After a great betting day on Sunday, week 25 of the ATP World Tour got off to a frustrating start on the grass of Eastbourne and Rosmalen on Monday.
Ivo Karlovic was beaten by Jeremey Chardy, which was fair enough, but the real pain came later in the day when Kyle Edmund fell one single point short of bringing the overs home in his 6-7, 3-6 loss to Sam Querrey.
It was the manner of defeat in that one that hurt, as Edmund managed to achieve the remarkable feat of being broken twice in a row by Querrey, which takes some doing and on two occasions he had game point to win that bet,
Hopefully, those on my other suggestions of Tobias Kamke to beat Dan Evans and the first set overs in Gilles Simon/Chris Guccione made a nice profit, but I was less than pleased with Edmund’s collapse.
The two matches that immediately stand out for me on Tuesday in Eastbourne are those involving James Ward and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, while in Rosmalen Mate Pavic and Lukas Rosol look the two to consider.
Donald Young vs James Ward
‘The Don’ hardly lives up to his moniker as a general rule and he certainly is no legend on grass, where his appalling record reveals just four main draw wins in his career.
A closer looks shows that the three victims were Woong-Sun Jun (then ranked 297), Daniel Cox (272), Paul Capdeville and Andreas Haider-Maurer.
A sorry bunch indeed and after falling in Wimbledon qualies to number 212 Agustin Velotti in his most recent match on grass a year ago I’m not sure why he’s favourite against Wardy, who is far more accustomed to playing on grass.
Young has a 1-8 record against top-100 opposition on grass, while Ward’s reads 8-15 and the Brit has wins on the green stuff over Querrey, Stan Wawrinka and Feli Lopez.
I simply don’t understand why Young is the favourite here and I can only think it’s based on improved performances on tour this season, but he still has a huge amount to prove on grass and Ward at 1.95 looks the call playing at home with far more motivation.
Edouard-Roger Vasselin vs Andrey Kuznetsov
The Frenchman really should be coming out on top in this clash against the out of form Russian, who’s won just one match in the main draw on the ATP Tour that didn’t involve a retirement since February.
I had to go back 13 months to last May to find the last time he beat a top-50 ranked opponent and that was Lukas Rosol on clay in Rome and his record on grass is also poor.
A couple of unconvincing wins in qualies here this week can’t disguise a main draw record on grass that shows wins over grass-averse Spaniards Albert Montanes and Daniel Gimeno-Traver as two of his four wins in completed matches at tour level.
Or to put it another way, he’s in poor form and has an equally poor record on grass, while ERV showed some good skills on the green stuff last week at Queen’s.
The Frenchman is comfortable on grass, as wins over Nicolas Mahut last week and Andy Roddick in 2012 show and he would be very disappointed to not come through this one. The minus 2.5 games at 1.70 looks a bet here.
Pavic is a very tempting proposition as well in his match with Alejandro Gonzalez, with the latter having played only once on grass in his career and is yet to win a single set on the surface.
The Croatian has been playing well on the grass and should have few problems with this one, but he has played a lot of tennis lately and the trainer has been out to treat him in his last couple of matches.
Rosol will love his draw in Rosmalen now that David Ferrer has withdrawn and he should be too good for Jan-Lennard Struff, who lost heavily to Joao Sousa in Halle last week.
Lukas won the Prague Challenger on clay last week and he should be able to carry that confidence over to the grass, where Struff is certainly beatable if he repeats his form from Halle.
Back Ward to beat Young at 1.95
Back Roger-Vasselin –2.5 games to beat Kuznetsov at 1.70