We have 14 matches scheduled for Tuesday at the Mutua Madrid Open, with Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga among those in action today.
It was a day of mixed fortunes on Monday at the Caja Magica and Munich, with two winners and two narrow losses and from four wagers on the day.
Philipp Kohlschreiber got us off to a good start in my value bet carried over from Sunday in Munich when the German won the one set we needed from him against Andy Murray in the BMW Open final.
Indeed, Kohlschreiber came close to winning that match, but fell in the final set tie breaker in what was a very high quality encounter between the German and the Scot.
After that Thanasi Kokkinakis saved match points in set two only to lose in three to Sam Querrey in a real battle in Madrid before Feli Lopez stumbled over the line to land the ‘sure thing’ of the day.
Lopez looked anything but sure to beat Benjamin Becker at several stages in the match, but Becker collapsed badly towards the end and effectively handed Lopez the match late in the third.
Late on Ernests Gulbis proved a good ‘long shot’ for in-play bettors when he won the first set and went odds-on from 3.0, but he failed to keep that level and went down 7-5 in the decider to David Goffin.
Gael Monfils vs Viktor Troicki
It’s always with trepidation that I include Monfils as a ‘sure thing’, but he looks it in this 12:00 UK time start on Stadium 3.
Monfils took the week off last week in Munich citing a knee injury as the cause and he’ll probably be quite glad that he did, with the rain making it a very short gap indeed between the BMW Open final and Madrid first round.
Injuries and Lamonf go hand-in-hand and I wouldn’t be too concerned about him skipping Munich, with the Frenchman likely to have had one eye on rest ahead of Madrid after semi final runs in Monte-Carlo and Bucharest.
Against Troicki, Monfils has generally found the match-up to his liking, with a 4-1 career lead and the Frenchman has a decent 6-3 record on clay in Madrid, while Troicki has a 2-5 mark on the clay here.
The Serb struggles against the top players, with a poor 15-74 career mark and three wins in his last 20 matches against the top-20.
He has only two wins in the last five years on clay versus the top-20 and recent form has been poor too, with only one win from four matches on clay this swing.
The other options I was considering were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who should have too much in these conditions for Lukas Rosol, and Roberto Bautista-Agut.
RBA faces the yearly recipient of the Ion Tiriac wild card in the form of Marius Copil and the Romanian should be outclassed, but RBA has lost his last seven straight against the big servers on my list, which is a concern at altitude.
Daniel Gimeno-Traver vs Nick Kyrgios
This 14:00 UK time clash between the Spaniard and the young Aussie could represent a bit of value on the 29-year-old, Valencia-born DGT.
The latter has been playing some very decent tennis on the clay this season and he has a handy 11-5 record on clay in Madrid in all of his matches in qualies and the main draw here.
Indeed, Gimeno-Traver has twice beaten Richard Gasquet here and also has wins over Lopez and Jurgen Melzer when the Austrian was ranked inside the top-10.
He also took a set from Novak Djokovic on the infamous blue clay here in 2012 and should perhaps have beaten Roger Federer in Istanbul last week.
DGT has won 11 of his 14 matches on clay this swing and fatigue doesn’t seem to be a problem for him after quickly rushing from Istanbul, where he lost to Federer on Thursday, to Madrid where he won on Saturday and Sunday.
Kyrgios is likely to be jaded after a tough week in Estoril, where he made the final and the greater experience of Gimeno-Traver on clay could prove key here.
For a long shot today, I like the idea of trying a Tuesday treble that involves Martin Klizan, Pablo Cuevas and Pablo Andujar that would pay around the 5.11 mark if successful.
Klizan struggled with a wrist problem last time out, but he should be too much if fit in these conditions for Marcel Granollers, who has a poor 3-7 record here and is likely to be out-gunned by Klizan.
Cuevas is in good touch at the moment after beating Grigor Dimitrov and testing Roger Federer in Istanbul and Albert Ramos has a 1-3 record in Madrid, with his only win coming against grass-loving Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
The Uruguayan has beaten Ramos in both priors and should prove the classier player in the end in that one.
Finally, I don’t really get why Jack Sock is favourite against Andujar, with the Spaniard a former semi finalist here and in very good form at the moment on the clay after a really poor spell.
He did retire in Munich last week, but, like Monfils, I would expect that to be more of a precaution ahead of a much bigger event and he has no problem with big servers here, having beaten John Isner and Marin Cilic here in 2013.
Sock did win on clay in Houston, but that HarTru clay is nothing like European red clay and the American has only played seven matches on clay in Europe in his career.
Sure thing: Back Monfils to beat Troicki at 1.33
Value bet: Back Gimeno-Traver to beat Kyrgios at 1.75
Long shot: Back Klizan, Andujar and Cuevas in a treble at 5.11