The second round completes in the BMW Open and Portugal Open on Thursday, with 10 matches on the card across both of this week’s ATP 250 tournaments.
And the quality of tennis should be a little better today after one of the poorest schedules of play of the year so far ended up in one unfortunate losing bet on Wednesday in Munich.
Denis Istomin continues to be my nemesis and found a new way to let me down when the Uzbek failed with three set points (two of them at 6-4 in the tie break) to win the opener against Marinko Matosevic and went on to win 2-1 instead of the 2-0 I expected.
At least those on the overs in Marcel Granollers/Albert Montanes was successful and it looks a much more appealing betting day today.
Thursday sees the entrances of the top seeds in Oeiras and Munich, with Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic, Tommy Haas and Fabio Fognini all scheduled to play today.
Fognini versus Dustin Brown in Germany could well be the most entertaining match in recent memory, but it certainly isn’t one to bet on, while I’d like to take Berdych on in Portugal and Haas in Munich to some extent.
Fognini had the nerve to say that his opponent, Brown, “is a little crazy”, which is quite incredible coming from him and having struggled physically and mentally in his last two tournaments Brown could be worth siding with, but it looks more one to watch and enjoy.
Tomas Berdych 1.05, Somdev Devvarman 11.00
On paper this should be easy for Berdych, but I’m not so sure that it will be – especially early on while the Czech gets used to what will probably be blustery conditions.
His high ball-toss is far from perfect in the wind and none of his career titles have come at a windy venue, which does frustrate him, as we’ve seen in the past.
Short and sweet this one – the over 8.5 games in set one at 1.68 looks very good, while the 7.0 for Devvarman to win set one isn’t out of the question either, as the big man gets used to conditions.
The Czech hasn’t played since losing as a 1.15 shot to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Monte-Carlo either, so he’ll do well to start convincingly today.
Tommy Haas 1.42, Alejandro Falla 2.80
A similar principle applies here, but clearly playing at home will give Haas more motivation than Berdych and he should come though this, although I expect the veteran to be tested by the Colombian.
Tommy has been struggled all season with a shoulder problem and he hasn’t played at all since Indian Wells, so he’s very rusty as far as the match environment is concerned and it should take a while for his timing to come back.
He’s sure to have been preparing hard for this, but practice sets aren’t the same and Falla will be boosted by his demolition of Jarkko Nieminen in round one, although the Finn was appallingly bad.
The pair have met five times, with Haas winning four, but they've been tough matches and only once has he won the first set in fewer than 9.5 games and the over 9.5 at 1.85 looks good here.
Lukasz Kubot 3.33, Carlos Berlocq 1.30
The Pole is worth taking a bit of a chance on here now that he finally has a match win under his belt against an opponent who he has always caused problems to and who is not at his best this season.
Kubot has been through a really poor spell and this is only his second time past the first round all season, but his style of play has given Berlocq major headaches on clay in all four of their career meetings.
The net-loving Pole has won three of the four in varying conditions and with a bit of confidence after beating Teimuraz Gabashvili in round one fairly comfortably he can test Berlocq again.
Charly has been anything but convincing this season and he hasn’t been past the second round anywhere in 2014 and he lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky last week in Bucharest in similar conditions against a similar opponent, which isn’t what I’d like from a 1.30 shot.
The 3.33 about a Kubot win or the +1.5 sets at 1.87 look good here.
There are several more I like the look of today, including taking on Milos Raonic, who hasn’t been great in practice here by all accounts. Pablo Cuevas can play and the +1.5 sets on him looks decent at 1.98 in Raonic’s first match here.
Pablo Carreno-Busta and Leo Mayer are both too short in Oerias, but should win, while the overs looks good in the clash between two South American lefties in Munich, with Federico Delbonis and Thomaz Bellucci looking set for another tight battle.
Back over 8.5 games in set one of Berdych/Devvarman at 1.68
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Haas/Falla at 1.85
Back Kubot to beat Berlocq at 3.33