Wednesday at the Rogers Cup 2012 proved to be a bit of a tricky one, with five seeds going out in their opening matches.
In stifling, hot conditions in Toronto Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon all lost at odds-on, the former two at heavy odds on, as the tournament continues to lose its star players.
As for my bets, Tomas Berdych and Julien Benneteau played out the expected long match to land the overs, while Mikhail Youzhny unfortunately lost in a tie break in the set that he needed against Janko Tipsarevic.
As for the Simon/Haas match, I said that I’d be on Tommy if he hadn’t had a lot of tennis, but plumped for the overs and it transpired that the German looked as fresh as a daisy.
While others around them, notably Del Potro and Tsonga, were moaning about tiredness, the 34-year-old who’s played 14 matches since Wimbledon took full advantage of Simon’s inability to put a first serve in play.
As a comparison, Delpo had played five matches since Wimbledon before yesterday and Tsonga one less.
Hopefully tiredness won't be a factor on Stadium Court at 6pm where Juan Monaco is worth serious consideration at 2.45 to cause a minor upset over Mardy Fish today.
At a career high of number 10 in the world Monaco is in the form of his life after coming back from injury and he’s even started to win matches on grass, which he’d never done before this year.
The obvious assumption in this match is to see Fish as the more successful player in these conditions and Monaco as a clay courter, but that’s not really the full picture.
The Argentine reached the semi finals of his last Masters 1000 event on hard in slow conditions in Miami and while it’s perhaps a bit quicker here, it’s not by much and Monaco hammered Fish 6-1, 6-3 in the last eight in Miami.
Monaco is the higher ranked player and has won his last three matches against Fish, who as we know has been struggling with his health all year. I wouldn’t want to be on him at 1.53 to win this.
Today’s first match on Stadium Court represents a fine opportunity for Janko Tipsarevic to make his head-to-head look a little more respectable against Marin Cilic.
The Croatian leads their series 6-1, but five of those seven matches came when Cilic was much higher ranked and Tipsy was around number 40 in the world a couple of years ago.
I can’t see anything in the match-up that would prevent me from thinking that at this stage of their careers Tipsarevic is the warm favourite for this and he looks a good bet at around 1.80 in my view. He's also won five of his last six matches against players of 6'4" and over in height.
The Serbian looked very much up for this tournament in that close clash with Youzhny and he’ll be seeing this as a decent chance to grab a Masters 1000 title with a large portion of the rest of the top 10 either not here or already out.
Cilic’s best results by some distance have come on clay lately and his hard court form in 2012 has been patchy, with only five tour level hard court matches under his belt in 2012.
His best win on hard this year was the victory over Marcos Baghdatis in the first round here and I think at the moment Tipsy should prove too resilient and I can’t see Cilic hitting enough winners with a low enough percentage of errors to overcome the Serb today on this court surface.
Best Bets: Back Monaco to beat Fish at 2.45; Back Tipsarevic to beat Cilic at 1.80.