After a perfect end to last weekend’s matches, week 43 of the ATP Tour began badly with neither of my selections offering any sort of form.
Pablo Andujar had an absolute shocker in his home town of Valencia to the extent that he felt the need to retweet some of the abuse he received on Twitter after his match with David Goffin.
Andujar failed to hold serve once in a strange match with the Belgian and the Spaniard came in for a little bit of unnecessary grief from the Twittersphere for it.
If Philipp Kohlschreiber were a regular tweeter he’d probably be on end of some choice comments also after a dismal straight sets loss to the mighty Ivan Dodig, which was achieved after saving at least five match points.
On to Tuesday then in Basel and Valencia and two matches catch my eye in Spain, which are Sam Querrey vs Feli Lopez, Gilles Simon vs Janko Tipsarevic.
Querrey should have defeated Lopez in straight sets in their recent match in Beijing, as I recall to my cost having backed the American only to watch him lose from a set and almost a double break ahead.
As is often the case with Big Sam, his brain can fail him at any point in a match regardless of how much in control or far ahead he is, so I wouldn’t fancy the 1.64 about him beating Lopez on this Valencia surface.
That said, Lopez has an appalling record in Valencia of two wins in 10 matches, although that record does include when the event was played on clay, but even so it’s pretty poor stuff and not a venue that he relishes.
I think this match will go long and over the 22.5 games mark at a price of 1.68
That match is first up and the last match of the day between Simon and Tipsarevic looks worth a bet on Simon at a tempting 1.74 with a few factors in his favour.
Simon has a good record against Tipsarevic, who can’t hit through the Frenchman on most of the slow courts on the tour these days and Tipsy did look as if his efforts this year were catching up with him in Vienna last week.
It’s telling that Tipsy’s two wins over Simon came in quick conditions – in Tokyo a few weeks ago and at altitude on the blue clay in Madrid and I would certainly rather be on the side of the Frenchman in today’s conditions.
Over in Basel where they’re using the same slow Greenset indoor hard courts as Valencia as instructed by the ATP to prepare the top players for the World Tour Finals next month and the match that I like there today concerns Jarkko Nieminen and Kevin Anderson.
The Finn has been pretty unlucky with his draws here in the past, running into Roger Federer in three of his five visits, but he’s still a former finalist in Basel and loves playing in indoor conditions.
Anderson’s results indoors have been OK and he has beaten Nieminen on both occasions they’ve met, but today should favour the Finn a bit more and this one looks to me like it could be a tight battle, with a deciding set a possibility.
Nieminen has trouble hanging on to his serve, but Anderson isn’t a great returner, so this one could be decided by the odd point with over 22.5 games at 1.80 a distinct possibility.
Best Bets: Back over 22.5 games in Lopez v Querrey at 1.68; Back Simon to beat Tipsarevic at 1.74; Back over 22.5 games in Anderson v Nieminen at 1.80