There’s a full schedule of matches on day two of the 2016 grass court swing on Tuesday in Rosmalen and Stuttgart on the ATP World Tour.
We kicked off the grass season with a handy 2.28 winner on Monday at the Mercedes Cup when Sam Groth and Ilya Marchenko went past the 10.5 games mark in their opening set.
And those on the same bet in the Sam Querrey vs Benjamin Becker as a single would have enjoyed a 2.43 winner there, but the ‘long shot’ double was unlucky, as Ernesto Escobedo failed by one game to land the overs.
That one looked a likely winner when the American had set point in the opener and after that set went to a tie break, but Escobedo, having faced only one break point in set one, was broken both times he faced a break point in set two.
It’s a busy day on Tuesday, with 17 matches across our two ATP 250 tournaments, and there are plenty of options for all three types of wager today.
Feliciano Lopez vs Mikhail Youzhny
The Spaniard didn’t have the best of seasons on the grass last year for a change, with early losses in Stuttgart, Queen’s, Nottingham and Wimbledon, but this clash with old foe Youzhny should get him off to a better start this time around.
Youzhny is far from the force of old and has won only two of his last 19 matches against top-50 ranked opposition going all the way back to the last time he faced Lopez, which was in Shanghai back in 2014.
He won his first 17 matches this season, but 15 of them were at Challenger level, and since he’s been back at Tour level the Russian hasn’t managed back-to-back wins since February.
Youzhny has won only one of his last seven matches on grass stretching back to 2013 and that was a success at Wimbledon against the very limited James Ward, so unlike Lopez he’s not returning to a favourite surface here.
Lopez has won six of the eight career meetings between the pair and although they’ve hardly been convincing successes the Spaniard really should be getting his grass swing off to a successful start in this one, despite being involved in a winning doubles campaign at the French Open that ended on Saturday.
He has a 10-2 record on grass at main level as a 1.30 to 1.40 favourite, with the two defeats coming at Wimbledon, to Jarkko Nieminen in 2012 and to Karol Beck in 2009.
Robin Haase vs Gilles Muller
Both of these men were semi finalists in Rosmalen a year ago and to my mind Muller has been put in far too short for this 13:30 clash in Haase’s Netherlands backyard.
The big Luxembourger has had a poor time of it after ending his coaching relationship with Jamie Delgado, who now sits in Camp Murray, after the Australian Open and he’s won only five main level matches since.
He was recently reported to have been in discussions with Benjamin Balleret to become his new coach, while wrist tendonitis has been a problem for Muller in recent times.
All told he’s not had a good year and he hasn’t won on the tour since Indian Wells, so 1.44 seems very short in a first career meeting with an opponent playing at home in a tournament he did well in last year.
Haase can play on grass and it took eventual champion Nicolas Mahut to beat him in 2015 in a three-set semi final after Haase had beaten Ivo Karlovic, so he can handle big servers on this surface too.
He’s won 10 of his last 14 against lefties, including the likes of Lopez and Verdasco, so all told I’m not sure where this price comes from on Muller, who has never made a final on grass and has only made three quarter finals on it.
At 2.80 for the win I’m siding with the Dutchman here as today’s ‘value bet’.
Inigo Cervantes vs Igor Sijsling
Haase is as much of a risk as I’m willing to take on Dutchmen on Tuesday, with his compatriot Sijsling looking rather short in price at 1.34 considering that he hasn’t won a main level match on grass since 2013.
He managed a few very tight wins in Wimbledon qualies last year and I was there in Roehampton when he ‘beat’ Paul-Henri Mathieu, who could barely stand up due to injury at the time.
Sijsling has had a rotten time of it since reaching 52 in the world over two years ago and hasn’t even won a set on grass at main level since losing to Michael Russell in Newport in the summer of 2013.
Indeed, he’s only played 20 matches on grass in his career at main level, and he’s done nothing at this tournament other than get walloped 6-0, 6-1 by David Ferrer a few years ago.
Going further, Sijsling has won only four of his last 23 matches at main level against top-100 ranked opposition and one of those was by retirement and another by virtual retirement of a hobbled Tommy Haas.
His price today is about the lack of experience on grass of Cervantes, but Spaniards tend to do well here in Rosmalen, where the ball bounces higher than other skiddier grass surfaces, and the 1.76 on Cervantes +1.5 sets can be doubled with another outsider to take a set.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert has the game for an early season grass court like the one in Stuttgart and he can rush Philipp Kohlschreiber into a few mistakes in their 15:00 UK time clash in the Mercedes Cup.
The last and only previous time this pair have met was also on grass in Germany and Kohlschreiber won it comfortably, but PHH was 135 in the world back then in 2014 and this should be a good test for Kohlschreiber.
He does have a very good record in Germany, but the attacking style of Herbert causes problems for many a top player and Kohlschreiber is a notoriously slow starter and comes here on the back of a round one loss at the French Open.
The 2-1 win to Kohlschreiber is an alternative ‘long shot’ at 3.65, but I’ll stick with the 3.20 about Herbert and Cervantes taking a set apiece.
Another one in with a chance of at least a set is Tatsuma Ito, who can play a bit on grass, and is a 3.20 shot to beat Ivan Dodig, who I watched lose to Horacio Zeballos on that same day at Wimbledon qualies as Sijsling/Mathieu last summer.
On this slower grass I’d be wary of backing Dodig at that sort of price and Ito has a good shot of taking at least a set there.
Sure thing: Back Lopez to beat Youzhny at 1.37
Value bet: Back Haase to beat Muller at 2.80
Long shot: Back Cervantes +1.5 sets and Herbert +1.5 sets at 3.20