The ATP Tour moves on to Umag, Gstaad and Atlanta in Week 30 of the 2013 tour, with three ATP 250 events on clay and hard courts.
There’s quick clay at altitude in Gstaad, where Roger Federer attempts to find some form ahead of the US Open Series. The dirt is slower on the Croatian coast in Umag, while players are faced with medium hard courts in high humidity in Atlanta.
Monday’s schedule is pretty quiet, with only eight first-round matches being played today across all three venues, as qualifying is completed and the early action takes place in Gstaad. It may well take the players a little while to get used to conditions, so the qualifiers have a slight advantage. That makes the 1.25 on Feliciano Lopez look very short to me.
The Spaniard might do OK this week in these quicker conditions, but first up against an experienced campaigner in Jan Hernych, who had a really good grass swing, it could be tricky for Lopez.
Hernych has had two matches here already in qualifying and Lopez rarely convinces on clay these days. They are meeting for the first time on the tour since way back in 2000 in Cairo qualifying. I like siding with Hernych +4.5 games on the handicap in this one at 1.72. The 34-year-old served very well in qualies and Lopez isn’t the best returner, so this should be close.
Over in Umag I’m not convinced that Albert Ramos should be as short as 1.35 against Leo Mayer in the 4.30pm match, but surely it’s worth taking on Thiemo de Bakker as favourite against Dmitry Tursunov in the 7pm match. The Dutchman is priced up at 1.70 after making the semi-finals in Bastad last time out, but it was hardly a great run, as Viktor Troicki choked and Tomas Berdych threw in a shocker. I feel this makes the 2.10 on Tursunov worth taking.
The Russian has been much improved on clay this year and De Bakker is ranked where he is for a reason - namely that he’s hugely inconsistent. At these prices there’s value on Tursunov today.
Over in Atlanta at 8pm UK time there’s an interesting match-up between Ryan Harrison and Marinko Matosevic, in which the former seems very short indeed at around 1.46. I can only attribute this to the food poisoning that Matosevic suffered last time out, but that was two weeks ago and surely he’ll be fine by now.
Another factor is Marinko’s poor grass swing, but Harrison hasn’t been past round two at tour level since the second week of the year. To me, 1.46 is a shocking price against a player with a decent pedigree on North American hard courts such as the Aussie. The 2.65 is worth taking.
Back Hernych +4.5 games to beat Lopez at 1.72
Back Tursunov to beat De Bakker at 2.10
Back Matosevic to beat Harrison at 2.65