The ATP tennis action on Friday features the start of the second round of the 2014 Sony Open at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, with a slew of top names on the schedule for today.
Thursday’s sole best bet was a fairly comfortable winner, with Lukas Lacko easing past the minus 2.5 game handicap mark in a 6-4, 6-4 win over one-dimensional French leftie Kenny De Schepper.
Thankfully, today’s matches hold much more appeal than yesterday’s and I have several potential wagers to consider, with play starting once again at 15.00 UK time.
Teimuraz Gabashvili 6.50 vs David Ferrer 1.11 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 15.05
The price of 1.11 on Ferrer looks incredibly short in the circumstances of the Spaniard having been away from the match court with a left adductor strain since February 27 when he retired in Acapulco.
The layers are taking Ferrer’s fitness on trust and he should win this match, but last year’s finalist shouldn’t be a 1.11 shot anyway after achieving more or less nothing on hard courts in 2014.
Losses to Daniel Brands and Yen Hsun Lu on hard this season don’t read well and today’s opponent shouldn’t be immediately discounted after a fine display in the first round here in a straight sets win over Marcel Granollers.
Indeed, Gabashvili defeated another Spaniard in Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open this year and provided he isn’t injured again the Russian has a great chance with a 5.5 game start on the handicap.
The 1.67 about that selection looks very good to me and those after a big outsider today should consider the 4.40 about Gabashvili winning set one or the 6.50 about the outright win.
Ferrer is defending big points here and he should battle strongly, so the handicap or set one bets are the most appealing.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1.13 vs Adrian Mannarino 5.75 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 21.05
Regular readers will know how poorly I rate Tsonga these days, and he is still always far too short in his matches for reasons I can’t quite understand looking at his stats and general level of play.
The big Frenchman’s return game was always bad, but now it’s terrible and he sits at 68th position in return games won in 2014 – one place ahead of Pablo Carreno Busta (who’s won one of nine matches this season) and one lower than Benjamin Becker.
Coming off a straight sets loss to Julien Benneteau at Indian Wells and renowned as a slow starter anyway, Mannarino must have a fine chance of either taking the opening set at 4.0 or taking it past the 9.5 total games mark at 1.88.
Eleven of Tsonga’s 13 opening sets on the tour in 2014 have gone over 9.5 games and with Mannarino serving well in his opening round win over Nikolay Davydenko that looks a good bet again today.
Tommy Robredo 1.58 vs Dominic Thiem 2.30 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 16.05
The young sensation that is Thiem takes to the court again at around 16.00 UK time today against a very experienced campaigner in Robredo.
The Spaniard may not be in the most confident frame of mind though after a poor display in defeat to Marin Cilic last time out and he doesn’t have a great record in Miami, with just the one quarter final to his name seven years ago.
Thiem began his main draw campaign here with a good win over Lukas Rosol after two straight sets wins in qualies and that will surely help him in what looks like it has the makings of a real scrap about it.
Robredo’s recent form has been patchy and he suffered a heavy loss to Pablo Andujar on clay in Rio before struggling past Marinko Matosevic at Indian Wells and then losing comfortably to Cilic.
He looks short at 1.58 in this one against an opponent with a good serve, no fear and not a lot to lose and I’m expecting a three set battle here, which leads me to the overs at 1.88.
Back Gabashvili +5.5 games to beat Ferrer at 1.67
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Tsonga/Mannarino at 1.88
Back over 22.5 games in Thiem/Robredo at 1.88