There is no WTA this week, as it’s Fed Cup later in the week, but there are three ATP 250 tournaments in Vina del Mar, Montpellier and Zagreb to concentrate on. Monday’s schedule is pretty sparse, as it’s the final day of qualifying in the European events and in South America too, where Rafa Nadal will be making his long-awaited comeback later in the week.
My interest lies in Chile today, with two matches that will form a double that pays around 1.99.
The first leg, which kicks off at around 5pm UK time sees in-form Argentine left-hander Federico Delbonis take on countryman Guido Andreozzi. Delbonis won the Bucaramanga Challenger in Colombia a couple of weeks ago, beating the likes of veteran Nicolas Massu, Paul Capdeville and Pedro Sousa before taking down Wayne Odesnik in the final.
His opponent Andreozzi won the Lima Challenger last season on clay, but he didn’t kick on from there, despite gaining a win over Feli Lopez the following week. He hasn’t made it past the quarter-finals at that level since, but like Delbonis he has won a couple of matches in qualifying here in Chile so far.
Delbonis is much the more experienced campaigner at this level, despite being just one year older. In the first meeting between the pair I have to favour Delbonis today.
Another Argentine in action today is Leonardo Mayer, who takes on the wildly unpredictable Filippo Volandri at around 8pm UK time. This one is likely to go the way of Mayer.
Volandri tends to play most of his tennis on the Challenger circuit these days at the age of 31, but he does have a tendency of popping up on the ATP Tour and doing rather well, as he showed a year ago when he beat Albert Montanes, Thomaz Bellucci, David Nalbandian and Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo to reach the final in Sao Paulo. That sort of form is rare for the Italian, who has always been held back on the quicker surfaces by his incredibly weak serve.
Mayer, on the other hand, is a reasonably big server and if he is able to perform near his best today he should have few problems with Volandri in what will be their second career meeting. They met in a Challenger in Napoli in 2011 when Mayer won in three sets, and assuming that Leo is fit, he should see off Volandri.
Mayer’s last outing was in Melbourne, where he faced Bernard Tomic with a protective bandage after burning his hand in an incident with a firework, but that will be more than healed by now.
Best bet: Back Mayer and Delbonis in a double at 1.99