The finals of our two ATP 250 grass court events on week 25 of the ATP World Tour are all set for Saturday in Eastbourne and Rosmalen, with Wimbledon starting in two days' time.
Richard Gasquet vs Feliciano Lopez
If you believed everything that comes out of the Gasman’s mouth and had a bet on it you’d be in deep financial bother by now.
Dickie, after moaning and whining to the point of “I feel pain constantly,” and “it’s always there in my mind when I play,” earlier this week after a series of back then shoulder problems, is now saying “I have no injuries, no pain,” and we’re meant to act on this information, apparently.
So, there you have it. He was virtually unable to hit a ball last week due to the sheer physical and mental agony and now he’s absolutely fine. Gasquet is sailing dangerously close the Simona Halep award for bad injury information.
As if that wasn’t bad enough this walking miracle now faces Feli Lopez in the Eastbourne final, with the defending champion having played two matches yesterday due to the rain delay the previous day.
Lopez, to his credit, isn’t saying anything, but he must be a bit tired after a long run to the final at Queen’s and now all this tennis in a short space of time here.
The Spaniard’s awful record of 0-5 against Gasquet and the assumed fatigue have made Gasquet a 1.62 favourite today and although it’s a little short it seems to be the sensible move given the circumstances.
Dickie has always had a read on the Lopez serve and if you’re backing Feli today it’s on the assumption that his game will prove too tricky on this particular surface, which is one on which none of their five career meetings have been played on in the past.
That might well be the case, but I like Gasquet’s return game and surely the fatigue will blunt the Lopez serve just enough to swing this one in the Frenchman’s favour.
My concern with Gasquet this week was this supposedly major injury problem, but I’m sure we can all believe him when he says he’s now fine. Can’t we?
The minus 1.5 games on Gasquet looks decent here at 1.85 looks the one to be on.
Roberto Bautista-Agut vs Benjamin Becker
Over in Rosmalen regular Twitter followers will know that I’m on Bautista-Agut outright at a nice price this week, so I’m not sure I can be 100% objective about the Topshelf Open final today.
My man takes on Benjamin Becker, who took down my bet of yesterday Joao Sousa, who got going far too late and let the German off the hook in the second set of that match.
The Portuguese had set points for set two and I felt that he would have had a big chance in a decider, but Becker’s serve helped him over the line.
As for RBA, well, he’s in the same boat as his fellow Spaniard Lopez after playing two matches and five-and-a-half sets on Friday due to the rain delays in Rosmalen.
He first took down Nicolas Mahut in three before just about coming out on top against Jurgen Melzer in a final set tie break after another rain delay, so this one has an element of fitness in in too.
RBA is a fit guy and Becker was also feeling it yesterday after a tough day previously against Vasek Pospisil and I think Baustisa-Agut has a decent chance today.
I said yesterday that the courts here are slow and suit the likes of Sousa and RBA and Becker will need his serve to be at its peak today to win, as he’s not as solid off the ground.
He does have good grass court smarts though and with RBA looking for his first title and Becker after his first since here back in 2009 it could be an edgy one.
Finals here of late have been very one-sided, with every one since 2007 being completed in two straight sets – and not very competitive ones either – with the last both being 6-3, 6-4.
I’ll be having a bit on Becker as cover, but if you’re not involved the under 22.5 looks decent at 2.00.
Back Gasquet –1.5 games to beat Lopez at 1.85