We were back in the payout queue on Sunday early on after Nico Almagro’s fast start to the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final saw us turn a profit in the opening set. Almagro went 3-0 ahead with a double break before stuttering over the handicap winning mark of four games in set one against Rafa Nadal, and those that had a bet in the Bucharest final would have collected on my prediction of Lukas Rosol minus 2.5 games on the handicap too.
The ATP Tour moves on to Portugal and Germany this week for a couple of ATP 250 events and there are eight first round matches on Monday to sift through in the search for a spot of value.
I'm going to take a chance on Paul-Henri Mathieu to find some form when he takes on Dmitry Tursunov in Munich at around 1.30pm UK time today. The Frenchman has lost confidence after yet more injury woes this season, but had a good end to 2012, reaching the semi-finals in Basel.
He is yet to win a match on the ATP Tour in 2013, but he must stand a decent chance of breaking his duck on his favoured surface against an opponent who is overrated by the layers after beating David Ferrer last week in Barcelona. Tursunov is a rare visitor to the clay swing and the win over a poor Ferrer was a massive shock. I’m not sure I’d back him at 1.57 to beat anyone in the top 100 on the dirt and this could be just the draw that PHM needs.
Mathieu went on a similar losing run of seven straight matches in 2010, but he’s too good a player to keep misfiring. At 2.35, today could be the day he stops that sequence.
Best bet: Back Mathieu to beat Tursunov at 2.35