Value hunters today will need to look in play rather than pre match. Only 8 matches on the card with 4 first round matches each in Basel and Valencia.
Montanes has had a good season by his own recent standards. He hit a purple patch during the clay season taking the title in Nice and reaching a semi final and a couple of quarter finals. Since losing in the semi final in Kitzbuhel at the beginning of August he hasn’t won a match.
Tursunov’s best spell came on the American hard courts. He was the first of the “lower” ranked players who made us think that Ferrer maybe wasn’t as solid as we had started to think. Tursunov’s body finally started to complain and he was forced to retire against Gasquet at the US Open with a groin strain. His form since then has been ok but has lost a little intensity.
I really can’t see Montanes winning this one but he might give us a better price to back Tursunov. Not many players are backable at 1.20 at this stage of the season. Montanes has a decent serve when it is firing and he may nick an early break of serve himself.
Anderson has has an average season after doing well in 2012. To be fair he started the year well enough but suffered a shoulder injury in the summer. When he returned he did ok for a few weeks but recent results have been poor. In Shanghai he looked to be striking the ball better and took Wawrinka to 3 sets but a 3 set loss to De Schepper last week was a little surprising.
I think Bautista Agut will be pretty satisfied with his season. Despite several injuries throughout the year he has performed consistently. He picked up some solid wins and gave several of the big players a run for their money including taking sets from Verdasco, Ferrer and Isner.
Anderson’s weakness in recent matches has been his return and with Bautista Agut holding serve at around 85% he won’t have an easy day. Anderson’s own serve has been pretty good so I feel this match will hinge on the Bautista Agut serve. If he can post some great numbers from the service line then I think he can take a close match. Anderson needs to raise his return game which may not be easy as they have never faced one another before.
We will see at least 1 tie break and I have to say the value is on Agut.
Tipsarevic was a 1.55 favourite a couple of weeks ago when he played and lost to Granollers 6-4, 6-4. Today Granollers started the day at around the same price although he has drifted a few ticks during the morning as people realise the price is too low.
I think it is fair enough for Granollers to be favourite based on their last match and as they play in Spain. He also leads the head to heads 2-1.
Tipsarevic may be thinking about how he was at the World Finals last year and is now ranked 27. A strong minded player would decide to give the last few matches everything to at least end the year well. Does he strike you as a strong minded person? No me neither.
Granollers reached the final in 2010 as a qualifier. In 2011 he won the title beating Monaco in a 3rd set tie break in the final ( wow is that really 2 years ago??). Last year he reached the quarter finals. Tipsarevic lost in the first round last year.
I want at least 1.80 on the Spaniard but I feel he will want this more.