Roger Federer struggles to perform well in back-to-back tournaments so it's worth siding with Tursunov in California, writes Unibet's Sean Calvert...
The third round of the 2014 BNP Paribas Open begins on Monday, with several of the stars of the men’s game in action today at Indian Wells.
Juan Martin Del Potro’s withdrawal from the tournament voided my opening wager of the day on Feliciano Lopez yesterday, while Florian Mayer’s retirement meant that my overs bet was also void in his clash with Jarkko Nieminen.
The one wager that did actually run was a winner, as Tommy Robredo battled past Marinko Matosevic in three sets to make it a profitable day in the end.
Milos Raonic 1.30, Alejandro Falla 3.40 - BET and WATCH on Unibet TV from 20.05 GMT
Let’s be honest – Milos was awful against Edouard Roger-Vasselin in his opening round here in every department barring the serve, which won the match for him almost single-handedly.
In his first match since Melbourne it was hardly surprising that the Canadian struggled after suffering an ankle tendon injury in Australia and according to reports from the Canadian press he only began to play points in practice again three days before the ERV match.
Milos has a losing 12-15 record at tour level against lefties such as Falla and if Raonic doesn’t produce a similar level of serving as in the Roger-Vasselin match, where he threw down 33 aces, he may find the Colombian a tough nut to crack.
The Canadian failed to create a single break point against the Frenchman and unless he improves massively off the ground the handicap options on Falla or the overs look well worth a bet.
Over 22.5 games looks very good at 1.80, while Falla +3.5 games is also tempting at 1.70.
Rafael Nadal 1.13, Alexandr Dolgopolov 5.75 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 22.05 GMT
Nadal was tested in his opener by Radek Stepanek and Dolgopolov is in good form at the moment, but the Ukrainian is yet to take a set from Rafa in the 10 they’ve contested.
There’s always a question mark over Rafa’s fitness, seemingly. People love to quiz the Spaniard on the efficiency of various parts of his body and lately it’s been the back that’s been the issue.
It certainly affected his serve against Stepanek and if it continues to be a problem then Dolgo could exploit it, but does he have any belief that he can win in this match-up? It seems doubtful.
So, the best bet here would be the first set markets, with Dolgo surely needing to come out fast and catch Rafa while his back warms up. The 2.06 on over 9.5 games in set one looks good here.
Dmitry Tursunov 8.50, Roger Federer 1.07 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 19.05 GMT
The layers seem to be back to their old ways of pricing Federer like it’s 2005, with the Swiss veteran a crazy 1.07 shot to take down Tursunov tonight.
He should win this fourth career meeting with the Russian, but that price seems way too low considering his general unavoidable decline and likely fatigue issues playing in back-to-back tournaments with another next week too.
The Swiss maestro has always managed his schedule exceptionally well, but it’s rare for him to play back-to-back weeks on the tour and walk away with titles these days and with Miami in mind next week and Rafa on the horizon here we could see a dip.
From a technical standpoint the high bouncing Indian Wells surface tests his single-handed backhand and it went AWOL during what turned out to be a tricky opener against Paul-Henri Mathieu and if Tursunov is up for the fight he has claims of winning a set at 3.15 or on the handicap of +5.5 games in the Russian’s favour.
Elsewhere, very little in this world would tempt me to have a bet on a match between Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini, but it will almost certainly be the game of the day in terms of pure entertainment. If you enjoy a farce, tune in to this one at 20.00 UK time on Stadium Court 2.
Back over 22.5 games in Raonic/Falla at 1.80
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Nadal/Dolgopolov at 2.06
Back Tursunov +1.5 sets to beat Federer at 3.15