The opening round of matches in the 2014 US Open continues today in New York, with 24 matches scheduled for Tuesday at the Billie Jean National Tennis Centre.
It was one winner and one painful five set loss for my best bets on Monday, as Alejandro Falla easily pushed Jeremy Chardy past the overs mark in their untelevised clash, but Gilles Muller failed to take his chances against Paul Henri Mathieu.
The lefty from Luxembourg took just two of 14 break point chances against PHM and at least one of those was a double fault by the Frenchman in a disappointing end to the day.
We start at 16:00 UK time on Tuesday and it looks set to be another hot day, with temperatures set to reach 30C again, so we need to be on the lookout for players with suspect fitness.
Kei Nishikori is certainly one of those and although the value has gone in Wayne Odesnik today the Japanese, who says he will do well to win a round due to a foot problem, is one to avoid.
But his fellow countryman could well have a better day in his 20:00 UK time match with a clay court journeyman.
Yoshihito Nishioka vs Paulo Lorenzi
The young Japanese lefty comes here in prime form after three excellent results in qualifying and he has every chance of taking care of the weaponless and probably effortless Italian today.
Lorezni has never won a match at the US Open main draw and warmed up for this at the clay court Challenger in Cordenons, where he lost to Potito Starace.
Hardly a sign of Lorenzi wanting to do much in New York again and after beating Marsel Ilhan, young Aussie star Thanasi Kokkinakis and Horacio Zeballos in qualies Nishioka will be the one with far more motivation here.
Lorenzi’s forays into hard court majors usually end in heavy losses and the minus 1.5 games about Nishioka in his current form looks good here at 1.89.
Jurgen Melzer vs Marcel Granollers
If ever a match had five sets written all over it it’s this one, with the veteran Austrian and the Spanish grinder sure to make this a real battle.
Melzer has been complaining of a shoulder problem as his latest injury issue, but he says it’s almost perfect and he’ll be confident here after two pretty comfortable wins over this opponent in the past.
He has dipped in quality since then though, as injuries and age have taken their toll and although Granollers had a pretty much expected no show last time out in Winston Salem he’ll be up for this today.
Granollers has fourth round points to defend this fortnight from a run here 12 months ago that involved three five set marathons before he ran into Novak Djokovic, which is not what you want after three long battles in the New York heat.
Melzer described this as a decent draw for him and he’s clearly confident, but Granollers is younger, probably fitter and loves a grind.
An incredible eight of his last 12 completed slam matches have gone five sets and 10 of them have gone over today’s 38.5 total games mark, making the 1.81 about it happening again a good choice.
Richard Gasquet is another who has been struggling with injury and if you believe anything he says then the claim that he’s “not 100 percent” may interest those able to bet in Denis Istomin matches without suffering the ‘Istomin curse’.
Gasquet’s fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils looks terribly short too against up and coming American Jared Donaldson, who could nick a set off the erratic Frenchman.
Back Nishioka -1.5 games to beat Lorenzi at 1.89
Back over 38.5 total games in Melzer/Granollers at 1.81