It was a bizarre end to the week’s ATP action in Sao Paulo on Sunday, as a woeful performance from David Nalbandian scuppered my recommended bet. Facing a clearly below par Rafa Nadal, the Argentine was awful and yet managed to manoeuvre himself into a 3-0 double break lead in the second set.
Unfortunately, Nalbandian gave up at that point and lost six straight games to hand the title to Nadal, which preceded a peculiar presentation ceremony during which Rafa dropped the trophy. All very odd and a fitting end to what was a strange week on courts that most players described as extremely poor.
The Golden Swing moves on to Buenos Aires this week for the ATP 250 Copa Clara, while the action in the United States centres around the Memphis indoor ATP 500 event. In Europe it’s the Open 13 indoor tournament in Marseille.
It’s a pretty quiet opening day’s play in Marseille today, but one opportunity that looks worth exploring is in the match between Lukas Rosol and Jerzy Janowicz that takes place at 5.30pm UK time.
Janowicz has been largely disappointing since his rise to prominence in Bercy at the end of last season, and suffered a straight sets defeat at 1.3 to Victor Hanescu on indoor hard in Rotterdam last week. Rosol has also done little since his famous win over Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon, but he at least made the quarter-finals in a weak part of the draw in Zagreb.
Confidence won’t be high with either of these two and as neither is a particularly good returner we can expect to see a match that is likely to go over the 21.5 total games mark at around 1.55.
This match will involve plenty of aces and plenty more unforced errors, along with a few rasping winners. It might be an entertaining spectacle, but I’d be surprised if it was won by either of these players in 21 games or fewer.
Best bet: Back over 21.5 total games in Rosol v Janowicz at 1.55