It was one winner from two to start week 42 of the 2012 ATP World Tour on Monday. My first bet of the day was an extremely unfortunate loser in Moscow, as Daniel Gimeno-Traver was beaten by Lukas Rosol in two tie break sets. The Spaniard can count himself unlucky in that one, as he had set points in both sets and scored just three fewer points in the match overall. At least Gimeno-Traver would have made a profit for in-play backers when he went odds-on in the match, but that one goes down as a painful loss.
There was much better news from Stockholm though, as Jarkko Nieminen came through as predicted against Tobias Kamke. Despite being 2-4 down in the second, the Finn roared back to take the straight sets victory.
One match catches my eye in Moscow today: the meeting between in-form Andrey Kuznetsov and Argentine clay courter Carlos Berlocq, which begins at 1.30pm UK time on Centre Court. Kuznetsov is on a run of 15 straight wins in clay court Challenger tournaments, while Berlocq has never won a match on indoor hard and has lost 11 of his last 13 matches on all surfaces.
So these two players come into this match with vastly different levels of confidence. While it doesn’t always follow that the form will continue in that manner – this is the end of the season after all – it explains why Kuznetsov is the 1.55 favourite. The 21-year-old Russian is playing Moscow for the fifth time in total and is yet to win a match in the main draw here, but he won’t have a better chance than today’s encounter with the hard working Berlocq, who usually plays clay Challengers in South America at this time of the year.
Indeed, Charly has only ever played four tour level matches indoors and this will be his second appearance in Moscow, where he fell to Philipp Kohlschreiber 12 months ago. The pair have played on one prior occasion, but that was three years ago on clay and shouldn’t have too much relevance to today’s encounter. This should really go the way of Kuznetsov, possibly in three sets.
Another wager I like the look of today is to back big Marius Copil, who turns 22 on Wednesday and whose present should be a place in the second round in Stockholm after taking out another Argentine clay courter, Federico Delbonis. Big serving Romanian Copil is on a roll at the moment with recent wins over Matt Ebden and Marin Cilic on hard courts and I can’t see Delbonis competing on an indoor hard court.
Just like Berlocq, Delbonis has a poor record on indoor hard, with no wins at tour level. He just crept past world number 219 Peter Torebko in a final set breaker in qualifying on Monday. These medium quick court conditions are seriously in favour of Copil today and at 1.60 he represents a decent wager to end Delbonis’ Stockholm adventure.
Elsewhere in Stockholm I think that Albert Ramos may be overpriced against Ricardas Berankis and likewise David Goffin against Marcos Baghdatis.
Over in Vienna, today’s schedule of matches look pretty tricky to call. One match that could prove to be worth getting involved in is this evening’s clash between Austrian crowd favourite Andreas Haider-Maurer and Vasek Pospisil. Haider-Maurer almost won this title two years ago, but was denied in an all-Austrian final by Jurgen Melzer. He comes here for another tilt at his home tournament after winning two clay Challengers and losing in the final of a third.
His indoor hard warm-up events haven’t gone well, with losses to Yannick Reuter and Ilya Marchenko, but at least he should be in tune with the indoor conditions now and home advantage could well be decisive in this one. Pospisil qualified yesterday by defeating Dustin Brown in three sets and this one could be a really close match, as was their first career meeting earlier this year in the Heilbronn Challenger, which Pospisil won 7-5, 7-6. These two big servers may well struggle to break each other and I like this one to go over the 22.5 games mark at a price of 1.70, but I wouldn’t put anyone off the tempting 2.18 on Haider-Maurer either.
Back Kuznetsov to beat Berlocq at 1.55
Back Copil to beat Delbonis at 1.60
Back over 22.5 games in Pospisil v Haider-Maurer at 1.70