The ATP Tour continues in Week 29 on the red clay of Hamburg, Germany and on hard courts in Bogota, Colombia.
The ATP 500 event in Hamburg is the German Tennis Championships 2013, where their main draw is Roger Federer. There's also Hamburg-born Tommy Haas, who will be in action later in the week.
This tournament’s clay service has long been one of the slowest around, but the hot weather may well make it slightly quicker this week - plus there is a roof at the Rothenbaum if any rain arrives during the week.
There are six first round matches scheduled for today, starting at 10am UK time with Albert Montanes taking on Paul-Henri Mathieu. I would favour the Spaniard if it’s hot and quite slow, but both players have had injury issues of late and this match isn’t one for me.
The second match, at 12.20pm UK time between Paulo Lorenzi and Daniel Brands, should go the way of Brands, considering that Lorenzi sprained his ankle a week or so ago and withdrew from Bastad last week. If conditions do play a little quicker than normal that will help the German, but he has struggled before on clay against the Italian against whom he has a 1-3 head-to-head record.
The third match on the schedule may just offer a touch of value on Tobias Kamke, who can be backed at 2.0 against the out of form Lukas Rosol. Rosol was beaten by Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets last week, with the Brazilian playing his first match for 11 weeks and going on to lose easily to Victor Hanescu in round two. This, combined with other bad recent losses show a man low on confidence.
Since landing the Bucharest title in spectacular fashion at the end of April, the Czech has done nothing and won just two matches on tour - both against lowly opposition. You would think that Kamke, who lives here in Hamburg, would be better prepared and more up for this one than his opponent.
Kamke had a tough opening round draw here last year against Nico Almagro, but he did make the last 16 in 2011, when he lost in three to Marin Cilic. With the crowd firmly with him it’s worth siding with the former ATP Newcomer of the Year to grab the win today against a struggling opponent.
Roberto Bautista Agut takes on 16-year-old wildcard Alexander Zverev after that, before a real toss-up of a match between two old foes in Nikolay Davydenko and Florian Mayer. This is the final match on the schedule and not one I would fancy betting on.
The other match I haven’t mentioned is Pablo Andujar taking on Dmitry Tursunov. The Spaniard played yesterday in the Bundesliga and won, which will come as a relief after choking last week against Leo Mayer in Stuttgart.
Andujar does go through real peaks and troughs of form. After making the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 in Madrid and the semi-finals in Nice, he has lost in the first round of his last four events. He’s not one to place much confidence in in this mood at odds-on.
Best bet: Back Kamke to beat Rosol at 2.0