I think trying to pick out a couple of matches may be a waste of time as they may not be the ones with money on them. Therefore I’ll have a look at a few of the promising ones.
In Brisbane Mayer takes on Istomin. You can currently get Mayer for 1.40 which is probably a fair price. Unfortunately that means there isn’t a great deal of value at that price.
Istomin has won his last 10 matches on hard courts which I found hard to believe. Checking the stats showed that those 10 matches were in the two Challenger events that he won in September. The only opponent of any note was Kohlschreiber who he beat in one of the finals.
Mayer reached the quarter finals last year and whilst he beat a wild card and a qualifier before losing to Stepanek it suggests he started the season well.
I’m going for a Mayer win but would prefer a price over 1.50 at least.
Update: Mayer struggled to deal with Istomin’s serve and the first set went to a tie break. istommin tok a 5-0 lead and although Mayer pulled a few points back he found himself a set down. Part way through the second set Mayer retired injured.
Istomin won 7-6, 2-3(retired)
Fognini v Sela:
Sela reached the semi finals in 2010. Seriously!
These two have never played but Sela’s price of 1.60 must be worth a lay. Fognini is ranked 48 compared to his opponent’s 83. His stats for return of serve are better. Both players can be unpredictable. Sela now spends a great deal of his season on the Challenger tour and had very little success on the main tour.
Update: Fognini just wasn’t interested in this match. Awful match with Sela winning 6-0, 6-1.
Harrison v Baghdatis:
Baghdatis was sorting his game out and in particular his serve towards the end of the season. oddly he has paired up with Andy Murray in the doubles and they got off to a winning start last night.
Harrison came through qualifying last year to lose to Soderling in the first round. Baghdatis reached the quarter finals last year.
Harrison has very little success on the main draw in events outside America.
Baggy is a little short at 1.47 but I will probably have part stake on him at the start and add the rest a little higher if he struggles in a service game. he should be too strong overall for Harrison.
Update: Baggy won 7-6, 6-4.