There’s something very wrong with some of the things we’ve seen already in Paris this week – and we’ve only had two day’s play.
How is it possible for Sam Querrey, John Isner and Ryan Harrison all to have won on clay in straight sets; Robin Haase to have won his first tie break virtually since they were invented and Rafa Nadal to drop a set to a man who took one game off Jan Hajek last week?
Unfortunately I can’t answer those questions, but I may well have time to mull them over as rain is forecast pretty much all week from now on in Paris.
I’ve said this before but it’s worth reiterating the insanity of holding a Grand Slam tennis tournament in Paris in May. It’s going to rain and this time it may finally dawn on the ITF what a ludicrous idea it is holding a major here, and shift the whole thing lock, stock and barrel to somewhere drier.
It was one winner from two bets yesterday, with Gael Monfils and Tomas Berdych playing out the predicted lengthy encounter, while a shock win from Harrison dampened proceedings somewhat.
Scheduled for today, in the slim likelihood of us seeing them, are Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas, Stan Wawrinka, Janko Tipsarevic and many more on the final day of men’s first round matches.
If Janko Tipsarevic gets on court he may have to stay there longer than a price of 1.17 suggests given his current form and results this season. He was last seen in a bad tempered loss to Guido Pella in Dusseldorf and has won just the two matches on clay in 2013.
Tipsy has only once won a first round match here in straight sets and, despite coming into this in no sort of form, opponent Nicolas Mahut can take a set here at least and take it over the 34.5 total games mark at 1.92
Mahut has points to defend from a good showing here last year when he took down Martin Klizan and Andy Roddick before pushing Roger Federer, so he won’t be daunted by facing an out of touch Tipsarevic.
There’s a few matches that look like they will go together well for a multiple today and they start with Benoit Paire, who should not encounter too many issues in beating Marcos Baghdatis. I also expect Tommy Haas to be too classy for Guillaume Rufin and Guillermo Garcia Lopez should have too much clay court nous for Jack Sock. Those three combined would pay around 1.90 as a treble.
Djokovic should be much too good for David Goffin in the world number one’s first outing here this year, but I would expect at least more fight from the Belgian whose ranking will drop like a stone with a loss here after a fourth round 12 months ago.
I also like Guido Pella to take down Ivan Dodig at a price of around 2.50. The Argentine was in excellent form in Dusseldorf last week and beat Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki before pushing Juan Monaco all the way. That sort of form gives him a great chance against Dodig.
The Croatian dominated with his serve when the pair met on a hard court recently in Indian Wells, but over five sets on slow clay in cool conditions I like Pella to overturn that form at odds-against.
Back over 34.5 games in Tipsarevic v Mahut at 1.92
Back Paire, Haas and Garcia-Lopez in a treble at 1.90
Back Pella to beat Dodig at 2.50