There was some pretty poor fortune emanating from the grounds of the Monte-Carlo Country Club on Tuesday, as my 5.80 long shot was beaten with victory in sight.
Andreas Seppi was a break up on Tommy Robredo in their decider at 4-2 and a 1.12 shot to win and land the 2-1 set betting wager before losing the last four games to his Spanish nemesis.
That was hard to take, but at least those on the overs and three sets would have enjoyed an easy winner on a day where my other selections fared better than my final choices.
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman failed against Jeremy Chardy, where my other two value bet suggestions of over 9.5 games in the first sets of the Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga matches were successful, as was the +1.5 sets on Lamonf’s opponent Andrey Kuznetsov.
At least my ‘sure thing’ treble came in with few concerns, as Gilles Simon, David Ferrer and Novak Djokovic (2-0) all won and we have a dozen matches on the card for Wednesday, as round two completes.
Tommy Robredo vs Marcel Granollers
Robredo just managed to edge out Seppi, as mentioned earlier, but he should have a bit more of a comfortable day against Granollers in this 09:30 UK time start on Wednesday.
Granollers took full advantage of a fatigued Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday to record his first win in seven matches, but a typically forthright Mannarino said after the match: “After three or four games I felt physically as though I did not care. I was not really on the court. I'm too flat.”
So, the value of that win may not amount to much and Granollers has never won two matches in a row in the main draw of the Monte-Carlo Masters, with the Mannarino win improving his record to 3-6 here.
This pair of Spaniards have never met on tour, but after coming through that Seppi battle I’d be surprised if Robredo didn’t kick on and ease past Granollers, who has won just one of his last 17 against top-20 opponents.
The other short-priced shots today look a bit sketchy in what will for many be their first matches on clay for some time.
There are plenty of options for decent ‘value bets’ today though, with David Goffin, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Juan Monaco, Fabio Fognini and Alexandr Dolgopolov all having chances as underdogs.
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Roberto Bautista-Agut
The price on Kohlschreiber looks a tad generous to me here and could well have been influenced by a couple of factors.
One is RBA’s crushing win over Kohlschreiber’s fellow German Benjamin Becker in round one here and the other is the assumption that Bautista-Agut must favour clay, as he’s from Spain.
Becker is terrible on clay, while RBA has reached finals on hard, indoor hard, grass and clay and to my mind would prefer a quicker surface to allow his flat hits to take full effect.
RBA has never been past the last-32 here, while Kohlschreiber has a good record here and the slow conditions allow him time to use his long backswings to good effect.
Kohlschreiber, after a slow start, played pretty well against Mikhail Kukushkin in round one and he’s entitled to think he’ll improve from that at a venue where he’s only been beaten by top-10 players.
The German also crushed Bautista-Agut in their only career meeting in Davis Cup last season and for me RBA is too short in price today in the circumstances.
There are a few big prices that I like the look of today, not least the 2-1 to Gilles Simon in the all-French affair against Benoit Paire at 4.10 in a clash that has ‘decider’ written all over it.
Roger Federer vs Jeremy Chardy
I was happy to take Chardy on yesterday with Schwartzman and the Frenchman did well to get past the Argentine in straight sets and he can kick on from that and test Federer in this 13:00 UK time match.
The fact that Federer is playing his first match on clay since receiving a drubbing from Gael Monfils in the Davis Cup final is a big plus for Chardy, who has never failed to take at least a set from the Swiss.
In each of their three clashes – on clay, hard and indoor hard – Chardy has been very competitive and he did beat Federer on clay at the Rome Masters last season.
Chardy’s attacking game – if it’s firing and not peppering the back fence – does cause Fed problems and if he serves as well as he can this could be a test for the world number two.
I expected Schwartzman to coax enough errors out of Chardy to take a set, but that didn’t happen and this will be a totally different match, with both trying to play on the front foot and dominate.
Federer’s substantially better temperament and extra class under pressure should see him through, but the 4.50 about it being in three sets looks the call.
Sure thing: Back Robredo to beat Granollers at 1.3
Value bet: Back Kohlschreiber to beat Bautista-Agut at 2.12
Long shot: Back Federer to beat Chardy 2-1 at 4.50