Monday was the perfect start to Week 29 of the ATP World Tour when my only bet of the day was a winner in Hamburg.
Tobias Kamke eased past a really poor Lukas Rosol in straight sets for the loss of just three games as the out-of-sorts Czech capitulated after a reasonably competitive opening set.
Rosol’s recent poor form, which may be attributable to a hip problem continued as the errors flew from his racquet and allowed Hamburg resident Kamke to take the match 6-3, 6-0.
Tuesday’s schedule at the German Tennis Championships sees the remaining first round matches take place at the Rothenbaum, plus several round two encounters on a busy day that features 13 matches in play.
There are a few that catch my eye today, not least the -2.5 game handicap for Albert Ramos to beat Horacio Zeballos in their first round match, which takes place at around 11.30am UK time.
Zeballos has been awful pretty much since beating Rafa Nadal to win Acapulco back in February and the Argentine lefty has lost ten of his last 11 matches, with the sole win coming by way of an 8-6 final set win at the French Open over Vasek Pospisil.
Ramos has been his usual steady if unspectacular self, accruing enough ranking points to keep him around the top-60 or so and although he’s too short at 1.36 today, he should cover that 2.5 game handicap.
I’m slightly tempted by Andrey Golubev at a big price against Gael Monfils, who looks plenty short enough at 1.18 given his usual fitness worries and his general unreliable self. Never was this clearer demonstrated than last week when he played excellently against Flo Mayer then was utter rubbish in the next round against Philipp Kohlschreiber, so I think Golubev has a shot here.
The Kazakhstan player, who celebrates his 26th birthday next week, won this Hamburg title without dropping a set in 2010 and although he’s been largely in the doldrums for some time since – he went 15 matches straight without winning one right after that title – he remains a dangerous opponent.
Golubev has great memories here and I can’t see many situations where backing Monfils at 1.18 is a good idea. The 2.30 on Golubev +1.5 sets or the +4.5 games handicap at 1.85 are both good options here.
Thomaz Bellucci also has a chance against an out of form Marcel Granollers, who lost in Bundesliga on Sunday and whose form has been poor for some time. The Brazilian is just back from injury though and that could be one for the in-play.
Over in Bogota, the unique conditions make it a tough assignment for the Europeans and it's worth siding with the Colombians, who are much more familiar with conditions here.
Xavier Malisse is not exactly the fittest-looking player on tour and I'm not sure that he'll cope too well in Bogota against Alejandro Falla, who's probably been saving himself for this event and despite the negative head-to-head he looks worthy of an investment at 1.90.
Back Ramos -2.5 games to beat Zeballos at 1.60
Back Golubev +4.5 games to beat Monfils at 1.85
Back Falla to beat Malisse at 1.90