A rain-affected Wednesday at Flushing Meadow meant a very late night for UK tennis fans, but it was another profitable one for my bets.
Rajeev Ram got us underway with a very comfortable 3.40 winner by taking the opening set against Fabio Fognini and he went on to crush the feeble resistance of the Italian, who clearly didn’t fancy playing in the US Open this year.
Somdev Devvarman made a meal of things, but eventually came through for a comfortable handicap success over Lukas Lacko, while David Goffin was really disappointing against Alex Dolgopolov.
We have 16 second round matches on the card on Thursday, starting slightly later at probably around 5.30pm for the earliest matches and the forecast for today is for mid to high 20s and fairly high humidity, with a 20% chance of rain.
Roberto-Bautista Agut vs David Ferrer
I’m still to be convinced by Ferrer at the moment and his scratchy win over Nick Kyrgios didn’t exactly show me that he’s back to near his best, although it was an improvement over his other hard court appearances this year.
This match will be a real grind and pretty dull for the casual observer, but I can’t see Ferrer winning it easily and the +7.5 games on Bautista Agut appeals here. He had a very comfortable win over Thomaz Bellucci in the first round and took Ferrer to four sets at Wimbledon a few months ago.
The pair have similar styles, but Ferrer is usually better. Whether he is eight games better at the moment is highly questionable.
Bernard Tomic vs Dan Evans
Based on performances in the previous round, you would have to conclude that the layers have the prices the wrong way round in this match.
Evans comfortably dispatched one of the best ball strikers in the game in Kei Nishikori in straight sets, while Tomic should have been beaten by Albert Ramos. I couldn’t ever recommend backing the wildly inconsistent Tomic at a price like 1.42 unless he was playing me – and even then I’d think twice.
Losses to Robby Ginepri, Benjamin Becker and Victor Hanescu (twice) litter his form card and meanwhile Evans is in the form of his life after reportedly deciding to concentrate on tennis rather than messing about.
Perhaps he could give some advice to Tomic after the match unless he gives him a lesson during it. I like the 2.45 about Evans winning the opening set here. There may be a letdown from Evans after the Nishikori win, but Tomic often lumbers to start with and has to then come back. Evans, who seems to enjoy the big matches, should make it tough for the Aussie today.
Feliciano Lopez vs Bradley Klahn
The layers don’t know much about Klahn, so they’ve put Lopez in at 1.27 here, which looks awfully short to me. Klahn is a decent player, who will be brimming with confidence at the moment after a very good run of form that saw him win the Aptos Challenger a few weeks ago. Along the way, he beat Evans, Donald Young, Wayne Odesnik and Evgeny Donskoy, three of whom have taken down seeds in New York this week already.
Klahn will be looking to add his name to that list, but over the longer format I expect Lopez to sneak through in the end. The bet I like here is the over 9.5 games in set one at 1.63.
Lopez is not the quickest out of the blocks and his last 12 matches in a row have all featured opening sets that have gone over 9.5 games. With two good servers on display today it’s a no-brainer at 1.63 that the odds are stacked in our favour.
Back Bautista-Agut +7.5 games to beat Ferrer at 1.70
Back Evans to win set one vs Tomic at 2.40
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Lopez vs Klahn at 1.63