At his best, Stan Wawrinka is a league above this week’s Geneva opposition and would look a worthy favourite – however, despite being a semi-finalist in Rome last week, he’s looked far from his best recently.
Some of that is due to well-documented personal problems off the court, and he is playing in front of a home crowd this week, but do you really want to take 6/4 about a player who would probably be sooner taking a week’s rest before next week’s second grand slam of the season, the French Open.
However, as he is the best player in the field, it seems wise to select someone from the opposite side of the draw to go to war with, and then we don’t have to worry about Wawrinka until the final, if at all.
The player who fits my rationale this week is Thomaz Bellucci at 10/1. Only Noval Djokovic proved too strong for Bellucci last week, but the Brazilian did at least take a set off the Champion, and beat the higher ranked Bautista Agut on route to that match.
He was also in good form in Madrid previously where he again managed to take a set off a top-player in John Isner.
Also to his advantage is the poor form of the seeds in his half of the draw, with both Cilic and Baghdatis looking woefully out of form on a clay surface which is neither’s favourite.
The 250 ranking points available this week will also mean more to him than his likely higher-ranked opponents – and I expect him to be giving 100% where others are not.
Bellucci 1 point each-way @ 10/1 Paddy Power or Ladbrokes) 1/2 odds 1-2
And now for a look at Match Bets if you’re fancying more than one bet on Tennis this week:
Kuznetsov vs Haider-Maurer (Monday)
Kuznetsov won the last match between the pair 6-3 6-1 in the 2013 ATP Rome, and looks to be in better form than Haider-Maurer who has won just one set in his last 4 matches – and the 20/23 looks fair.
1 point Kuznetsov @ 20/23 (BetVictor)
Baghdatis vs Bellucci (Tuesday)
Slightly higher-ranked Baghdatis has the better of their head-to-head record, but looks to be out of love with the game at the minute, whilst Bellucci is fancied to make a bold bid for the title this week. He can start that bid with a 2-0 victory here.
Bellucci to win 2-0 @ 9/10 (Betway)
Tipsarevic vs Istomin
Tipsarevic has won 3 of their 4 head-to-heads in straight sets, and also won their only match on clay 6-2 6-2. Recent wins against Pospisil and Tomic suggest he’s also in the better current form – and he can take this 2-0 at a tasty 6/4.