It was a bizarre opening day of the Asian swing, with injury playing a major role in Monday’s bets. First Jurgen Melzer retired in the second set of his match against Vasek Pospisil, before Brian Baker did likewise after leading 5-2 in the second set against Michael Yani.
Melzer’s retirement made our opening bet of the day void on the overs, but hopefully a few took my advice of avoiding backing players who have recently had a big life event. Always a good rule of thumb, that one. Unfortunately, Baker’s untimely fall meant my double was down after Philipp Petzschner had easily beaten his Thai opponent in the required straight sets.
The first match of Tuesday in Bangkok, kicks off at around 1am UK time and it might be worth staying up for if you back Viktor Troicki to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky at around 1.58. Troicki, while not the most mentally robust of competitors, does have a respectable record indoors and he is a former finalist in Bangkok.
The Serb also possesses a 3-1 head-to-head over Stakhovsky, with the last three in a row going Troicki’s way, including two that were played indoors. All three wins came in straight sets. Since winning St Petersburg indoors in 2009 Stakhovsky has been poor on indoor hard courts and in the 18 tour level indoor events he’s contested since then he hasn’t been past the second round once.
Stako was beaten by eventual finalist Fabio Fognini last week on the appallingly slow 2012 St Petersburg courts, and his recent record against top-50 opponents reads 3-17. On that basis the 1.58 about a Troicki win seems pretty reasonable and he’s been cut from an initial 1.64.
As for Troicki, well, he hasn’t won a match on the tour since thrashing Lleyton Hewitt in Cincy and then playing one of weirdest matches of the year against an injured Juan Martin Del Potro in the following round. Losses to David Goffin and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe followed and that sort of form has made him a backable price today in a match that he really should win fairly comfortably.
Another wager that stands out to me as well worth taking on is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez against Bernard Tomic, also in Bangkok. I have to be against the young Australian at the moment, given his recent form and recent attitude to the sport. Tomic’s results indoors have been absolutely shocking and he is yet to win a match on the Asian swing in his career.
He’s 2-7 lifetime on indoor hard courts and those two wins have come against Jurgen Zopp and Ze Zhang. Losses to Ivan Dodig, Nicolas Mahut and Michael Lammer have been the results of his most recent matches indoors, while this time last year he was embarrassingly thrashed 6-2, 6-2 by Flavio Cipolla in Kuala Lumpur. Two of his three most recent matches have ended in controversy; he was widely accused of tanking against Andy Roddick in New York and similarly in the Davis Cup against Florian Mayer.
His lackadaisical manner on court has certainly contributed to the impression that Tomic isn’t bothered. I wouldn’t want to risk any of my hard earned on him today at around 1.60 against a former champion here in Bangkok. Garcia-Lopez won here in 2010, beating Rafa Nadal en route to the title, and his indoor form is far superior to that of Tomic.
The pair are meeting across the net for the first time today and it’s worth taking a chance on GGL at 2.28 in a match that I would personally price up at around evens the pair. The Spaniard was 2.47 on the opening show and that’s been snapped up, but he’s still worth backing at the new price.
Back Troicki to beat Stakhovsky at 1.58
Back Garcia-Lopez to beat Tomic at 2.28