My recommended treble was successful with the minimum of fuss to end a tough opening few days of ATP betting at the 2013 BNP Paribas Open. Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martin Del Potro all won in straight sets on Sunday while others – notably Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic – were made to toil.
Results went a little more to form yesterday. Although Jeremy Chardy was beaten by Bjorn Phau and Carlos Berlocq took down an injured Alexandr Dolgopolov, by and large there was a degree of normality restored to the event.
Monday’s play features Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, who both look to have pretty straightforward tasks against Leo Mayer and Ivan Dodig respectively.
There are some more competitive-looking matches around today, though. Of these I think it’s worth siding with Benoit Paire in his all-French clash with Gilles Simon, which takes place fourth on Stadium Court 3 tonight. It will be the third meeting between these two and although Paire has won both it’s more the woeful display from Simon in his opening round match here that makes me side with his opponent today.
Simon was shocking against Paulo Lorenzi in an awful match. He only came through thanks to a choke of monumental proportions from the Italian from 5-1 and match points up. The number 13 seed didn’t look fit to me and he’ll need to improve substantially to defeat Paire, who recorded a very decent straight sets win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. Admittedly, the German was playing his first match in a while after injury, but Paire served exceptionally well.
The unpredictable and flashy Paire is not exactly the most reliable of characters, but I have to rate him as slight favourite in this encounter. 2.08 is therefore worth risking.
Best bet: Back Paire to beat Simon at 2.08