The ATP World Tour action in Australia and New Zealand continues on Wednesday, with another 16 matches scheduled at the Apia International and Heineken Open.
It was an excellent day of tennis betting on Tuesday when all three of my best bets were successful, thanks to Alejandro Falla, Jeremy Chardy and Diego Schwartzman.
Among those in second round action on Wednesday are Juan Martin Del Potro, Tommy Robredo, Kevin Anderson, Bernard Tomic and Jerzy Janowicz on what looks another fascinating day of early season men’s tennis.
Starting with today’s ‘sure thing’ then, and looking to make it 10 straight winners for that particular wager, we head to Sydney and a 06:00 UK time clash between a Serb and a Spaniard.
Viktor Troicki vs Pablo Andujar
This should be a fairly routine win for Troicki against an opponent who struggles on outdoor hard courts and was most likely flattered by the scoreline of his win over Jarkko Nieminen on Tuesday.
Nieminen had struggled through three matches to qualify in Sydney – each one ending in a deciding set and he said afterwards that he was “super-slow” and that his legs were heavy.
Add that to the Finn’s overall decline, which has been apparent for a little while now, and maybe Andujar’s success isn’t that surprising, but it will be if he beats Troicki.
The Serb is back inside the top-100 now after his ban and he’ll be just outside the top-80 with a win over Andujar, who Troicki defeated comfortably on slow outdoor hard in Miami in their only prior career clash.
Troicki should have too much power for Andujar in these conditions and he looks in form judging by his efforts in a clinical win over Martin Klizan on Tuesday.
The price seems decent at 1.42, given that Troicki was a 1.37 shot for that Miami match and Andujar’s record on outdoor hard is so poor.
There are plenty of favourites who look worth taking on and among those who look a little short in the betting are Bernard Tomic, Kevin Anderson, Roberto Bautista-Agut and Ernests Gulbis.
Tomic has a tough clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber and is probably a bit skinny due to his great record in Sydney, while Gulbis hasn’t played competitively since October and has reportedly just recovered from a viral illness.
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Kevin Anderson
I don’t have a huge amount of faith in Jiri Vesely on a quickish hard court though and as much as I’d like to take Gulbis on it might prove a better option to side with Struff to cause problems for Anderson.
The big South African is also rusty after only one match in Brisbane, which was a disappointing straight sets loss to Lukasz Kubot and he is yet to win a match here in Auckland in three previous tries.
Struff has been in good nick to start the 2015 campaign and we had a good winner with him last week over Kohlschreiber, which he backed up here by beating favourite Dominic Thiem in round one.
The German should be the one with better touch in what will be his fourth match of the new season and the 2.55 about him winning set one here looks good value in a first meeting with Anderson.
It was a close-run thing between taking the Struff bet and sticking with Pablo Cuevas, who also looks decent value as underdog against Mikhail Kukushkin, who Cuevas beat on outdoor hard in Beijing last autumn.
Roberto Bautista-Agut vs Adrian Mannarino
The mercurial French lefty looks about the best value outsider in Wednesday’s matches against what could be a fatigued RBA, who had a busy week in Chennai in week one.
RBA may not be at his most confident here after blowing numerous match points in the Chennai semis against Aljaz Bedene and he could well be facing a Mannarino full of confidence after a crushing win in round one here.
The odds favour the Spaniard here of course, but with last-16 points to defend in Melbourne next week and no doubt with aspirations to go further we may catch RBA in a less than fully committed mood in this 01:00 UK time Auckland clash.
Sure thing: Back Troicki to beat Andujar at 1.42
Value bet: Back Struff to win set one vs Anderson at 2.55
Long shot: Back Mannarino to beat Bautista-Agut at 2.95