It was an up and down day in the Far East on Tuesday with one winner from my two bets on the day in Beijing and Tokyo. The match between Tommy Haas and Mikhail Youzhny went the way that I expected, with a rusty Haas serving 10 double faults in defeat to the Russian, who I indicated yesterday was the value pick in that match.
Those that had slightly more faith than I did in Youzhny would have benefited from a good winner there, but my overs bet was comfortably in too.
Once again though Bernard Tomic spoiled the party with a poor defeat, this time to Dmitry Tursunov and another decent opportunity for the Aussie to go deep in a valuable tournament has gone begging, along with my money. One of these days the erratic Aussie will play the way I expect him to.
But hopefully I put a few off backing Marinko Matosevic, who lost at odds-on yesterday against Charly Berlocq and similarly Nico Almagro who lost at long odds-on to Tatsuma Ito.
Wednesday’s play features Kuala Lumpur title winner Juan Monaco, who’s up against a tough opponent in Grigor Dimitrov in a match that kicks off at around 3am UK time on Centre Court.
I never like backing players the week after they’ve just won a tournament – unless the next event is a major – and Monaco’s record in his next tournament following a title success isn’t great.
Of the three titles that Pico won earlier this year, he lost in either the first or second round in his next event and at this time of the season one would have to be skeptical about his willingness to try his heart out this week after his Malaysian exertions.
There is the possibility that Monaco will be eyeing a spot in London for the World Tour Finals, but he needs another 1000 points at least and he has big points to defend in Valencia and Paris, but none from Shanghai last year. If I were Pico I’d be having a slow one here and giving it a go next week.
Dimitrov played superbly to put himself in a winning position in Bangkok last week against eventual champion Richard Gasquet, but a huge choke cost him that match in the end.
However, the young Bulgarian has had a couple of matches on these courts in qualifying and apart from the incredibly slow, clay-like conditions in Miami, Monaco has won just two matches on hard courts in 2012.
The Argentine also has a really poor record here in Tokyo, having lost in his first match three times and in his second match twice and it’s certainly worth going against him today all things considered.
The next match up in Tokyo is not one that I’ll be getting involved in due to an injury situation regarding Gilles Simon, who ordinarily might have been a decent bet against Janko Tipsarevic, but the way Simon limped out of Bangkok last week puts me off.
But I would expect a good showing from both Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic in their respective matches against Jeremy Chardy and Viktor Troicki.
Troicki has lost his last seven matches in a row to players taller than himself and has struggled all season long on hard courts. Raonic defeated him comfortably in Toronto recently and it would be a
surprise if the Serbian was able to turn it around.
Wawrinka is yet to drop a set against Chardy in their career series and although we’ve seen an improved Chardy in 2012, Wawrinka should be too solid for the often wayward Frenchman in a match that should feature plenty of winners and a fair few unforced errors.
Both players defeated Japanese opposition in the first round here in Tokyo and Stan did struggle a bit, but he’s often a slow starter and I wouldn’t read too much into that. A double including Wawrinka and Raonic pays a reasonable 1.84, which looks a good play to me.
Back Dimitrov to beat Monaco at 2.25
Back Wawrinka and Raonic in a double at 1.84