Excellent day for the Shark Tips service which included Baghdatis beating Karlovic @ 2.40
Results and subscription page can be found at www.sharktips.co.uk
Not a huge amount of value in today’s matches but as always we will find some in play.
ATP Open Sud de France, 13:00 – Darcis v Nieminen
They haven’t played since 2008 which was a match on clay. Nieminen won easily in straight sets although that match has virtually no relevance to today.
At first glance the stats point to Darcis playing a strong match. He has won 9 of his last 10 matches but if we look more closely all his wins except one over Mannarino were as strong pre match favourite. In his last 2 losses he was also pre match favourite.
Nieminen has made an average start to the season with 2 of his 3 losses being as moderate favourite. He did however make it to the third round in Melbourne where he lost in straight sets to Wawrinka.
Nieminen has a remarkable record at this tournament. He reached the semi finals in the last 2 seasons and the quarter finals in 2012 and 2010.
Darcis starts as a 1.90 favourite but he hasn’t been put under too much pressure in most of his recent matches. I would expect Nieminen to start well but he isn’t the best at holding on to a lead. This could be a match with several momentum swings so i will be laying the player who takes an early break lead.
Tight sets are likely and this gives us a decent chance of 3 sets. Slight edge to Nieminen due to his record at this tournament
ATP Zagreb Indoors, 17:45 – Sijsling v Mannarino
They have played 3 times with Sijsling winning all of them. Their only recent meeting was on the clay in Madrid last season and Mannarino won just 2 games. Mannarino is much better on hard courts than he is on clay and this should be a close match. However in the 4 sets they have played on hard courts (2012 and 2007) he only managed 3 games in one of them.
Mannarino’s stats for the last 6 months are stronger than his opponent’s in all categories.
This is Sijsling’s first time in the second round this season as yesterday’s win over Dancevic was his first main draw win of 2015. Dancevic had an MTO after he was broken in the first set. We had no video for the match but it was a lengthy delay.The Canadian was still competitive after the time out.
Sijsling served well over all except when he served for the match at 5-4. Dancevic finally got his first break of serve only to hand the break straight back in the next game with a double fault. This time Sijsling managed to crawl over the finish line.
Mannarino has made a stronger start to the year. He started with a semi final in a Challenger and a final in Auckland where he lost to Vesely in straight sets. He reached the second round in Melbourne. He was leading Lopez by 2 sets to 0 and was 4-0 up in the third when he started to suffer with an injury. Lopez pulled back to a tie break which he won and when Mannarino returned from the locker room to start the 4th set it was clear he wouldn’t finish the match. He could hardly move around the court. Lopez took a 4-0 lead and Mannarino retired.
As second seed Mannarino had a bye through the first round so this is his first match since the retirement.
This one is really all about Mannarino’s fitness. He has already shown he is in fine form this season. The sets will be close but a fit Mannarino is stronger on serve and on return of serve. I’ll have part stake on him from the start but will see how he performs before adding to the position. We could easily get a price above evens without a break as the market decides if he is fit or not.
Mannarino starts at 1.75 .