The finals of our three ATP 250 tournaments in week five of the 2015 ATP World Tour are in play on Sunday, with titles up for grabs in Montpellier, Zagreb and Quito.
The lights went out in Quito on Saturday in a prolonged day’s play in Ecuador due to rain and a dodgy electricity meter and it wasn’t an overly bright day of betting, with one winner from my three picks.
Over total games came in pretty comfortably in the Jerzy Janowicz/Joao Sousa match in Montpellier, before Gael Monfils was edged out by Richard Gasquet at the same venue.
At the Zagreb Indoors tournament Marcel Granollers had his chances to take the opener against Andreas Seppi, but ended up losing it in a tie break before fading away very tamely in set two.
Jerzy Janowicz vs Richard Gasquet
Illness – either real or imagined – was a bit of a factor in Gasquet’s win over a perhaps ailing Monfils in Montpellier on Saturday and it seems to be an issue again ahead of Sunday’s final.
Janowicz, having toughed out the win over Sousa, has reportedly been suffering with a fever and according to his dad he only slept for a few hours before the clash with the Portuguese.
JJ and the Gasman met here a year ago in the semi finals when the Frenchman came out on top in two tie breaks and assuming that the Pole had a bit more sleep last night he should be able to make it tough for Gasquet again.
Conditions do favour the first strike tennis of Janowicz and Gasquet’s natural reaction is to defend, which allows the Pole to have a puncher’s chance in this one, with several markets appealing.
The pair have played out three tie breaks in their last five sets against each other, with one coming on the clay of Rome in 2013 in a match that Janowicz won.
Today’s quote of 2.10 about there being a tie break in the match seems pretty reasonable on that basis and the 2.67 about Janowicz taking the opener is also a decent choice.
Having failed to win an ATP World Tour title so far Janowicz will surely be up for this one no matter how little sleep he’s had and I’ll take the Pole to at least force a breaker today.
Andreas Seppi vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
The head-to-head in this one is hugely in favour of Seppi, who has won all five career clashes with Garcia-Lopez and the last nine sets between them have all gone the way of the Italian.
They haven’t met for over three years though and this will be an edgy one, with Seppi looking for his first title since Moscow back in 2012 and GGL seeking his first on indoor hard since Bangkok in 2010.
Both players hold a 3-3 mark in Tour level finals and to me this has the feel of a tight, nervy affair about it, with today’s ‘sure thing’ being the over 19.5 total games at 1.31.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it went over 28.5 at 3.30 either, but the safe bet looks to be the over 19.5.
Feliciano Lopez vs Victor Estrella Burgos
Only one place to go for today’s ‘long shot’ and that’s to side with the underdog here at a tempting 2.95 and playing in conditions that loves.
The veteran from the Dominican Republic has enjoyed pretty much all of his success playing in South America at altitude and he knows what it takes to beat Lopez too, having defeated him in their only career meeting.
That match took place in Washington DC on hard courts last summer and although conditions are very different today it still shows that the underdog is up to the task today.
The altitude does help the serve of Lopez, but any slip in his level on serve will be pounced on by Estrella, who is playing his maiden ATP World Tour final today at the age of 34.
Estrella took down another lefty in Thomaz Bellucci on Saturday and will have had more rest than Lopez after the delays, so there’s enough in this to side with the outsider today.
Sure thing: Back over 19.5 total games in Seppi/Garcia-Lopez at 1.31
Value bet: Back over 0.5 tie breaks in Janowicz/Gasquet at 2.10
Long shot: Back Estrella Burgos to beat Lopez at 2.95