Mirza Basic beat Robin Haase in straight sets in the opening round and the Dutchman is a decent yardstick on this surface. Basic was broken just once in the match and he can give Tomas Berdych a test. There could be a couple of tiebreaks and, as with Rajeev ‘Rampras’ Ram against Kevin Anderson, we’ll take a chance with some extremely generous odds on offer.
We can adopt similar tactics for Ram’s second round clash with Stephane Robert. The Frenchman was dominant on serve against Bjorn Fratangelo and this could be a slugfest. The odds are not quite as generous this time but they are playable.
Dominic Thiem is a rising star but he still fails to convince on faster surfaces. A couple of times in his opener he broke Leonardo Mayer - no easy feat - before letting the Argentine back in the set. Up next is Nicolas Almagro who served no fewer than 38 aces in his first round win over Julien Benneteau. I think Thiem is vulnerable and anything bigger than 2-1 about the Spaniard looks good from here.
I am not one for looking gifthorses in the mouth and Danka Kovinic looks like cannon fodder against a rampant Azarenka with a first set bagel most definitely on the cards. I will probably play the ‘6-0, 6-1’ with Serena Williams too, but I think my other selection here will be Johanna Konta against Saisai Zheng. The Briton was a cosy victor against Venus Williams and a repeat of that showing would see her through with ease. And in this case, a shade of odds-on about a straight sets win is far from prohibitive.