The 2013 Davis Cup gets underway on Friday, with plenty of round one rubbers to choose from for betting purposes. Great Britain have no match this weekend, as they have a bye through to play Russia in April – a match in which they will once again have to do without Andy Murray.
British Eurosport have opted to screen the Switzerland v Czech Republic clash, but there’s little in the way of value to interest me on day one of that clash, with Tomas Berdych a 1.01 shot to beat Henri Laaksonen and Stan Wawrinka a 1.12 chance against Lukas Rosol.
One outsider who does interest me is Florian Mayer at 2.22 against Juan Monaco in the Argentina v Germany clash. Mayer has a great record against Monaco and the Argentine has been struggling with injury so far this season, meaning he has played only one match. Backing Mayer is always a risk, however.
A more solid-looking wager to my mind would be to trust in the ability of David Goffin, who plays the opening rubber for Belgium on a reportedly very heavy clay court in Charleroi against Viktor Troicki. Goffin produced probably his best moments of 2012 on clay courts and on a slow surface such as this one I would back him the come out on top against the wayward Troicki, who has won just one of his five Davis Cup rubbers on clay.
Goffin has had a solid, if unspectacular start to his Davis Cup career, with three wins from three against mediocre opposition. But in a match between two players who have just two wins in 2013 between them I prefer the clay court credentials of Goffin.
The other rubber in that match today is one for backers of huge prices, as 1.01 shot Novak Djokovic takes on a man against whom he has a losing head-to-head record. Oliver Rochus has beaten Djokovic in three of their five meetings and the other two were very close. Djokovic has also reportedly claimed that the Charleroi courts are the worst he’s ever seen, which is pretty much what he said when he lost in Madrid on the blue clay last year.
It’s highly unlikely that the 32-year-old Belgian could win again of course, but stranger things have happened and you may just get a run for your money at 50.0 with a tired Djokovic playing on a heavy court.
Best bet: Back Goffin to beat Troicki at 1.65