The opening a round of week 29’s three ATP 250 tournaments continues on Tuesday, with 19 new matches scheduled in Bogota, Bastad and Umag.
I say ‘new’ as some in Bogota are rescheduled for Tuesday after rain put paid to much of the day’s play at the Claro Open Colombia on Monday.
Our ‘sure thing’ of Aljaz Bedene was never in any danger on Monday when the Slovenian-born Brit eased past Mate Delic in straight sets, while ‘value bet’ Alejandro Gonzalez tries again today to dodge the Colombian rain.
Long shot Markus Eriksson took a typically erratic Benoit Paire to a tie break in the opening set of their clash and Paire’s price did double in-running, but the lowly ranked Swede lacked the extra quality and belief to take the upper hand.
Austin Krajicek vs Malek Jaziri
I like the price on underdog Krajicek in this 18:00 UK time start in Bogota and I think we’re getting some value on the American after he endured a poor time of it on the grass swing.
Krajicek is very inexperienced on grass and it certainly doesn’t seem to be a section of the tour that he’s that bothered about, but he does have experience of winning tournaments in Colombia.
The 25-year-old won the Medellin Challenger on clay last season and that event is played at 1,500m of elevation, so he’s not new to playing and winning at altitude.
Before coming a cropper on the grass swing Krajicek had compiled a 17-9 winning record on hard courts and he’s at least had a couple of matches back on hard since Wimbledon.
I don’t think the 3-0 head-to-head career series lead for Krajicek over Jaziri is hugely relevant today, but it can’t be bad for the American’s confidence coming into this one knowing he’s never lost to Jaziri.
The Tunisian isn’t as experienced in Colombia, with his last visit to the area being a 2011 trip to the Bucaramanga Challenger, but that has an altitude of only 600m, so it’s hardly the same.
Jaziri has won only one of his last eight matches on hard courts and he hasn’t played one since back in March in Miami, so for me there’s enough in this to see Krajicek as a bit of value.
In Umag Martin Klizan looks good value too as an underdog against Pablo Carreno Busta, who has lost 10 of his last 12 against top-50 ranked opposition and is surely only favourite based on a Challenger win in Poznan last week.
Mikhail Youzhny vs Bastian Trinker
It’s set to be very hot again today in Umag, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s, and in what will be only his second ATP main draw match Trinker is not without a decent chance.
The Austrian has shown he can handle the heat in three wins in qualifying here and they’ve been decent wins too over the likes of Gerald Melzer and Matteo Viola.
Against a Youzhny in form I wouldn’t give Trinker much of a hope here, but the Russian is in desperate touch these days and has lost seven of his last eight matches and holds a season record of 6-15 so far in 2015.
Youzhny’s best win this year was over 69 ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky, with Jan-Lennard Struff and Andrey Golubev his other top-100 wins in 2015.
Confidence must be low and with his health having been an issue for Youzhny of late I wouldn’t be too keen on backing him on a hot day against a motivated opponent at 1.24.
He’s lost two of his last three as a 1.20 to 1.30 favourite, including one to Flo Mayer, who hadn’t played for over a year prior to that Youzhny win.
Albert Ramos vs Luca Vanni
The Spanish lefty comes here in good fettle after winning the Challenger in San Benedetto last week and he looks the best option for ‘sure thing’ backers on Tuesday.
Ramos made the last-16 as a qualifier in Bastad a year ago and he has a 7-3 record overall at this event, so the windy conditions often prevailing here don’t appear to be an issue for him.
Vanni has lost his last four matches and since a loss to James Ward at Wimbledon he’s been back on the clay in Todi and San Benedetto with no success and this is his debut in Bastad.
It’s not an easy venue to get used to with the stadium being so close to the beach and it will be very impressive if the Italian is able to put the formbook on its head in this 16:00 UK time start.
Elsewhere in Bastad I was tempted to go with Fernando Verdasco over Nico Almagro, while Marsel Ilhan could be a decent alternative as a ‘long shot’ against the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis.
Sure thing: Back Ramos to beat Vanni at 1.23
Value bet: Back Krajicek to beat Jaziri at 2.05
Long shot: Back Trinker to beat Youzhny at 3.95