We have 16 matches on the schedule for Wednesday in week of the 2015 ATP World Tour in Quito, Montpellier and Zagreb.
I said on Monday that I was hoping for better luck on Tuesday, but it stayed pretty much the same, with my ‘long shot’ wager again losing from match points up.
Dustin Brown wasted six of them on Monday and Andreas Haider-Maurer joined the party on Tuesday in a bizarre match that the Austrian served for in set two and had match points before losing in the final set tie break and failing to cover the handicap by a single game.
His cause wasn’t helped by 19 double faults, but it was a tough one to take after the previous day’s collapse from Brown, however there was a winner for my ‘sure thing’ of Paulo Lorenzi.
It was a lot tougher for the Italian that I had expected though, with Lorenzi having to save a match point after a slow start.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs Gilles Simon
This all-French affair in Montpellier kicks off at around 15:00 UK time and I can’t see Gillou losing this one to the struggling ERV.
Simon lost in the doubles with Lucas Pouille earlier this week, but said that he wasn’t bothered, as he was focusing on singles, and after a good showing at the Australian Open, where he pushed David Ferrer to the limit, I’d expect him to find a way to win this one.
Interestingly, Simon has lost to Frenchman here in Montpellier each year since 2009, with last year a poor defeat to veteran Marc Gicquel, but ERV doesn’t have the game or the form to defeat Gillou in this one.
ERV managed to struggle his way past world number 110 Andreas Beck in round one here, but it took him the full three sets after going behind, and he hasn’t beaten a top-50 ranked player in a completed match since the grass swing last summer.
He’s won one of his last 17 completed matches against top-20 ranked players, with that one win being against a choky Stan Wawrinka in Basel back in 2013 and he’s likely to find Simon just a bit too classy, although I’m sure Simon will find a way to make it harder than it should be.
Gillou won their previous two career meetings and there's been nothing from ERV in eight months to suggest he has the belief to win this one.
Thomas Bellucci vs Horacio Zeballos
There are a few candidates for value bets on Wednesday, but I like this 20:00 UK time clash at altitude in Quito between the Brazilian and the Argentine.
Zeballos does play well here in Quito, having won the Challenger here last season, and the 29-year-old isn’t without a chance against Bellucci, who looks rather short to me at 1.41 against a player clearly comfortable in the conditions.
The Argentine began his Quito campaign with a straight sets win over Austin Krajicek, while Bellucci struggled to a three set win over 32-year-old Giovanni Lapentti, who largely plies his trade on the Futures and Challenger circuits these days.
That Lapentti match was a late finish last night in Quito for Bellucci, while Zeballos had a day off yesterday, so the latter could be a bit fresher and it could come down to who serves the better in these fast conditions.
Bellucci delivered 14 aces last night, while Zeballos hit 10 on Monday, and over 9.5 games in set one at 1.83 looks more than decent in these conditions at high altitude, as does the over 21.5 total games.
Overs came in eight of the 10 Quito matches yesterday, with tie breaks in five of them, so it’s worth looking at over games in several of the matches in this tournament, with serves proving hard to break.
But the 2.85 on Zeballos looks good in what to me is a market that has favoured Bellucci a little too much.
There are plenty of other options on Wednesday, with Lucas Pouille an interesting long shot at 4.30 against Richard Gasquet, and I was very tempted with the over 21.5 games in that one.
Pouille almost landed our ‘long shot’ bet against Gael Monfils in Melbourne and he has a lot of talent and that 18:00 UK time clash on Montpellier is one to watch.
Jerzy Janowicz versus Benoit Paire also looks decent for an overs bet, while I was also tempted to side with Ivo Karlovic in his home town of Zagreb against what looks a very tired Marcos Baghdatis.
It doesn’t look the quickest in Zagreb though and Karlovic’s record there isn’t great at all, so perhaps Marcel Granollers as underdog against Jurgen Melzer would be a better value choice.
Granollers took care of Melzer in straight sets at the US Open last autumn and despite arriving late to Zagreb due to a missed connection he’s still been there since Sunday and the late start should help.
Melzer has been suffering with a fever and he tweeted that he hoped to get into the main draw, as he “wouldn’t be ready for qualies”, so his preparation was probably worse than the Spaniard’s.
The Austrian has won just one of his last 13 against top-50 ranked opponents and three of his last 18 against top-100 opposition, so all told I’m not sure why he’s favourite here.
Sure thing: Back Simon to beat Roger-Vasselin at 1.30
Value bet: Back Zeballos to beat Bellucci at 2.85
Long shot: Back over 21.5 games in Bellucci/Zeballos at 1.83 and Granollers to beat Melzer in a double at 3.76