Thursday was a memorable day of betting on Week 30 of the ATP World Tour as my best bets generated a substantial profit. Things didn’t begin as I had expected when the well-backed Federico Delbonis somehow managed to lose the second set of his match with Marcel Granollers from *5-1 ahead, effectively being bagelled by the Spaniard to lose the match.
However things improved when my odds-against tip of Robin Haase brushed aside Janko Tipsarevic for the loss of just four games. I said yesterday that Tipsy was turning up largely for appearance fees, no doubt negotiated when he was a top 10 player. His tennis has suffered and he’s nowhere near that sort of level at the moment. His bank balance is probably quite healthy, but it will be interesting to see how he gets on in the hard court swing. He was no match for Haase.
Then came the big winner when my 8.0 tip of Daniel Brands took down the great Roger Federer in straight sets for a very satisfying victory. Although most will be talking about Federer’s decline, this was a fine performance from the German. Brands served excellently and backed it up with plenty of punishing forehand winners that tend to go awry when he’s off form, but found their mark in the quick conditions of Gstaad.
On Friday, Stan Wawrinka faces Feli Lopez for the fourth time and there would appear to be some value on the Spaniard given Wawrinka’s poor record here and the fact that the altitude helps the game of Lopez. Wawrinka has had some shockers here in the past and is some way away from the honour of being presented with his own cow on court yet. Lopez can cause problems and if he serves well the +3.5 games on the handicap holds some appeal at 1.92, as does the first set to Lopez at 2.85.
Juan Monaco was given an easy ride by an awful performance from Guillermo Garcia Lopez on Wednesday and I don’t see him as a 1.44 shot against Mikhail Youzhny in these faster conditions at altitude. That said, Youzhny hasn’t done too well here over the years and he’s not the most consistent of performers.
Brands has a tough task against Hanescu, who enjoys conditions here. The former hasn’t shown enough consistency in his career thus far to warrant his tag as favourite today, but the overs is a distinct possibility in a match likely to see at least one tie-break.
I think it’s worth sticking with Haase to back up his win over Tipsy by defeating Granollers today. The Spaniard hasn’t been tested at all yet by a poor Lukas Rosol and tired Delbonis, while the quicker conditions suit the Dutchman, whose confidence will be high after yesterday. It could be a really tight one and the +2.5 game handicap on Haase at 1.90 appeals.
Over in Umag, Albert Montanes has enjoyed plenty of success over Gael Monfils in the past, with four wins from their five meetings. He played the best tennis I’ve seen from him in a long time in beating Richard Gasquet on Wednesday.
Monfils was also at his best against Blaz Kavcic despite a dodgy arm but it would be just like Gael to follow a great performance with a really poor one, as he did in Stuttgart and on countless other occasions in the past. I certainly won’t be backing Lamonf at odds-on here and the value has to be with Monty at 2.25.
Back Haase +2.5 games to beat Granollers at 1.90
Back Montanes to beat Monfils at 2.25