6th Feb 2014

Sela beat Rosol in straight sets yesterday but was helped a great deal by Rosol’s awful start to the opening set.

Lacko also won his first match in straight sets. He was broken in his first service game but was solid after that.

Sela leads the head to heads 3-1. Their only indoor hard court match was in 2011 and that was Lacko’s only win. He lost in the opening round last season but in 2012 he reached the final where he lost to Youzhny.

Lacko has a stronger serve but is a little weaker on return of serve. This one should be really close but I am favouring Lacko. An extra day’s rest won’t hurt his chances either.

Once Rosol found his serve yesterday Sela  was just hanging in there. He was a break up in the second set but in the end needed a tie break.

Lacko starts at 1.95 and I will have part stake on him from the start.

 

In the middle of the 2013 season Dan Evans launched himself into the public eye when he reached the third round of the US Open as a qualifier. He beat Nishikori and Tomic before falling to Robredo. His form since then has been a bit of an anti climax. He had to withdraw from the Maui Challenger because he was late. I don’t know the details and maybe he had a valid reason for not reaching the court in time but when was the last time we saw Nadal, Djokovic o Murray being forced to withdraw for that reason?

He is actually 1 ranking place higher than today’s opponent Michael Berrer.

Berrer won through the qualifying rounds whereas Evans needed his Lucky Loser status. He was beaten by Phau in the qualifiers.

Evans has shown he can lift his game for the big matches but is a second round in Zagreb classed as a big match? I think not.

Berrer’s form has been pretty good in 2014. A second round at the Australian Open as a qualifier and a quarter final in the Heilbronn Challenger is very respectable for a player ranked 148.

Berrer is stronger on serve but Evans has more success on the return. Evans converts a higher percentage of break point chances.

This should be close if Evans can get up for it and also assuming he can get out of bed on time.

I think Berrer’s price of 1.59 is a little low and 1.80 would be a fairer price. I will wait for evens before I back Berrer. That wait gives me a chance to see how the two players are performing. I need to see something special from Evans for me to change my opinion.

 

In other matches Haas looks low at 1.50 against Becker. Haas hasn’t been fully fit in 2014 and  he lost to Sock in Auckland and then retired from the Australian Open just before he went 2-0 down to Garcia Lopez.  Becker is serving ok but his return is as shaky as ever. Previous sets between these two have all been close  although it is several years since they last met. I think a lay is worth a go.

If Chardy wants it enough he has the game to beat Carreno Busta. His start price is too low though so i will wait for a higher entry.

Dodig knows Karlovic’s big serve very well. The two Croats have met 4 times and Dodig has come out on top each time. The last was at last month’s Australian Open. Part stake on him at the start. He has won the first set in all their previous matches.

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