Rain washed out much of Monday’s early play at the AEGON Open, so it’s another full schedule of matches for us in Nottingham on Tuesday.
When the sun did finally arrive in the East Midlands we managed to find a win for the ‘value bet’ when Jiri Vesely and Horacio Zeballos went past the 9.5 total games mark in set one of their match.
Then it was success for part one of the ‘sure thing’ double when Ernesto Escobedo cruised past Diego Schwartzman in straight sets, but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the result of that wager, as Denis Istomin dropped set two to Damir Dzumhur before play was called for the day.
We didn’t get any joy with the ‘long shot’ when Jan Hernych wasted a set lead against Dudi Sela and Jordan Thompson lost a tight one in three sets to Benjamin Becker.
There are 16 matches on the schedule for Tuesday and in round two of this tournament in 2015 we saw five underdogs win from 16 matches and tie breaks in half of the matches.
Sam Querrey vs Ernesto Escobedo
This one could well go all the way to a tie break in at least one of the sets, with both men posting very strong service hold figures of around the 90 percent mark on grass.
Escobedo has taken to it really well this summer and he’s already played seven tie breaks in his nine matches on grass in 2016, while Querrey has played six in his five matches on the surface.
Last year in Nottingham Querrey played six tie breaks in his five matches at the AEGON Open and that included opposition such as Santiago Giraldo and Pablo Cuevas – hardly the strongest of servers on grass.
Both Querrey and Escobedo only break serve around 13 percent of the time on grass and on those stats we’re looking at over 9.5 games in set one as pretty good value at 1.62 here.
Querrey has only gone under 9.5 games three times in his last 20 opening sets on grass and on all the figures overs has to be good value here.
Gilles Muller vs Jiri Vesely
Two players with even worse returning numbers on grass than Querrey face each other in a 12:00 UK time start in Nottingham and I like the over 10.5 games in set one of this one at 2.48.
Muller weighs in with 89.2 percent of service holds, but breaks only 10 percent of the time, while Vesely, as I mentioned yesterday, is also poor on return, with just 11.9 percent on service breaks, but he does hold his own serve 88.6 percent of the time on grass.
Muller has gone over 10.5 games in set one on grass seven times in his last 11 matches, while Vesely has done the same in three of his last four and has played at least one tie break in seven of his last eight matches on grass.
We can combine the 2.48 on set one overs in that one with the same wager in Kevin Anderson’s clash with Ivan Dodig, which is scheduled for around 16:00 UK time.
Anderson has struggled this season due to injury and has looked nothing like the player that made the Queen’s final and took Novak Djokovic to five sets last grass swing.
In his 12 matches on grass this season and last half of them have gone to tie breaks in set one and those that didn’t were against the likes of Ed Corrie, Lucas Pouille and Leonardo Mayer.
He was beaten comfortably by Bernard Tomic last week at Queen’s and he’s lacking matches after only 13 all season and Dodig has a match under his belt here in Nottingham and an 84.1 percent service hold mark on grass to his name.
Indeed, it’s Dodig who breaks serve more often on this surface, with a 16.4 percent (still not particularly good) mark, compared to Anderson’s poor 13.2 percent break record.
An overs double pays around 5.70, which is a viable ‘long shot’ double for Tuesday.
Andreas Seppi vs Malek Jaziri
Seppi has a good draw this week and should go far in Nottingham, with an opening match against Jaziri looking a fairly comfortable starter for the Italian.
Jaziri should have been beaten by the limited James Ward yesterday, but for a brain freeze from the Brit, and the Tunisian has poor return stats on grass, breaking only 12.8 percent of the time.
He doesn’t have a particularly good serve to rely on either, with 80.5 percent holds on grass, and he’s up against an opponent in Seppi who breaks 21.7 percent of the time on this surface.
Seppi played well last week in Halle, beating David Ferrer for the very first time in his career and losing a good quality match to eventual champion Flo Mayer, and he should be able to record a third win from three over Jaziri.
With 16 matches on the card today there are several other options and Adrian Mannarino, Fernando Verdasco and Marcos Baghdatis should all be winning at short prices.
Sure thing: Back Seppi to beat Jaziri at 1.26
Value bet: Back over 9.5 games in set one of Querrey/Escobedo at 1.62
Long shot: Back over 10.5 games in set one of Muller/Vesely and Anderson/Dodig at 5.70