Karlovic vs Lopez in Memphis has 'overs' written all over it, says Unibet tennis expert Sean Calvert...
The first ATP 500 event of the year, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, reaches its last-16 stage on Thursday in Rotterdam, while the action also continues in Memphis and Buenos Aires today.
Wednesday’s wagers went two from three on the day, with Marin Cilic easily landing both of my suggested bets at once when he impressively took the opener over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and went on to record a straight sets win over the Frenchman.
Underdog Dominic Thiem’s earlier three set win over Jarkko Nieminen provided another success in both the overs and on the Thiem win, but Juan Martin Del Potro got the job done too quickly against Gael Monfils.
My wager held over from the previous day almost produced a very nice-priced winner when Pablo Cuevas led *3-1 in the final set tie break against Alex Dolgopolov, but the Uruguayan contrived to let it slip.
There’s only really one match in Rotterdam that I like the look of from a betting perspective and that takes place at around 2pm UK time in the current schedule.
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Richard Gasquet - starts at 14.05 GMT
This match is down on the card for 3pm local time, but is subject to a possible court change and I like the idea of backing the underdog in this encounter.
Gasquet was rather fortunate to progress past local hope Thiemo De Bakker yesterday after bizarrely blowing a 5-0 led in the opening set tie break of that match and I get the feeling that, similarly to Tsonga yesterday, he’ll have one eye on Marseille next week.
The Gasman had a run to the final in Montpellier and with the Frenchman not exactly renowned for his stamina and physical strength it’s worth risking the 2.25 about Kohlschreiber today.
Dickie’s record last season in tournaments the immediate week after going deep was poor, with a second round exit here after Montpellier, a first round loss in Basel after Moscow and a first round loss in Shanghai after two straight semis in Bangkok and Beijing.
Indeed, Gasquet has played Rotterdam on only three previous occasions with a first round loss, a second round defeat and a quarter final exit the results.
It will be a battle for the purists of two nice single-handed backhands and Kohlschreiber won the last such clash, which was in Montpellier two seasons ago. He has a fine chance again today.
Elsewhere in Rotterdam, Thiem takes on Andy Murray in a clash that might be a touch closer than the 1.05 on Murray suggests. The improving Austrian can serve superbly and the various handicap options on Thiem are worth considering.
Del Potro might also face some resistance from Paul-Henri Mathieu, but Tomas Berdych looks good to beat Nicolas Mahut and Igor Sijsling also has a fine chance to progress in his home tournament.
Jerzy Janowicz should be too strong for a likely fatigued Tommy Haas in these conditions, but a more tempting proposition involving another big server can be found in Memphis tonight.
Ivo Karlovic vs Feliciano Lopez - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 02.05 GMT
If ever a match had ‘overs’ written all over it it’s this one and predictably the total games has been set at a huge 26.5 indicating the kind of match we can expect from these two.
Previous meetings have seen 11 tie breaks played the pair in seven matches and it’s surely a certainty that we’ll see at least one and probably more in this 3am UK time clash.
Lopez holds a 55% win ratio on tie breaks in his career, with a 58% winning mark in 2013, while Ivo’s career mark stands at only 52% and this year he’s lost five of his eight so far.
The conditions in Memphis are a little slower this year by all accounts, with several observers noting the lack of speed compared with previous years and this will surely fall in the favour of Lopez, although the Spaniard enjoys slick conditions too.
Feli’s superior rallying ability should be the difference between these two, who are meeting for the first time on tour since way back in 2008 and the 2-1 win for Lopez looks like good value here at 3.70.
The Spaniard is defending final points from last year here and he clearly enjoys it here in Memphis, which combined with his better all-court game leads me to think he’ll edge this.
Back Kohlschreiber to beat Gasquet at 2.25
Back Lopez to beat Karlovic 2-1 at 3.70