to beat Seppi at 2.15
Long shot: Back under 22.5 games in Vesely/Dolgopolov & Klizan/Mayer at 3.37