The ATP World Tour moves on to Switzerland, Germany and the USA in week 30, with two ATP 250s and an ATP 500 on the calendar this week.
They play on the clay at the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg and at altitude on clay at the Swiss Open Gstaad, while the US Open Series on outdoor hard begins at the BB&T Atlanta Open.
Conditions at the Rothenbaum Tennis Centre in Hamburg are usually slow and with wet weather forecast for much of the week the retractable roof could well see a lot of action.
In Gstaad they play at just over 1000m of altitude and therefore conditions are likely to be quicker, but it’s also forecast to rain there this week and that could slow things down a tad.
Over in the USA the Atlanta event is basically played at a shopping centre, where they lay Decoturf hard courts for the tournament and they try and make conditions as close as possible to the US Open.
There are just eight round one matches on clay across the two tournaments on Monday and we start at around 10:00 UK time in Gstaad and half an hour later in Hamburg. In Atlanta there are three first round matches on hard and they start at 19:00 UK time in the main draw.
Nicolas Almagro vs Albert Ramos
Almagro had better start winning some matches off his protected ranking otherwise the former world number nine will find himself having to rely on wild cards and qualies to get into tour level events.
This looks a good opportunity for him to get a win on the board against an opponent he has never lost to in four attempts and with Almagro it’s often worth taking a gamble on him winning comfortably.
Of his last 11 clay court victories on the ATP World Tour Almagro has won nine of them in straight sets and three of his four wins over Ramos have come in two sets also.
Ramos has a shocking record against fellow Spaniards and has lost his last 12 in a row dating back to the start of the 2014 season when he was beaten by Pablo Andujar on a hard court in Melbourne.
And in those dozen losses Ramos has managed to win only one set, so he’s lost 11 of the 12 in straight sets.
On those stats its well worth a gamble on Almagro winning this 14:30 UK time start in Hamburg 2-0 at 2.40.
To make it a 3.91 long shot I like the idea of adding Gilles Muller to beat Donald Young in Atlanta at around 23:00 UK time tonight.
Atlanta resident Young has a poor record in his home town tournament of 1-4 and also has lost nine of his last 11 matches against the big servers on my list.
Muller has a good record here in Atlanta and if he serves up to his usual high standard it’s hard to see Young having the patience and quality at the right times to either sneak a break or two or nick a tie break.
The American has lost four of his last five against fellow lefties like Muller and there’s not a lot going for him in this one.
Taro Daniel vs Jerzy Janowicz
The Japanese world number 110 is at a career high ranking at the moment and has been in good form on clay, enjoying a deep run at the Braunchweig Challenger and qualifying easily here in Hamburg.
He faces hapless Pole Janowicz at around 10:30 UK time today and there’s a bit of value in backing Daniel in this one at around 2.35.
JJ has been in no sort of form all season and was easily beaten by another player small in stature in Steve Darcis on slow clay last week in Bastad.
Janowicz can be effective on clay if he’s in the mood, but he rarely is these days and he’s won only two of his last eight on clay – and both were against players ranked outside the top-150 in the world.
Daniel has that advantage of having played a couple of matches in Hamburg and he did beat a tall, big server in Daniel Brands on clay in Braunchweig, so he can deal with a big delivery.
Go Soeda vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
The dreadful record at tour level of Soeda strongly suggests that Dolgo will win this 21:00 UK time clash in Atlanta in a first career meeting between the pair.
Soeda hasn’t beaten a top-100 player on a hard court at tour level since September 2013 and he’s lost his last 11 matches against top-100 opponents.
In all he’s 12-45 on hard against top-100 opponents at tour level and last week he was beaten in the Granby Challenger by world number 272 Yasutaka Uchiyama.
Dolgo beat Janowicz in straight sets on hard in Davis Cup in his one match since Wimbledon and it’s hard to see what sort of weapons that Soeda can use to win this one, assuming that the Ukrainian doesn’t have a shocker.
Sure thing: Back Dolgopolov to beat Soeda at 1.21
Value bet: Back Daniel to beat Janowicz at 2.35
Long shot: Back Almagro to beat Ramos 2-0 and Muller to beat Young at 3.91