Most of the big clay court tournaments have been dominated by Rafa Nadal over the last decade including this one which he won 8 times between 2005 and 2013. However, the fact he’s slightly odds against highlights that he’s not quite returned from injury as good as he was. He could still win here, as he only found Djokovic too good last week in Monte Carlo, but he has a tough looking draw and may be fatigued even if makes it to the final.
The player best placed to take advantage of Nadal’s tough half of the draw is reigning champ Kei Nishikori and the Japanese player is fancied to make a bold bid to defend his crown and get his eye in for the French Open in 4 weeks time.
Kei Nishikori 1 point win @ 7/2
First Round Match Bets
Almagro vs Lorenzi
The pair have met three times before with Almagro winning convincingly in straight sets on each occasion. After a spell out through injury, Almagro is also keen to quickly re-establish himself and climb the world rankings, and has won 5 of his last 8 clay-court matches including taking the scalps of Tommy Robredo and Carlos Berlocq. Four of those five wins came in straight sets and, whilst 4/9 hardly jumps off the page, it still looks to have a bit of value in it.
Almagro to win 2-0, 2 points @ 4/9 (Various)
Montanes vs Berankis
Montanes beat Berankis 2-0 in their only previous clash, on clay, and has been spending recent weeks playing on his favoured clay courts, whilst Berankis lost his only recent clay court match 2-0 in Houston.
Montanes is 13/8 to take this head-to-head 2-0 and that represents a shade of value.
Montanes to win 2-0, 1 point win @ 13/8 (Paddy Power or Hills)
Story of last week
Outright bet Roger Federer bit the dust early on – but our two match bets both obliged to give us another profitable week – be it only 0.4 points.