Round one completes and round two begins on Wednesday at the Moselle Open and St. Petersburg Open, with plenty of matches on the card for us to evaluate today.
And hopefully injury won’t play as big a part as it did on Tuesday in Metz when Paul-Henri Mathieu suffered an Achilles injury against Martin Klizan and retired after being a set and a break ahead early on.
Long shot Kenny De Schepper failed to use his big advantage on serve against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who I still think was too short in that match, given his awful record against big servers.
We have seven matches scheduled for Metz and eight in St.Petersburg, where they start at 10:00 UK time with an intriguing clash between a slumping Spaniard and an up and coming young Aussie.
Marcel Granollers vs Thanasi Kokkinakis
Granollers has been on an alarming slump for some time now and last time out was beaten on clay by world number 239 Giovanni Lapentti at the Barranquilla Challenger.
The Spaniard has largely been playing at that lower level since the French Open, but he’s played half a dozen of them now without making a single final and he has won only two of his last 11 versus top-100 opposition.
And one of those was by way of retirement, so he’s coming here in no sort of form and changing surfaces after that clay event in Colombia and his last match on indoor hard was in Rotterdam back in February.
Kokky, meanwhile, played five sets on indoor hard over two matches in Glasgow at the weekend and although he lost to Andy Murray he’ll be pleased enough to have beaten Dan Evans and get a point on the board for his stats in that competition.
He’s certainly been in better form and playing at a higher level than Granollers of late and his last six completed matches versus the top-100 have seen Kokky win three and lose three.
Granollers has a peculiar record as a 2.0 to 2.2 underdog in as much as all 11 completed matches at that price finished in straight sets – either win or lose.
I would give Kokkinakis better than a 58 percent chance of winning this match, which made the 1.72 about him worth taking last night, but it’s now been clipped in to 1.64, which is more like how it should be.
Others vying for the ‘value bet’ tag today include Andrey Rublev as slight underdog against the out of form Simone Bolelli and Rajeev Ram, who may take advantage of Dustin Brown’s fatigue after a long journey from the Dominican Republic.
And Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could well take over 9.5 or over 10.5 games in set one against the awkward leftie serve of Mischa Zverev and 2.0 and 3.5 seem decent value on those options.
Dominic Thiem vs Andreas Haider-Maurer
AHM got married recently and perhaps he’ll benefit from the kind of winning streak enjoyed by Andy Murray after his nuptials earlier this year – or perhaps not.
He certainly should be motivated versus fellow countryman Thiem, against whom Haider-Maurer has been more than competitive in past meetings, and he has one match under his belt already this week.
Thiem hasn’t played since the US Open and his record on indoor hard is hardly inspiring – especially away from his home nation of Austria.
Haider-Maurer defeated the out of form Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in round one on Monday and he did have a fair bit of strapping on his knee that day, which is a bit of a concern.
He certainly seems to be rather injury prone and indeed he retired against Thiem in one of their two prior clashes this season – both of which were on clay and both of which went the distance.
The underdog should probably have won the one in Kitzbuhel and he’s certainly been competitive enough in the past to suggest that taking at least a set is not beyond Haider-Maurer here.
And a set should not be beyond John Millman against Philipp Kohlschreiber either, with the German only having arrived back from Davis Cup duty in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
Kohlschreiber played both singles rubbers in Germany’s victory over Victor Estrella Burgos and co. and although they were both comfortable wins the travelling and the weekend must have taken something out of him.
But I prefer doubling the +1.5 sets on Haider-Maurer with the same wager on Radu Albot, who can cause problems for Joao Sousa, with the Portuguese scrapper likely to also be jaded.
Sousa somehow managed to lose from 6-0, 6-1 ahead against Egor Gerasimov in Davis Cup at the weekend and lost his most recent clash with Albot, which was also in Davis Cup on indoor hard at the end of the 2013 season.
The Moldovan has played three matches in qualies here and will be better attuned to conditions than Sousa, who’s travelled from Portugal to get here after DC duty, and he shouldn’t be a pushover in this 12:00 UK time clash in St. Petersburg.
Nicolas Mahut vs Federico Delbonis
Mahut (pictured above with Pierre Hugues-Herbert) should be buzzing still after his first Grand Slam title, which came in doubles with Herbert at the US Open and this looks a good match-up for Mahut.
I was in Belgium for the Davis Cup at the weekend and saw a lot (rather more than I would have liked perhaps) of Delbonis, who seems altogether too clunky a mover to be much of a force on indoor hard.
The Argentine played well in spells against both David Goffin and Steve Darcis, but other than a heavy leftie serve he seems too cumbersome to compete against the all-court game of the Frenchman.
Mahut made the semis here in 2013 and conditions seem far more suited to him than Delbonis, who will also be fatigued and probably down in the dumps after losing the deciding rubber at the weekend to Darcis.
Delbonis has a 1-11 record on hard and indoor hard as a 3.0 underdog or bigger and the one was 10 matches ago against Vasek Pospisil in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
Sure thing: Back Mahut to beat Delbonis at 1.28
Value bet: Back Kokkinakis to beat Granollers at 1.64
Long shot: Back Haider-Maurer + 1.5 sets and Albot + 1.5 sets at 3.05