I think I must have crossed paths with a black cat who happened to be sitting under a ladder next to a lone magpie. Both of my outright bets on the Farmers Classic yesterday were beaten in deciding set tie-breaks and, naturally, the one that I opted against backing in the end – Michael Russell – won in straight sets.
At least in-play backers of Michael Berrer would have profited from his great start against Matt Ebden and my double of Ricardas Berankis and Marinko Matosevic was a winner, so there were some bright spots in the day.
Before looking at tonight’s matches in LA, it’s worth commenting on the match in Kitzbuhel involving Philipp Kohlschreiber, where the price on the German’s much lower ranked opponent has been falling rapidly.
Atlilla Balazs, the world number 261, is taking on the world number 23
and yet we have odds of 1.62 about Kohlschreiber? This is all about the Olympics of course, where the German is due to play in a few days time. The popular view is that he’ll roll over and get himself over to London to get used to the grass courts of Wimbledon asap.
Balazs was 3.35 yesterday and almost double that price the day before, so the value has surely gone now that he’s priced up at 2.25. The layers are clearly very concerned that Kohlschreiber won't put up much of a fight. If you afree, it might still be worth getting on the Hungarian.
Back in Los Angeles, it doesn’t get any easier for the punter on Wednesday, with a line-up that looks both sparse and tricky to say the least.
There are only three singles matches today and I really can’t get involved in the day’s opening game between Flavio Cipolla and Leonardo Mayer.
It’s an even money encounter and Cipolla turns me over pretty much every time whether I back him to win or lose. After he took down Jack Sock three and one on Monday night it would be just like him to lose by a similar margin today.
Mayer’s recent record on hard courts is appalling, with 13 losses from 15 stretching back to Miami in 2010. He's been defeated by the likes of Benjamin Mitchell and Peter Luczak.
Moving on, it should pay to side with Pete Sampas copycat Rajeev Ram at around 1.50 in his match against Chile’s Paul Capdeville.
Igor Kunistyn cost me when he was unable to defeat Capdeville in round one, but surely Ram’s more aggressive game will be good enough to take down a man who hadn’t won a match in the main draw of a tour level hard court event for years before beating the Russian.
Worryingly for Chilean tennis fans, Capdeville is now their number one. He follows in the footsteps of Marcelo Rios and Fernando Gonzalez in recent years, but he’s light years away from that illustrious pair.
You need to go all the way back to Indianapolis in 2008 (a tournament that no longer exists) to find Capdeville’s last foray past the second round of a tour level hard court tournament and Ram will see this match as a great opportunity.
They’ve met five times in the last, with Capdeville leading 3-2, but three of those matches were from 2008 and earlier, while Ram won their most recent encounter on a hard court 6-1, 6-1.
Ram should be able to hurry the Chilean - who likes to take a big old swing at the ball - into mistakes in these conditions. The American is the only wager I fancy in LA today.
Back Ram to beat Capdeville at 1.50