Day three of week six on the 2015 ATP World Tour features a further 14 matches across our three tournaments in Rotterdam, Sao Paulo and Memphis.
A strange old match between Gilles Simon and Joao Sousa led to a winner for my value bet on Tuesday, with the over 21.5 total games landing in the expected bruising encounter between the two hustlers.
Those who were on Thiemo De Bakker as underdog against Juan Monaco also had reason to smile yesterday when the Dutchman came from a set down to beat the Argentine.
However, those who took my double of De Bakker with Thomaz Bellucci were left incredulous when yet again we suffered a loss from match point up and 5-2 up in the deciding set.
The Brazilian became the fourth loss from 1.01 in play in a week and spoiled what would have been a great day after my ‘sure thing’ of Fernando Verdasco won in straight sets.
Robin Haase vs Andreas Seppi
Dutchman Haase has a miserable recent record at this home tournament, with zero sets won in his last four visits to the Ahoy Arena.
Haase made the quarter finals here in 2008, beating Andy Murray on the way, but has been awful since, although in fairness he has had some tough draws to contend with.
He’s been practicing here for the last five days or so and he should be able to start quickly at least against what will be a disappointed opponent.
Seppi was beaten in the Zagreb final on Sunday by Guillermo Garcia Lopez – a man he’d beaten five times from five previously – and that has to hurt. It certainly hurt me as an outright bettor on the Italian.
A notoriously slow starter, Seppi could be forgiven for not being quick out of the blocks here, and Haase seems to be very keen to do well here this time with a better draw.
The pair clashed last week in Zagreb and it was a tight three setter, so I like the idea of backing Haase to win set one here at 2.30.
Pablo Cuevas vs Facundo Bagnis
There are plenty of short priced favourites around today, including Murray, Kei Nishikori, Sam Querrey, and Ivo Karlovic, but I’m not sure I like any of them as ‘sure things’.
Instead, it’s back over to Sao Paulo, where Cuevas should have too much in his game for Bagnis, who stunned defending champion Federico Delbonis yesterday.
Delbonis was playing his first match on clay since last July in that one and the transition was clearly too much for him and Bagnis took advantage.
But the lucky loser should this 16:30 UK time clash with Cuevas a match too far, with the Uruguayan looking a solid favourite here.
The pair have never met but Cuevas has lost just one of his last 23 matches on clay against opponents ranked outside the top-100 and the one came a few days after he’d won Umag as a qualifier, so he was understandably tired.
Bagnis has won only one match against a top-50 opponent and that was the memorable 18-16 final set win over Julien Benneteau at the French Open last year. Otherwise he’s never won a set against such opposition.
Leonardo Mayer vs Albert Ramos
Similarly to his fellow Argentine Delbonis, Mayer hasn’t played a match on clay since last July and faces an awkward match at 14:30 UK time today against an opponent he’s struggled with in the past.
Ramos has won three of their four career meetings and Mayer seems to have problems against lefties, as his record of 2-8 in his last 10 matches highlights.
The Spaniard has had a match here to acclimatise to the conditions and he looks a very lively outsider in Sao Paulo.
Ramos can be doubled up with the over 22.5 total games in the Grigor Dimitrov vs Gilles Muller clash at 20:00 UK time on Rotterdam.
Dimitrov struggled against an in-form Paul-Henri Mathieu in round one and was a little fortunate that a highly questionable call went his way at a vital time in that one, but moreover he has a poor record against big servers on indoor hard.
The Bulgarian is 3-8 indoors against the big servers on my list and Muller is in great form and confidence at the moment and can push Dimitrov all the way here.
Sure thing: Back Cuevas to beat Bagnis at 1.23
Value bet: Back Haase to win set one vs Seppi at 2.30
Long shot: Back Ramos to beat Mayer at 2.50 and over 22.5 games in Muller/Dimitrov at 4.42