Wednesday of Week 30 of the ATP World Tour features 14 more matches in Gstaad, Umag and Atlanta.
Tuesday was a bad day at the office for me and one of those days all round, typified by Albert Montanes taking down number one seed Richard Gasquet for the first time in eight tries in Umag. When you’ve got players tanking and the likes of Christian Harrison winning, it’s never going to be your day.
But even more bizarrely, all 15 favourites have won so far in Gstaad, which is totally out of character for an ATP 250 event and it hasn’t helped us value-seekers one bit. Surely that can’t continue today?
The remaining second round matches take place in Gstaad today and after being presented with another cow on court by the tournament on Tuesday, Roger Federer makes his event bow today.
The Swiss maestro hasn’t played this tournament since back in 2004 when he defeated Igor Andreev in a best of five set final and his opening match here in 2013 is Daniel Brands, who Federer defeated in Hamburg last week.
There is an argument that the faster conditions will suit the big-hitting Brands more here, but he’s shown very little at altitude before and the control element of his game is sometimes found wanting, which could mean the faster conditions will play into Fed’s hands more. With Federer seemingly on the slide, it has to be worth taking him on for small stakes at prices like 1.08 these days. Brands at 8.00 would be the bet here.
One man who has played well on clay at altitude before is Robin Haase, who is a two-time Kitzbuhel champion on the dirt and is worth backing as underdog in today’s conditions against the out of form Janko Tipsarevic.
Tipsy has been clocking up the miles to earn those appearance fees this year but, coming straight from hard courts in humid Bogota to Switerland on the clay, this is not an easy match first up for a player who’s been struggling for form all season long.
The out-of-form Serb has lost as 1.50 favourite or shorter seven times this season - including last week - and he’ll do well to repeat last year’s feat of making the final here. My model has Haase as slight favourite, so the 2.28 on him is the wager.
Federico Delbonis could well be worth sticking with at around 2.00 against Marcel Granollers, although fatigue is a slight concern. Granollers was given a big helping hand into this round by the woeful Lukas Rosol and in the form Delbonis is in at the moment he represents value as slight underdog today.
Victor Hanescu is another possibility at the same price against Roberto Bautista-Agut. Both of these players reached the semi finals at Stuttgart, but my model has Hanescu as favourite here. He is a former champion in Gstaad, while the Spaniard has played just the one match in the main draw here – his first round stroll against the limited and nervous Henri Laaksonen. Perhaps there’s not quite enough of an edge here, but Hanescu is slight value.
In Umag, Carlos Berlocq looks a good thing to beat the out of touch Horacio Zeballos, who I said might struggle against the 16-year-old Borna Coric in the last round. He really did suffer in the first two sets of that one and Berlocq should ease through that one on the current form of the pair of them.
Andreas Haider Maurer and Viktor Troicki could be a spot of value as underdogs against Andreas Seppi and Tommy Robredo, while in Atlanta both Igor Sijsling and Yen-Hsun Lu tempt me as underdogs.
Sijlsing has to have a good shot against Ryan Harrison, as does Lu against Istomin, however the head-to-head in favour of Istomin puts me off that one a little.
Back Delbonis to beat Granollers at 2.00 - LIVE
Back Brands to beat Federer at 8.00
Back Haase to beat Tipsarevic at 2.28