Day three of the 2014 Australian Open looks set to continue to test the players as extreme heat is forecast again on Wednesday.
Tuesday in Melbourne was frankly ridiculous, with the dial hitting 43C, which is almost impossible to play any kind of sport in and the result was fainting, vomiting and retiring players all day long.
On the men’s side there were five retirements, several tanks and at least one episode of fainting on court with Frank Dancevic collapsing in his match against Benoit Paire.
The good news is that the temperature is set to only reach 38C on Wednesday, but clearly conditioning will be key when selecting your bets.
It was one winner from two on Tuesday, with Bradley Klahn doing enough to extend Grigor Dimitrov to four sets, but Peter Gojowczyk was undone by two tie breaks in a tight match with Victor Hanescu.
Jeremy Chardy vs Alex Dolgopolov (BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.05 GMT)
I would have made the Frenchman slight favourite in this clash between two fairly closely matched players.
Chardy is one to stick with when he finds form and he seems to play some of his best tennis here in Australia as he showed last year by making the quarter finals here and again in Sydney last time out when making the last four before losing to Roger Federer in a match he could have won.
The world number 31 has improved since linking up with Patrick Mouratoglou and he’ll be very keen to defend those big ranking points from 12 months ago here by going on another Melbourne run.
Dolgo did well to take down Ricardas Berankis in straight sets in round one, but the extreme heat of the day will not favour the Ukrainian, whose health problems have been well documented.
The pair have met on four prior occasions with the series tied at 2-2 and this one looks set to be a tight tussle, with the value on Chardy, who I give the edge to and the 2.52 looks decent value here.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin (starts around 02.05 GMT)
These two have enjoyed some really close matches in the past, most notably at Wimbledon in 2012 when GGL took the honours 10-8 in the fifth and they look all set for another tight one on Wednesday.
GGL is in good form at the moment, having played excellently in defeat to David Ferrer in Auckland and then in taking out an admittedly injury hampered Tommy Haas in round one here, but the Spaniard is a real confidence player and when he’s feeling it he can play to a very high level.
Roger-Vasselin is a player who I’ve noted to struggle in heat in the past and again he was sick on court in round one here in a four set tussle with Charly Berlocq.
The conditions aren’t going to be any better for ERV on Wednesday – in fact they’re likely to be much worse and Garcia-Lopez will be far fresher having played less than two sets so far in this tournament.
It could go long, but GGL will surely have the conditioning advantage and I give him a small edge in any case, so 1.75 seems fair enough on the Spaniard here.
Of the big names on court today, Novak Djokovic’s only issue may be the afternoon heat when he faces Leo Mayer, but I don’t trust David Ferrer at the moment. Wednesday’s opponent is Adrian Mannarino, who once bagelled Ferru on clay in Madrid and over 29.5 looks decent in that one if Mannarino doesn’t fold in the heat.
Tomas Berdych should have far too much game for the limited leftie Kenny De Schepper and 3-0 Berdych looks the call there, while Stan Wawrinka may not have things all his own way against Alejandro Falla, who comes alive in majors.
Back Chardy to beat Dolgopolov at 2.52
Back Garcia-Lopez to beat Roger-Vasselin at 1.75