Monday couldn’t quite match Sunday’s drama but there was still some exciting tennis action in the build-up to Wimbledon.
There was a comfortable odds-against win for Jamie Baker over the hapless Donald Young on Tuesday, which more than made up for a surprisingly easy win for Philipp Petzschner over Dmitry Tursunov earlier in the day.
But the real drama in Eastbourne took place on Court 1 where my other odds-against tip Vasek Pospisil was denied the win by a miracle shot from Ryan Harrison at match point. In-play backers would have done well with Pospisil, but he failed to get the win when Harrison somehow denied him in the final set tiebreaker.
Tuesday’s play at Eastbourne and s-Hertogenbosch offers little in the way of obvious value, but it’s always worth taking more risks the week before a Grand Slam. A lot of these players are just at these ATP 250 events for the practice, whilst others are here purely for the money
One outsider that I will be backing today is Yen Hsun Lu, who is available to back at around 2.70 against Julien Benneteau. Lu has several really good wins on his grass court resume and proved his worth on the surface again last week at Queen’s Club by defeating Ivo Karlovic and Janko Tipsarevic before retiring against eventual champion Marin Cilic.
Benneteau is an OK performer on grass, but he hasn’t beaten a player as highly ranked as Lu on the green stuff since a win over Mikhail Youzhny here in Eastbourne back in 2009. Lu, on the other hand, has defeated Andy Roddick (then ranked number seven), Viktor Troicki (12) and Tipsarevic (8) in the last two years on grass and he’s won five of his last six matches on the surface, excluding retirements.
The pair are meeting for the first time today, and assuming that the man from Chinese Taipei has recovered from the leg injury that forced him to retire against Cilic, it’s certainly worth a bet at the current prices. Lu could well be the value against a player who has been beaten by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Igor Kunitsyn and Leonardo Mayer in his last three visits to Eastbourne.
The match of the day, on paper at least, takes place this afternoon on the Eastbourne Centre Court. where Andy Roddick faces Sam Querrey. Although he’s a little under-priced today, I think it’s still worth siding with Querrey at around 1.70
Roddick accepted a late wild card into this event after a disappointing but unsurprising loss to Edouard Roger-Vasselin at Queen’s Club last week, in the hope of gaining some more grass court practice. The draw hasn’t been kind to him, however.
The former US Open champion is a pale shadow of his former self these days and it has been rumoured that this will be his last year on the ATP Tour. Roddick denies this of course, but what is obvious to most observers is that he’s on a fairly steep decline. He hasn’t actually won a match since a stunning win over Roger Federer back in March.
The head-to-head favours Roddick in this match-up, but they haven’t played since 2010 and the 2012 version of Roddick is not in the same league as the player of old.
The concern for me in this one is Big Sam suffering with nerves, playing against a compatriot who presumably he admired as a young player. But I’m sure that Brad Gilbert will have advised Querrey well and I expect him to come through today.
Back Lu to beat Benneteau at 2.70
Back Querrey to beat Roddick at 1.70