The second round at the Moselle Open in Metz concludes on Thursday at the Palais Omnisports Les Arènes, with Gael Monfils and Philipp Kohlschreiber among the names in action today.
The tournament’s big draw (since Stan Wawrinka didn’t show) is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the crowd favourite spoiled my 3.10 wager on Gilles Muller to win set one of their match by edging it 9-7 in a tie break.
Muller’s price had drifted to around 3.40 before the off to win the opener and that one goes down as unlucky, with the man from Luxembourg having no chance on the one set point he did earn.
We have half a dozen matches on the card in Metz on Thursday, with one match in particular taking my fancy from a betting perspective today.
Joao Sousa vs Igor Sijsling
I was happy to go against Sijsling with Andreas Seppi in round one and after the Dutchman came through that one thanks to a back injury to the Italian I’m taking him on again today with Sousa.
Seppi was clearly nowhere near in a fit state to play their opener and has since withdrawn from the doubles in Metz too, so I wouldn’t read anything into Sijsling’s retirement win there.
What was very surprising was Sousa’s very comfortable win over Ivan Dodig, with the Croatian a 1.42 shot to get past the Portuguese, who had been struggling of late for form.
It was a strange performance from Dodig, who may well have been physically under par after not playing since retiring in the US Open against Feli Lopez, but one would have thought that Dodig would quit again here if there was an issue.
Perhaps it was just a poor day at the office for Dodig, but whatever it was it will have given a much needed confidence boost to Sousa ahead of next week’s title defence in Kuala Lumpur.
Sousa faces a similar type of opponent today to Dodig in Sijsling, with the Dutchman relying on a big serve and heavy forehand to win him points and I’m not so sure that it’s quick enough here in Metz for that to work.
It certainly didn’t for Dodig and these slowish indoor courts allow Sousa the time to defend well enough to draw mistakes from inconsistent big hitters like Sijsling, whose confidence has looked totally shot lately.
Sousa will also have the advantage of having played on the school gymnasium that is Court 1 here at the Palais Omnisports Les Arènes, while Sijsling played his match with Seppi on Court Central.
All in all there’s enough for me to be happy siding with Sousa here at a price of around 1.74, although that has come in quite a lot from the opening show.
Elsewhere, the 11:00 match on Central should see David Goffin claim another win in his impressive recent run when he faces the occasionally decent Tobias Kamke, but 1.36 is too short for my interest.
Kohlschreiber and Monfils are also a little skinny against opposition that they should really brush aside fairly comfortably in Paulo Lorenzi and Michal Przysiezny.
I would expect Jerzy Janowicz to become the latest in a long line of big servers to beat Jarkko Nieminen, who doesn’t have the power in his own delivery to compete, but as I said the other day I’m not interested in backing the unstable Pole unless there’s a good reward on offer.
I might be tempted with the 2-1 to Janowicz at around 3.95 if I was getting involved here, but who on earth can predict what JJ is going to do at any given moment?
Back Sousa to beat Sijsling at 1.74