It was a good start to the week at the Mutua Madrid Open on Monday with two of my three recommended bets coming in and the other one hitting the proverbial post.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez did the business against Marcos Baghdatis and it took well over the 22.5 total games mark, so that was pleasing.
But Viktor Troicki decided to go AWOL in the second set against Donald Young and frustratingly dropped a set after being in total control against the hapless American.
Tuesday sees a fuller line-up of men’s matches than yesterday, with plenty to choose from and several wagers that have caught my eye.
The first one that I like today concerns the match between Marcel Granollers and Carlos Berlocq and it’s worth taking a chance that the Argentine player has recovered from a troublesome calf injury and is firing on all cylinders.
Because if he is fit, the [1.85] about a Berlocq win might look big against a struggling opponent who has a pretty poor record at the Caja Magica in the three years that it’s been staged on clay.
Granollers has only won one match in the three years of clay in Madrid and the man from Barcelona is in a poor run of form at the moment that has seen him lose 8 of his 12 tour level matches in 2012.
After ending 2011 on a high with the Valencia title, Granollers has struggled and with just three wins on the ATP Tour this year he dropped down to Challenger level after a thrashing by Frederico Gil in his hometown a fortnight ago.
Berlocq and Granollers have played each other just the once and that was in a Challenger final in Italy in 2010, which Berlocq won in straight sets and if he’s fit the Argentine should have the edge again.
The worry is that calf problem, but Charly isn’t shy of retiring if he feels the calf isn’t right, so it’s not too much of a risk and his form this year when he has been fit has been considerably better than that of today’s opponent, who plays his best stuff on indoor hard these days.
My next bet today is overs in the match between Jurgen Melzer and Feliciano Lopez in a battle of the lefties.
This pair have met on six occasions with Melzer leading 4-2, but each one has been a tough battle with all four of their three set meetings going the distance.
Melzer arrives here much the fresher of the two after a break following a poor display in Monte-Carlo, but supposedly nursing an ankle problem, while Lopez has played both Barcelona and Munich since then, reaching the latter stages in each tournament.
Lopez should take this one on current form, but I don’t see the [1.53] as great value and Melzer should be busting a gut to arrest his recent slide down the rankings and this could turn into a battle.
The overs mark in this match is set at 22.5 games at a price of [1.87] and that looks worth backing in what will be the first ever meeting between the pair on a clay court.
The players haven’t been very complimentary about the blue clay so far in this tournament, with several moaning that it’s slippery so it will be interesting to see how Juan Martin Del Potro gets on today against Florian Mayer.
Delpo has been known to hit the deck with regularity and despite his current great form I think he’s a terrible price at [1.08] today against an opponent who is impossible to predict.
Mayer’s lost his last four matches in a row and six of his last seven on clay, but he has thumped Delpo twice in their four meetings and if you fancy a rank outsider today Mayer could be it.
He could just as easily lose one and two, but I won’t be adding Juan Martin to any accas today.
Back Berlocq to beat Granollers at [1.85]
Back over 22.5 games in Melzer v Lopez at [1.87]