Well here we go! As always in the first couple of days of the slams the traders’ money is more thinly spread as there are a lot of gamesso pick your matches carefully.
I am disappointed that I didn’t take Stakhovsky at 1.36 last night. Now down to 1.29 which is a fair price. He shouldn’t be losing over 5 sets to Guez who struggled through qualifying.
Update: There were a few matches today where the strong favourite lost the first set or came close to losing it. This was one of those. Stakhovsky won 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Nishikori looks a little short at 1.25 when you consider he was recently treated for a kidney infection. He has been back 2 or 3 days. I’d expect him to win though so will watch how the game goes and take the higher back price during the firsts et ( hopefully).
Update: No higher price here. Nishikori won 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.
Gulbis has lost 6 in a row in Grand Slams. While he made the quarter finals in nice he is still unreliable. Kavcic reached the quarters in Serbia so will be no walk over. It is said that class will come through in a best of 5 set match. Not sure that helps us here. Very slight edge to Gulbis.
Update: Clearly Gulbis has no class. Kavcic won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Dodig against Riba could be an interesting one. Riba starts as slight favourite and is the more recognised clay courter although Dodig reached the semi final in Barcelona where he lost to Nadal. Dodig has won the last 7 matches where he started as underdog and as Riba is only slightly favoured at 1.75 I have to give the edge to Dodig. “Class will come through in a best of 5 set match.”
Update: Another great prediction! Riba won 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Seppi starts at 1.47 against Gabashvili which seems crazily low. Gabashvili has pushed Stakhovsky and Mayer close in recent weeks. Seppi has had3 tough matches after his return from injury losing to Ferrer and Monaco and beating Roger-Vasselin. Their head to head is 3-2 to Seppi although Gabashvili won their last match which was on clay in 2009. Well worth a lay of Seppi from the start. A long match won’t favour Seppi and he may start trying to finish points quickly.
Update: The market got it right. Seppi won 6-3, 7-5, 7-5.
Benneteau’s a decent price at 1.34 against Machado. Playing at home, he’ll be disappointed not to get through that one in 3 sets.
Update: Another one where the favourite went awol in the first set and came back strong. Machado was almost broken in his first couple of service games and Benneteau was holding easily so it was a surprise when he was first to be broken. He broke back immediately only to be broken again! Machado served out the set but it was one way traffic after that. Benneteau won 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0.
Fognini has lost 5 in a row on clay and Istomin has lost 4 out of 5 on clay. I don’t trust Fognini with my money but I trust Istomin even less. Fognini is the better clay courter but don’t be surprised to see this one go to 5 sets. Gut feeling is Fognini to progress to the next round.
Update: Easy win for Fognini 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.