The first round of the Moselle Open continues in Metz, France on Tuesday, with five opening round clashes on the card for today at the Palais Omnisports Les Arènes.
Our week in Metz got off to a very nice start when my best bet of Monday landed in a little over 20 minutes, as Gilles Muller took the opening set against Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1.
I said yesterday that ERV might struggle with the tight turnaround and he certainly did, which was pleasing from that point of view and indeed Muller was able to come away with a straight sets win there.
Andreas Seppi and Jerzy Janowicz are among the players in action on Tuesday and the action begins from 10:00 UK time.
We start with an intriguing clash between French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert and the hopelessly out of form Pole Michal Przysiezny.
The latter hasn’t won a single match in the main draw of any main level event since the Australian Open – three matches after losing in two tie breaks to today’s opponent in his final match of the 2013 season.
Herbert should win that one, but he’s a little short at 1.57 for my liking.
The second match on the card in Metz at around 12:00 UK time on Tuesday features two players, who have slipped down the rankings this season.
Andreas Seppi vs Igor Sijsling
Former Metz finalist Seppi (2012) looks to have a pretty decent opening round draw here in the shape of Sijsling, who has seemingly lost every scrap of his belief and confidence these days.
The Dutchman can’t buy a win of late and threw away a great start in Davis Cup last week to lose in four sets to world number 154 Mate Delic.
It was the manner of defeat that will further concern the Sijsling camp after being a set ahead and in with every chance of taking a 2-0 lead, to fall away badly and lose in four, although Sijsling did complain of a back problem, which may have contributed.
But we’ve seen it all season long from Sijsling, who has won just two matches on the main tour in four months since beating Marco Cecchinato on clay in Rome.
They weren’t exactly great wins either, over Julian Reister and Andrey Golubev (on a hard court) and he hasn’t beaten a top-50 player since beating an injured Tommy Haas in Madrid in May.
Sijsling’s Davis Cup match last week was played on slow (according to Sijsling) clay, so he’ll have to adapt pretty quickly to indoor hard, while Seppi won’t be fatigued and will be better attuned to conditions.
The Italian played just the dead rubber in his Davis Cup tie with Switzerland and that was a three set win over Michael Lammer on indoor hard and although it certainly could be argued that Seppi’s confidence isn’t high, his is surely better than his opponent’s.
The slowish conditions here at the Palais Omnisports Les Arènes won’t favour Sijsling, who likes it quicker, and should be more beneficial to the Italian, who looks good for a win here minus 2.5 games on the handicap at 1.76.
Jerzy Janowicz is scheduled for the feature evening match at around 19:00 UK time and as much as I don’t like to bet on JJ if I can avoid it he does look the likely winner against Adrian Mannarino.
I wouldn’t be putting too much on it at 1.53 though, with JJ coming back from a break since New York and Mannarino coming straight from a Challenger title Istanbul, where he didn’t drop a set.
Janowicz is so wildly inconsistent that it simply isn’t worth backing him now unless he’s a very tempting price and today’s isn’t that against an in-form opponent.
Back Seppi –2.5 games to beat Sijsling at 1.76