Week 42 of the 2013 ATP World Tour got off to a nice start on Monday with my best bet running out an easy winner in Stockholm.
Igor Sijsling despatched Tobias Kamke with the minimum of fuss in straight sets, while my other wager was void as Jurgen Zopp retired in the opening set of his match with Pablo Carreno-Busta.
I said yesterday that Zopp was just coming back to something like his old self after a major back issue and it looked like something similar again for the Estonian on Monday when he was forced out at 5-5 in set one against the Spaniard. He certainly looked in pain and hopefully he’ll recover.
The big match of the day in Stockholm on Tuesday is the return to the main draw of an ATP Tour level event for the first time since 2009 of Sweden’s Joachim ‘Pim Pim’ Johansson, who has come out of retirement and made it through qualifying as a wild card.
Pim Pim’s huge game has already done for three players in qualifying and it will be great to see the former top 10 star back on a televised court when he faces Alejandro Falla at around 5pm UK time.
It’s not really a match I’d fancy betting on though and I prefer the card in Vienna today for my wagers.
Dominic Thiem vs Daniel Gimeno-Traver (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 15.05 BST)
I’m surprised that of this week’s three ATP 250 indoor events DGT has opted for the quickest conditions in Vienna, rather than Moscow or Stockholm, where it’s slower.
Never at home away from slow surfaces and a confirmed clay man the Spaniard has only ever won one match in a tour level main draw away from St Petersburg, where it’s also slow and that was in Valencia in 2010.
Here he faces local prospect Thiem, who beat Lukas Lacko as a big underdog here last year and looks worth siding with at around 1.98 when this match begins at around 4pm UK time. He’s already been backed in to that price from above evens last night.
The 20-year-old will be out to level the career series between he and Gimeno-Traver after the latter won on the dirt in Kitzbuhel in Thiem’s pro debut and Daniel was a 1.1 shot that day, but he’ll find this tougher. Dominic showed his improvement at Kitzbuhel this year, where he beat Jurgen Melzer and Andrey Kuznetsov en route to the quarter finals.
Thiem has already stated his pleasure at the courts in Vienna being even quicker than last year and he certainly has a good shot today.
Lleyton Hewitt vs Vasek Pospisil (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 17.35 BST)
Rusty looks like he’s coasting to the end of the season after some really poor displays in recent weeks and his record in these sort of events and at this time of the year in particular is not good.
He’s been thrashed by Italians Andreas Seppi and Fabio Fognini in his last two matches on the tour and I suspect that conditions here in Vienna will be too fast for him.
Today he faces the up and coming Vasek Pospisil, who should have too much game for him and more importantly the desire to perform well, which the veteran Aussie won’t have if his recent displays are any guide.
Hewitt beat a raw Pospisil easily on grass last year, but I think things will be very different this time around and I’m quite surprised that the Canadian is the underdog here at 1.95.
Vasek took down Richard Gasquet in straight sets in fast conditions last week in Shanghai and also beat Tomas Berdych and John Isner in quick conditions in Montreal on top of some good efforts in Davis Cup and my only concern here is the travelling from Asia.
Assuming he’s OK physically he looks a good bet at 1.95.
Back Thiem to beat Gimeno-Traver at 1.98
Back Pospisil to beat Hewitt at 1.95