The opening day of the 2013 Coupe Rogers was another good one for this column, with my best bet proving a comfortable winner.
Marinko Matosevic didn’t face a break point in a simple straight sets win over Benjamin Becker for a winning bet on Monday evening in Montreal.
There are another 15 first and second round matches scheduled for Tuesday in Canada and on the evidence of what I saw yesterday the surface didn’t appear to be overly quick, but as usual, opinion seems to vary on the issue.
It will be interesting to see how highly rated junior Filip Peliwo fares in his first main draw match at tour level. The 19-year-old faces Jarkko Nieminen, who has been injured and is playing his first match since Wimbledon today. If the Finn is rusty this could get interesting.
Of the other early matches, Jerzy Janowicz looks a touch short at 1.37 to beat Julien Benneteau, considering his bicep injury and that he hasn’t played on a hard court for some time. But Radek Stepanek is a viable option at around 2.50 against Nico Almagro, who’s been playing beach tennis in Spain and has a poor record against the Czech veteran. The over 22.5 games looks very likely in this one at around 1.80.
John Isner has to be exhausted after two really long weeks and he’s pretty much admitted as much already. Even fully fit he would face a challenge from Vasek Pospisil, who’s confidence was boosted by winning in Vancouver last week. Isner has a really poor record here in any case and the 3.10 about Pospisil has to be a touch of value here in these circumstances.
Another big server who is too short yet again in Milos Raonic, who is tinkering with his game and working on new fitness routines, but isn’t winning matches. He’s only ever won one completed match at home in the Rogers Cup and faces the dangerous Jeremy Chardy at around 11pm UK time tonight.
Their last encounter on indoor hard went the distance and the Frenchman will also enjoy these conditions where his big serve will prove a test for Raonic’s dodgy return game. The 1.75 about Chardy +1.5 sets looks good here.
Grigor Dimitrov should have a comfortable opener against Marcel Granollers, who has just about turned up for this match after winning Kitzbuhel and going on to play Bundesliga on Sunday. Granollers is playing doubles here this week too and I can’t see him putting up much resistance in the singles in these circumstances. Under 22.5 games at 1.73 looks the bet here or Dimitrov -1.5 sets at 1.68.
Back over 22.5 games in Stepanek vs Almagro at 1.80
Back Pospisil to beat Isner at 3.10
Back Chardy +1.5 sets to beat Raonic at 1.75
Back under 22.5 games in Dimitrov vs Granollers at 1.73