There are 14 matches in-play on Tuesday at the Swiss Indoors and Valencia Open after a very nice start to the week on Monday.
Vasek Pospisil set us on the road to a clean sweep of winners as he eased past Santi Giraldo in two sets to land the ‘sure thing’, then, playing concurrently on different courts in Basel our ‘long shot’ and ‘value bet’ were successful in just half an hour’s play.
Lukas Rosol started as I’d hoped he might against Rafa Nadal and the took set one 6-1 against the Spaniard to secure the 3.60 ‘long shot’, while Robin Haase did it even easier, landing the +1.5 sets wager against Dominic Thiem with a 6-0 opening set.
And it turned out to be a good idea to be circumspect with both bets, as both Rosol and Haase ended up losing their respective matches, despite those perfect starts.
Ernests Gulbis vs John Isner
There’s definitely some value on Gulbis in my opinion in this 19:00 UK time in Basel, which is a quick rematch from last week’s encounter between the pair in Vienna.
I said last week that Isner was far too short for that Gulbis clash and he’s still on the short side today given the American’s dismal record at this late stage of the season.
Isner has won only four of his 10 matches in Basel and Vienna and only once in five attempts has he made it past the second round at Paris-Bercy as a long season takes its toll on the body of the American.
You get the distinct impression that he’s ready for home and holidays, while Gulbis has a ranking to try and improve if he wants to start the 2016 season inside the world’s top-50 or so.
The Latvian has won three of their five career meetings and the fairly slow conditions indoors don’t aid Isner anywhere near as much as the high bouncing faster paced outdoor hard courts in the US.
Both of Isner’s career wins over Gulbis have been by the score of 7-6, 7-6, and a tie break seems highly likely again, but there wasn’t one in Vienna last week and it certainly isn’t any betting value.
I do like the +2.5 games on Gulbis at 1.77 here, with Ernie having beaten both Isner and Ivo Karlovic last week before a poor showing against Stevie Johnson, and I suspect his motivation will be higher than Isner’s today.
The +2.5 games takes the 7-6, 7-6 out of the equation for Isner and the 2.95 about a Gulbis win is decent too.
Joao Sousa vs Gilles Muller
I highlighted the mediocre record of Muller on indoor hard last week when we took Marcos Baghdatis to beat him in Stockholm and the Luxembourger looks short again today versus the dogged Sousa in Valencia.
Conditions in Valencia are slower than Stockholm on a Greenset surface and Muller is yet to win a match at the Swiss Indoors and just one in Valencia, which doesn’t surprise me.
I like Muller in quick, outdoor conditions but today it gives Sousa a chance and the Portuguese is probably such a big price due to losing his last three matches on tour, but that’s probably partly due to fatigue.
Sousa had played Davis Cup immediately followed by a run to the St Petersburg final on slow indoor hard then a trip to Kuala Lumpur then Tokyo, where he beat another big serving lefty in quick conditions in Feli Lopez, and he probably ran out of gas.
Now, after a rest, and back on slowish conditions indoors he takes on a big serving lefty again and the prices looks skewed in favour of Muller for reasons that don’t make sense to me.
Sousa has played two of my big servers this season on indoor hard (Milos Raonic and Jerzy Janowicz) and taken a set each time, while Muller has a 0-1 record as a 1.30 to 1.40 favourite on hard, losing to Ricardas Berankis on slow hard in Zagreb this year.
All of which makes the 3.10 about Sousa a decent ‘long shot’ today.
There are plenty of other options for big-priced backers today, with lucky loser Norbert Gombos not being without a chance against Benoit Paire, who reverted to type last week in Brest with an unashamed tank in the final there.
Andreas Seppi is unlikely to perform as poorly against David Goffin as he did in Beijing and how hard Goffin will be trying with Davis Cup on the horizon is questionable (see Steve Darcis last week).
Seppi has a chance and the 1.91 about the Italian +1.5 sets looks decent, while Sergiy Stakhovksy isn’t totally out of it against the struggling Grigor Dimitrov and Jiri Vesely to win set one against Richard Gasquet is a possible too.
Fernando Verdasco vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
The prospect of putting Verdasco in the ‘sure thing’ category is a little daunting, but with some unusual results around at this time of year I think it’s worth taking a bit more of a chance today.
Other than Roger Federer (and even he let us down as a ‘sure thing’ against Albert Ramos) I wouldn’t trust a single one of the sub-1.40 shot today, with the possible exception of Nick Kyrgios.
So, we turn to Verdasco, who has a superb 7-1 record against Garcia-Lopez, who in turn has a poor record here in Valencia, so there isn’t a huge amount going for him today.
GGL has a very mediocre record against lefties generally and has lost his last five against Verdasco, including the two this season, and at the Valencia Open he’s won only two of his matches since it changed to indoor hard from clay.
And the two were back in 2009, meaning he’s lost his last five in a row, including last year to Yen-Hsun Lu, and surely it’s about time Verdasco’s luck changed after throwing it away against Jack Sock last week.
The 1.57 about Verdasco actually seems decent value and a better option that trusting the likes of Paire, Gasquet, Dimitrov and Jeremy Chardy today.
Sure thing: Back Verdasco to beat Garcia-Lopez at 1.57
Value bet: Back Gulbis +2.5 games at 1.77
Long shot: Back Sousa to beat Muller at 3.10