Tuesday in Basel and Valencia on week 43 of the ATP World Tour was one of staggering misfortune for my bets.
Each of the three wagers failed to win by a single game, which I don’t think has ever happened before and hopefully won’t again.
The early match in Valencia between Sam Querrey and Feli Lopez failed to go past the 22.5 game overs mark by one game before later in the day Gilles Simon was about to serve for the first set against Janko Tipsarevic when the Serb promptly retired.
It meant that bet was void as one set was not completed, but Tipsy could have had the decency to wait a couple of minutes for the bet to come in before quitting.
To cap it all over in Basel, Jarkko Nieminen went 5-2 up on Kevin Anderson only to lose the set 7-6 and then managed only three games in set two to down my overs bet by one game.
At one point the Finn lost 10 games out of 12 in that match.
Wednesday’s play in Valencia features defending champion Marcel Granollers, a battle of the giants in Gilles Muller versus Milos Raonic and a David and Goliath encounter between John Isner and David Goffin.
There’s also a tough one to call between Fernando Verdasco and Marin Cilic and the unpredictable talents of Lleyton Hewitt who takes on Ivan Dodig.
Over in Basel, the schedule has Roger Federer as the main draw, along with Juan Martin Del Potro and Richard Gasquet today.
The Muller/Raonic match looks to have overs written all over it and the Canadian is awfully short at 1.20 against an in-form and tricky
opponent who Juan Martin Del Potro was unable to break in Vienna last week.
Admittedly, the conditions in Valencia are a little slower, but Raonic is far from the best returner and I can’t see him doing much on the man from Luxembourg’s serve.
Raonic was beaten in the first round in both Valencia and Paris last year, so there’s no evidence to suggest that these Greenset courts
will suit him that much. He should win, but I think it’s a poor bet at 1.20.
The overs is set at 22.5 games at around 1.80 and that looks the bet to me in a match that won’t involve too many long rallies.
Another big server who may struggle is John Isner, who believe it or not, was out-aced by Fabio Fognini in their first round clash on
Monday and on this sort of surface Goffin may have a chance.
He failed to create a single break point chance though on the Isner serve when they met in Winston-Salem recently, which puts me off backing the Belgian, who in his last match faced an opponent in Pablo Andujar who couldn’t serve at all.
Instead I’ll take on a double, which includes Florian Mayer to beat Marinko Matosevic and Marcel Granollers who takes on Jan Hajek.
Both of these players are known to not be shy of the odd retirement or two so I won’t be going all-in on this, but Granollers has a title to defend in Valencia and he should be fine after taking several weeks off following an intercostal muscle injury.
The Spaniard should certainly be too good for Hajek in conditions that Granollers revels in and the Czech has a more worrying injury in any
case, having retired with a wrist injury in a recent outing in Metz.
Hajek is on a losing run of five, hasn’t won a match since July and hasn’t won at tour level on indoor hard for two years.
Mayer should also be too classy for Matosevic, who before Vienna last week had never won a match in the main draw of a tour level indoor
hard court tournament.
The slow court speed should suit Mayer here and his awkward style should prove too much for the Aussie to handle.
Best Bets: Back over 22.5 games in Raonic vs Muller at 1.80; Back Granollers and Mayer in a double at 1.82.