The second round of matches at the 2015 Australian Open gets underway on Wednesday at Melbourne Park, with 16 matches in the bottom half of the draw scheduled for today.
Tuesday’s play brought two winners and a desperately unfortunate loss when Gilles Simon cruised past Robin Haase and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez defeated Peter Gojowczyk on a fourth set retirement from the German.
Finally, my 4.50 long shot of Lucas Pouille should have finished the day off in excellent fashion, having led Gael Monfils by two sets to love and also by 3-0 in the ensuing fifth set.
Pouille couldn’t finish it off though and although it made a great bet for an in-play trade it was a painful loss for outright match odds punters.
David Goffin vs Marcos Baghdatis
There are plenty of options again on Wednesday for ‘sure thing’ punters, with Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal all looking highly likely to win with a fair bit to spare, but Goffin looks a backable price against Baggy.
The Belgian has a clash with Grigor Dimitrov in his sights if he wins this match and after Baghdatis went five sets in his first round match the Cypriot is highly unlikely to be in a position to beat Goffin here.
Baggy has only one win in his last nine against top-25 ranked opposition in a run that stretches back to the 2013 US Open and he doesn’t have the game or the body to compete on a regular basis with the fitter guys in the higher echelons of men’s tennis in 2015.
He’s still a great fighter on the big stage, but I’d expect Goffin’s superior movement and shot-making to win the day here in three or four sets or perhaps sooner by retirement.
Martin Klizan vs Joao Sousa
The Slovakian has said that he doesn’t much care for playing in Australia and his results at the Open tend to bear that out, with just the one win that didn’t come by way of retirement here prior to this week.
Klizan got a little fortunate here 12 months ago when John Isner retired and he then drew Blaz Rola followed by Stephane Robert – and he still managed to lose to the latter in the last-32.
It always seems to be a struggle for Klizan Down Under and every single match that he’s won in Australia at main level has involved at least one tie break.
Indeed, his five wins on Aussie soil have featured seven breakers and the dogged Sousa is unlikely to be shaken off easily by the erratic hitting of the talented but inconsistent Klizan.
The court speed should edge this one Klizan’s way, but I cannot see this being an easy assignment for him and the over 37.5 total games looks decent value here at around the 1.84 mark.
There isn’t one single decent-priced outsider that I strongly fancy today, so instead I’m opting for a multiple on Wednesday, with 3-0 wins for Murray and Berdych combined in a treble with an overs selection.
Edouard Roger-Vasselin vs Malek Jaziri
Marathon man ERV has been involved in plenty of long matches at majors, with just two straight sets wins at grand slams since way back in 2007.
The two 3-0 wins he did manage were against Filippo Volandri on grass and Albert Montanes on hard, so not exactly the toughest opposition and Jaziri has more than enough about him to make this another struggle for the Frenchman.
The out of form ERV got lucky with Tommy Robredo’s early retirement in round one, while Jaziri was also a little fortunate to meet a fatigued Mikhail Kukushkin, who was fresh from a long run in Sydney.
ERV has gone over today’s 38.5 total games mark nine times in majors since the 2012 Australian Open and he lacks the power to put opponents away quickly generally speaking.
Jaziri has a similar problem and this one could take a fair while to complete if both are somewhere near fully fit and injury-free.
Sure thing: Back Goffin to beat Baghdatis at 1.35
Value bet: Back over 37.5 games in Klizan/Sousa at 1.84
Long shot: Back Murray and Berdych 3-0 and overs in Roger-Vasselin/Jaziri at 3.92