Tuesday was another winning day at the US Open, with two winners and a very unfortunate loser from my three selections.
Sergiy Stakhovsky took the opening set against Stan Wawrinka, which was enough for the +2.5 sets handicap bet to come in, while Thomaz Bellucci and Pablo Andujar played out the long match that I expected.
The overs easily came in on that one, but there was misfortune as David Goffin took just two of 18 break point chances against Tomas Berdych and somehow ended up leaving New York without a set to his name.
Wednesday’s schedule at Flushing Meadows was due to have included David Nalbandian vs Juan Martin Del Potro, but that match will not now happen as the former has withdrawn with a rib injury, which is a shame.
A match where a favourite is coming into this in poor form, lacking in confidence and perhaps there for the taking is Jurgen Melzer, who surely won’t win easily against fellow leftie Bradley Klahn.
Melzer’s recent record is awful and the two wins he has managed lately have been titanic struggles. He’s lost 10 of his last 13 and is one to avoid adding to accumulators at a price of 1.25
Of the 21 matches the Austrian has played since winning the title indoors in Memphis in the spring only two of them have resulted in straight sets wins for Melzer and he hasn’t won a match on outdoor hard in straight sets since Shanghai last year (d. Ljubicic).
His performance in majors has also been poor this year, with two first round losses (Australia and Roland Garros) and an 8-6 final set win over Stan Wawrinka in the Wimbledon first round being his only victory.
Klahn is no world-beater by any means, but neither is Tim Smyczek, who beat Melzer at Delray Beach or Michael McClune who blew match points against him last week in Winston-Salem.
He won all three of his qualifying matches in straight sets to earn the right for his shot at Melzer and he looks good at 1.60 to take a set or at 3.80 for the outright win.
Another odds-on shot who should win but is likely to make a meal of it is Viktor Troicki. The Serbian has only once in his career won a match in straight sets at a hard court major – and that was against Carsten Ball here back in 2008.
Since then he’s gone 15 matches without producing another 3-0 win at a hard court major and despite facing an opponent in poor form, Cedrik Marcel Stebe can play a bit and 1.63 about the German taking a set looks good to me.
Troicki even managed to drop a set to Alberto Martin on a hard court, so the determined Stebe should take at least one against the shaky Serb.
My final bet today is to back Andreas Seppi and Mikhail Youzhny in a double, which will hopefully pay around 1.82
Seppi should have too much at the moment for Tommy Robredo who is not the Robredo of old after a couple of years that have been virtual write offs due to injury.
Tommy was beaten by Lukasz Kubot in a pretty awful encounter last week in Winston-Salem and before that by Roberto Bautista-Agut in a Challenger – both on hard courts and he hasn’t managed a win over a top-100 player on hard since Indian Wells in 2011.
Seppi doesn’t have a great record at this time of the season, but he should be able to take this in what will be their first meeting in four years.
As for Youzhny, well, he was a semi finalist here two years ago, but has suffered poor first round losses in his previous two hard court majors.
I’d be very surprised if he were to make that three against ageing leftie Gilles Muller, who Youzhny has beaten in their two previous encounters.
Muller has a pretty good record in New York, reaching the fourth round last year, but he didn’t beat much and his recent form has been very average, despite a lucky run to the final in Atlanta when he benefited from Mardy Fish retiring after the American ran into a net post.
Best Bets: Back Klahn +2.5 sets to beat Melzer at 1.60; Back Stebe +2.5 sets to beat Troicki at 1.63; Back Youzhny and Seppi in a double at 1.82.