There will be wins for Michael Llodra and Filippo Volandri today, writes our tennis expert Sean Calvert...
The first round action on week six of the 2014 ATP World Tour continues in Zagreb, Montepellier and Vina del Mar, with 18 matches scheduled for Tuesday.
There was fluctuating fortunes in yesterday’s wagers, as Nicolas Mahut was in no condition to play his match against Paul-Henri Mathieu in Montpellier and after retiring in set two he made his feelings about the scheduling known to anyone who’d care to listen.
Things took a bizarre turn for the better later in Zagreb though when Benjamin Becker survived seven match points to come out on top somehow against Jesse Huta Galung.
Zagreb’s card looks particularly poor on Tuesday and littered with local wild cards and inconsistent types not really worthy of investing in, but one match looks good for a long battle.
Daniel Brands vs Ivo Karlovic - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 17.05 GMT
If ever there was an encounter with overs written all over it this is it, with this pair of big serving, poor returning types facing each other at around 6pm UK time.
Indeed, their two previous career meetings have featured five sets in total, four of which have gone to breakers and the fifth ending 7-5, so they may as well go straight to a final set tie break to decide this one.
The overs has consequently been set at 25.5 games and I prefer the over 10.5 games in set one here at 1.87.
Michael Llodra vs Marc Gicquel - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 15.05 GMT
In Montpellier, Llodra should win the battle of the veterans over 36-year-old Gicquel, whose main draw appearances these days are rare and he hasn’t won one since 2010.
Gicquel turns 37 at the end of next month and he’s doing well to make main draws when most would be long since retired, but Llodra will surely have too much firepower in his favoured conditions for his fellow countryman, against whom he holds a perfect 3-0 and six sets to zero record.
The minus 2.5 games handicap on Llodra at 1.68 looks the call here. Gicquel hasn’t won a set at this level since he took one off Flavio Cipolla here in 2012 and it should be fairly routine for Llodra in this 3pm UK time start.
Kenny De Schepper vs Albano Olivetti - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 18.05 GMT
This 6pm UK time clash looks another set to go very long, with a couple of huge servers facing each other in slick conditions in Montpellier.
Again, the overs has been set at 25.5 total games and the options for me here are either the 2-1 De Schepper win at 3.75 or the first set overs at 2.20 for more than 10.5 games.
Olivetti doesn’t have much to his game other than a serve, but he can be very awkward indoors as he showed when making the last eight in Marseille in 2012 and after overcoming injury issues he will surely make this tough for De Schepper.
I’m tempted with Adrian Mannarino minus 2.5 against lucky loser Vincent Millot too, but a better price can be found on the clay of Vina del Mar for my final bet today.
Filippo Volandri vs Pablo Carreno-Busta - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 18.05 GMT
Italian red dirt legend Volandri finds himself back on familiar territory for the first time on the tour in 2014 after his usual fruitless journey to Australia for the hard court major.
Volandri’s bread and butter is these type of events and he confirmed that he still has the goods on clay at the end of last season when he popped up and won the Challenger Tour Finals in Sao Paulo.
Pippo had his feet up enjoyably at the weekend as a non-playing member of the Italian Davis Cup side who progressed to the last eight in that competition and that will have given him a boost, but not taxed him too much travelling here from Argentina.
PCB has won a lot of lower grade events on clay, but he’s yet to make more than a fleeting impression on the ATP Tour and Pippo defeated the Spaniard in straight sets on clay at the end of last season.
The 22-year-old had a great run in Oeiras last spring, but has otherwise failed to better the second round on tour and he looks very short at 1.68 here. Volandri at 2.12 looks a bet to me.
Back over 10.5 games in set one of Brands/Karlovic at 1.87
Back Llodra –2.5 games to beat Gicquel at 1.68
Back Volandri to beat Carreno-Busta at 2.12