The forecasters are predicting a better day on Tuesday and a full day’s play is expected at the AEGON Open in Nottingham.
We kicked off the week in Nottingham with a tougher than it should have been win for Aljaz Bedene, who defeated Diego Schwartzman in three sets after blowing a 5-0 lead in the set two tie break.
I don’t recall ever seeing someone lose seven straight points from 5-0 ahead in a breaker before, but he got back on track to win the decider 6-2 over the Argentine, who was debuting on grass.
Next up were Sam Groth and Mischa Zverev and the big-serving pair duly delivered the over 10.5 games that we required in set one at 2.16 and it surprised no one when they went to a tie break.
Groth served for the match before the rain came, but failed to see it out, and the chances are it’ll be another tie break in set two of that one when they come back today.
Yen-Hsun Lu was going along well and looks like covering the handicap against Ruben Bemelmans at the moment, while Leo Mayer barely got started and played only two games against Hyeon Chung.
We start at 11:00 UK time on Tuesday and they’ll be trying to get as many matches in as possible today, while there’s a decent day forecast.
Sergiy Stakhovsky vs Viktor Troicki
Despite the negative head-to-head and excellent recent form of Troicki I like the idea of siding with Stakho to make a fast start in this one.
It’s hard to say exactly when any given match will get onto court today, with all the postponements to be completed, but I’d expect around a 14:00 UK time for this one.
Troicki has played a lot of grass court matches this swing and it would be no real surprise to see him put in less of an effort this week, with his form already very good and with Wimbledon six days away.
He can’t have had any time to practice here in Nottingham, having only finished his participation at Queen’s Club on Sunday afternoon, and surely even if he arrived on Monday in Nottingham rain would have made a hit tricky to get in.
The state of the courts here has been a source of plenty of sarky comments from the players, with the WTA event a fortnight ago having worn them out and I’m not sure whose bright idea it was to play two events here in the space of three weeks on grass.
Stakho though has a match under his belt here and he tends to start fast in his matches anyway, with 19 set one wins from his 31 matches in 2015.
Troicki did win Sydney a few days before the Australian Open back in January, but he needed the matches then and I doubt he’ll want to hang about too long in the Nottingham rain, having played nine matches on grass already.
The 2.30 about Stakho winning set one looks a decent value choice today under the circumstances.
Sam Querrey vs Santiago Giraldo
It was a choice between David Ferrer and Querrey for the ‘sure thing’ today and I’ve plumped for Sam, largely because of Giraldo’s terrible record against big servers.
The Colombian gets frustrated by big servers and had another meltdown in Halle last week when Ivo Karlovic got the better of him by belting down 28 aces and not facing a single break point.
A similar scenario is expected again here, with Querrey looking in fine form last week at Queen’s, and the American was perhaps a little unlucky not to beat Grigor Dimitrov in a match affected by fading light.
Of course, Querrey’s infamous choking abilities didn’t help in that one either, but if he serves up to his usual level he should find that the Colombian will lose interest eventually.
Giraldo is 0-20 away from clay versus the big servers in my database and Querrey looks more than capable of adding to that miserable record today.
The other shorties on Tuesday look beatable, with Dominic Thiem unbackable on grass at a price like 1.40, while Gilles Simon also looks a risky short-priced bet and although I’m on Denis Istomin as one of my outrights I couldn’t back him at 1.34.
I’d certainly be taking Thiem on today if it weren’t for the fact that Malek Jaziri looked injured yesterday (again) and instead I like siding with Marcel Granollers to worry Simon and Dudi Sela to beat Pablo Cuevas in a ‘long shot’ double.
Granollers has a very good record against Simon, although several of his wins were in Valencia, where Simon always plays poorly, and the Frenchman does often struggle against serve and volley tennis.
Granollers does come to the net a fair bit and certainly should do with a good serve and fine volleying skills from regular high-level doubles play and if he can get to the net he can take a set at least from Simon here.
I’d be worried about the Simon body if I were backing him today after several long, tough matches last week at Queen’s and at this moment in time I’d be sceptical about his motivation this week, having had that match practice on grass.
The 1.93 about Granollers +1.5 sets and the 1.79 about Sela -1.5 games makes for a 3.45 double and that looks good for a big price today.
Sela’s flat hits from a short height should be skiddy on grass and not ideal for someone like Cuevas, who has a big backswing and the Uruguayan has played only seven matches in his career on grass.
He hasn’t won one since 2009 and Sela can continue that run today.
Sure thing: Back Querrey to beat Giraldo at 1.36
Value bet: Back Stakhovsky to win set one vs Troicki at 2.30
Long shot: Back Granollers +1.5 sets and Sela -1.5 games at 3.45