Saturday was a perfect day of tennis betting at the BNP Paribas Open with three winners from three and Sunday at Indian Wells looks to hold more opportunities for profit.
The final 16 matches in round two take place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden after Ivan Dodig, Adrian Mannarino and Fernando Verdasco landed a clean sweep of winners yesterday.
Dodig took the opener at 3.85 over David Ferrer and came within a point of winning the match, while Verdasco didn’t face a break point in a cosy win over James Duckworth.
Mannarino took a more adventurous route on his way to a 2-0 win over Fabio Fognini at 2.45 after saving a heap of set points in the opener against a typically up and down Fogna, who was almost bagelled in set two.
On to Sunday’s action then, and a couple of underdogs look to me like they could well have a decent shot in these conditions.
Andreas Seppi vs Victor Hanescu
As Ferrer and to a greater extent Kei Nishikori showed yesterday, it’s not easy playing your first set for a year at Indian Wells and the often slow to start Seppi does not have a good record here.
The Italian is coming off a painful Davis Cup defeat to Mikhail Kukushkin and has never in his career won two matches in a row in the main draw of the BNP Paribas Masters in a 7-9 record.
Renowned as a slow starter of matches the Italian was beaten here by today’s opponent Hanescu in 2011 and of the six completed matches that he has won here only twice has he won the first set.
Hanescu was a good choice for us over Mikhail Youzhny and he plays well here, using his height to full effect to aid what is an otherwise mediocre serve for a man of his stature.
The veteran Romanian is into his fourth match here this week while Seppi comes in cold and has only twice ever won a match in the desert in straight sets, so the 2.70 on Hanescu winning set one or the 1.76 on the latter +1.5 sets appeal here.
Gilles Simon vs Malek Jaziri
This is another match where the favourite looks somewhat less than solid, with Gillou being a regular struggler in the Indian Wells conditions.
Indeed, the Frenchman has played 18 matches at this tournament and won only two in straight sets, with three set battles against the likes of Dudi Sela and Paulo Lorenzi in recent years and 12 months ago he lost in two to Dominic Thiem.
Simon agrees with my theory that the shorter players have a harder time here and he’s said that this is “the worst surface for me”, ahead of his opening match this week.
Jaziri played well in his first round win over Tatsuma Ito, who somewhat strangely had a problem with a nosebleed, but despite that the Tunisian seemed in good form and is another who can at least take a set as underdog on Sunday.
Simon will probably grind his way through in the end, but he had a tough week last week in a real marathon in Davis Cup, and with his record of struggles here the 2-1 to him at 4.20 and 2.23 about Jaziri +1.5 sets looks the ones of interest today.
Alexandr Dolgopolov vs Santiago Giraldo
Once again I’m happy to side with the Dolgo in this one as a ‘sure thing’, with the Ukrainian happy in the conditions and motivated to do well with big ranking points to defend this week.
This 18:00 UK time start against Giraldo looks very winnable, with Dolgopolov having beaten the Colombian twice in the past, although this will be their first meeting on a hard court.
Giraldo has had a really up and down season so far, with two straight sets beatings in a month from Pablo Cuevas – the latter in Davis Cup last weekend – and a run to the semi finals on clay in Sao Paulo.
His form on hard courts of late has been poor though, with only three wins from his last 11, and seven straight sets losses in that losing sequence.
Indeed, the three wins were against number 201 Jan Hernych; 142 Austin Krajicek; and the struggling Mikhail Youzhny, so it would be a surprise if Giraldo were to come straight from clay and win this one.
Sure thing: Back Dolgopolov to beat Giraldo at 1.25
Value bet: Back Jaziri +1.5 sets to beat Simon at 2.23
Long shot: Back Hanescu to win set one vs Seppi at 2.70