Unibet tennis expert Sean Calvert expects a slender win for Juan Martin del Potro as play continues in Rotterdam...
The first round completes and second round matches get underway on Wednesday in week seven of the 2014 ATP World Tour.
Tuesday was a day to forget, as I made the mistake (in hindsight) of choosing the wrong wager in the Mikhail Youzhny vs Igor Sijsling match in which the former was suffering with illness.
Hopefully I put some off backing Youzhny, who I said yesterday was struggling, at odds-on but I didn’t expect him to go down without a whimper.
Lukas Rosol couldn’t buy a first serve early on against Marin Cilic, who was surprisingly sprightly given his rush to get here in time, while the rain in Buenos Aires put paid to my final wager, which was postponed until today.
The stars are out in force on Wednesday at the Ahoy Stadium in Rotterdam, where Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all make an appearance.
Juan Martin Del Potro 1.45, Gael Monfils 2.65 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 12.35 GMT
Delpo takes the first steps in the defence of his ABN AMRO World Tennis title and it will be a big ask for the Argentine to do so given his tricky draw and current problems with his wrist.
Indeed this second career meeting, which could turn out to be a case of survival of the fittest, takes place a year after their first at the same venue, which was a 6-3, 6-4 win for Delpo 12 months ago in the opening round here.
Monfils always has something wrong with him and after a title winning run in Montpellier last week I’d be surprised if he isn’t carrying a few niggles, while the Argentine has again complained of wrist issues and hasn’t played since Melbourne.
Lamonf was excellent for the most part in Montpellier and fully deserved that title, but is he going to turn up in back-to-back weeks?
It seems unlikely he'll do so in a fit condition given his past record and with Delpo likely to exhibit more than a few signs of rustiness the wagers to consider here centre on a match that will likely go three sets.
With such uncertainty surrounding the condition of both men it’s worth siding with Delpo to edge this match 2-1 at the easy to back price of 3.85.
Dominic Thiem 2.25, Jarkko Nieminen 1.60 – starts at 11.05 GMT
This 12pm UK time start in Rotterdam has the look of a three setter, with the young Austrian starting to make some waves at tour level right now.
Thiem came very close to defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter finals of his most recent indoor hard tournament at tour level at home in Vienna at the end of last year and this season he’s won nine of his 11 matches, so he won’t be lacking in confidence coming into today’s clash with the veteran Finn.
The pair have met once in the past, which was indoors in Bangkok back in 2011 when Jarkko needed a 7-5 third set to defeat Thiem, who has improved considerably since then.
It has the feel of a three-setter to me, so the over 22.5 games looks good here and the 2.25 on Thiem is also worthy of a serious look.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1.43, Marin Cilic 2.70 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 19.35 GMT
With the Croatian seemingly perfectly fine after his winning run in Zagreb last week it’s worth looking at the betting options on Cilic to cause the often slow to start Tsonga some problems early on in this 8pm UK time clash.
I’m still entertaining some doubts about Marin’s stamina, so I’ll avoid the outright win bet at 2.70, but he is still in with a very decent chance of taking down Tsonga here.
I have a suspicion that Tsonga will have one eye on Marseille next week where he’s defending at home and the stodgy courts here don’t suit him that well in my view compared with those he’ll play on in France.
Cilic leads the career series 2-1 in tour level matches and has improved his serve since their last meeting on slow outdoor hard in Miami when the Croat won 7-5, 7-6 a year ago and Tsonga looks short here with Marin’s confidence at a high.
The wagers on my shortlist here are the first set to Cilic at 2.45, which seems a good odds-against choice or the +1.5 sets, which I would rate as a solid bet at 1.60.
Back Del Potro to beat Monfils 2-1 at 3.85
Back over 22.5 games in Thiem/Nieminen at 1.90
Back Cilic +1.5 sets to beat Tsonga at 1.60