The grass court swing began with one winner from my two bets in London and Halle on Monday and there are another 22 matches to look at on Tuesday on week 24 of the ATP Tour.
I said yesterday that I wouldn’t count Pierre-Hugues Herbert out of his match with Jerzy Janowicz in Halle, and although we were a little fortunate to land the set one overs, in the end it proved to be too tough for JJ, who went out to the Frenchman in straight sets.
My other bet of Aljaz Bedene was the victim of a surprisingly clutch display by Paul-Henri Mathieu at Queen’s, with the Frenchman standing firm to come out on top in two tight sets.
Gael Monfils 1.33 Benjamin Becker 3.20
I have to take Lamonf on here, with big-serving, grass-loving veteran Becker, who is at his best at this time of the year.
Gael is not bad on the grass, but Becker lives for this time of the year and made the quarter finals at Queen’s 12 months ago, beating Alex Dolgopolov, Bernard Tomic and Lukas Rosol before running into eventual champion Andy Murray and playing him tough.
Indeed, Becker also drew Murray first up at Wimbledon last year and Marcos Baghdatis in Nottingham last week, with Baggy going on to land the title there, so his luck could have been better in grass court draws lately.
Becker won that Nottingham title himself last year and he’s also a former winner at Rosmalen and semi finalist here and Newport, so this is a specialist on this surface.
Monfils has won all four of their career meetings, but they have been far from easy and this is their first clash on the grass.
The opening set over 9.5 games would have been successful in three of their four past meetings and neither will be easy to break today on grass, so that looks good at 1.70.
And the 1.85 about Becker +3.5 games or +1.5 sets at the same price also appeal here, as does the set one to the German at 2.75.
The transition from clay, where Lamonf made the semis in Paris, to grass is tough and Becker should have enough to cover the +3.5 games here.
Tommy Haas has withdrawn from Halle with yet another recurrence of that shoulder problem that at 36-years-old looks set to finish the German’s career and he should be replaced by huge serving Frenchman Albano Olivetti – assuming he’s signed in as a lucky loser.
Over at Queen’s on Tuesday there are another 15 matches on their card and after unexpectedly getting sunburnt watching Aljaz Bedene yesterday the weather should be good at Baron’s Court again today.
David Goffin 2.60 Dominic Thiem 1.48
It’s surely a fairly substantial risk siding with Thiem here, as the Austrian has never played a senior match on grass so far in his career.
The last time that young sensation Thiem set foot on a grass court was in Wimbledon juniors back in 2011 when he lost in the third round to Julien Cagnina (now ranked 414).
He’s played just four matches on the green stuff then lifetime, winning two, but with the last being three years ago and never having faced a senior pro on a grass court the 1.48 about him winning this seems very poor value.
Thiem’s confidence will have taken a small dent after being schooled by Rafa Nadal at the French and Goffin isn’t going to make this an easy transition for the clay-loving Austrian.
The Belgian did beat Thiem on a hard court in their only career meeting earlier this year in Acapulco and he has beaten Tomic on grass although his results haven’t been good generally on it.
He played a decent match when overmatched against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon last year and his experience is far in excess of Thiem’s so for me the first set to Goffin looks good at 2.35, as we don’t know how Dominic will adapt to this surface.
Back Becker +3.5 games to beat Monfils at 1.85
Back Goffin to win set one vs Thiem at 2.35