Wednesday at the Rogers Cup sees the tournament come to life with 12 singles matches and the arrival of the big names.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are all scheduled for today as the event kicks into gear in Toronto.
On the evidence of the opening two days it looks to be another of those slow, generic hard court surfaces that we see all the time at Masters Series events these days, with unforced errors generally outnumbering winners.
It was one winner and one loser yesterday, with my advice to avoid backing Frank Dancevic at 1.55 proving to be sound, as he lost in straight sets to Mikhail Kukushkin and our bet of Kukushkin +1.5 sets was an easy winner.
My second bet also started well, but after winning the first set Sergiy Stakhovsky’s serve deserted him and he went down in three, so if we’re going to be seeing the likes of Granollers winning those sort of matches it tells a tale about the nature of the surface in Toronto.
There are a few of today’s matches that look like they will go long and the one I fancy the most is Tommy Haas vs. Gilles Simon, which takes place this evening on Grandstand Court.
Haas will be a bit jaded after a lot of tennis lately and a long battle with David Nalbandian last night and that’s the only reason that Simon is favourite for this match at a price of around 1.72
Tommy has won three of their four matches and is in excellent form at the moment, whereas this will be Simon’s first match on a hard court since Miami.
I’d be on Haas for this if he hadn’t had a lot of tennis of late for a 34-year-old with a history of injuries and if he’s a little off the pace today it will take a while for him to break the sturdy defences of Simon - if he manages it at all.
Their last three meetings have gone to a deciding set and this closely matched pair look set to do the same again on a slowish surface that will perhaps favour the Frenchman’s consistent hitting.
The total games mark is set at 22.5 games and I like the look of the overs at around 1.75
I also like it in the match that features Tomas Berdych and Julien Benneteau that also takes place on Grandstand at around 6pm UK time this evening.
Berdych looks a really chancy wager at 1.22 given that he’s a confidence player known to be somewhat lacking in the mental strength department and losses when heavy favourite in his previous three matches doesn’t inspire belief in him today against the tricky Frenchman.
The Berdman won just one match on the grass swing and defeats to Steve Darcis and Ernests Gulbis spell trouble for the top-10 star.
He hasn’t done well on outdoor hard either since a quarter final in Melbourne at the start of the year and in his first match on the surface since the spring he might find Benny a tough nut to crack.
The total games mark is set at 21.5 and overs looks good again at 1.87.
My final fancy today is for Mikhail Youzhny to grab at least a set from Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match on Grandstand at 4pm this afternoon.
I was on Youzhny at a nice price when he took down Tipsy at Wimbledon this year and 1.54 about him to win a set against an opponent that he’s beaten the last three times in a row looks too good to turn down.
Those three wins have come on differing surfaces - hard, indoor hard, and grass, suggesting that the 1.58 on the Serb outplaying the Russian looks very poor value.
Youzhny had a good win over the tough Kevin Anderson yesterday in straight sets and again he’s likely to make fewer errors than Tipsy, who will probably be frustrated into over hitting on this surface.
Tipsarevic is another who hasn’t played on hard since Miami and I’d be disappointed if Youzhny didn’t at least win a set in this one in the circumstances.
Best Bets: Back over 22.5 games in Simon vs. Haas at 1.75; Back over 21.5 games in Berdych vs. Benneteau at 1.87; Back Youzhny +1.5 sets to beat Tipsarevic at 1.54.