Andy Murray gave us a scare but, on the up side, he won’t face anyone like Radek Stepanek again this fortnight. The Czech was inspired at times but Murray came through and I would still be confident of him reaching the final. Next up is home hope Mathias Bourgue who is solid but far from spectacular and Murray should be too strong for him. The first set might be close but I expect the Scot to turn it on after that and I will be having a small play on 6-0 and 6-1 in the second set which is not a bet you’ll find with many firms.
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There aren’t too many bets leaping out at me in this round but I think Andrey Kuznetsov can take a set off Kei Nishikori. The Russian has been charging up the rankings recently and is more than adequate on clay. Nishikori should win but I suspect he might find this more difficult than the odds suggest.
Kyle Edmund is another one rising through the rankings and he has a chance against John Isner. Service is sure to dominate this affair but the Briton can certainly hold his own on that front and he has performed exceptionally well on clay this season. I can’t be alone in thinking this as the odds already seem to be tumbling on this one.
Now we have had a look at some of the contenders, I would definitely advise keeping on the right side of Lucie Safarova this fortnight. The Czech was beaten in the final last year and her first-round demolition of Vitalia Diatchenko bodes well for the coming days. She can do similar to Swiss youngster Viktorija Golubic who makes too many unforced errors to be dangerous. I will be playing 6-0 and 6-1 in the first set here and I would also recommend a bet on her for the title at this stage. Sportingbet are a best price of 40-1 but they are only one-third odds each-way and there is plenty of 33-1 and half the odds each-way available.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni has been in fine form on clay this season and she can run out a comfortable winner against Naomi Osaka. The Japanese accounted for a below-par Jelena Ostapenko in round one but this will be considerably tougher. This looks another one for the first set 6-0 and 6-1 bets.
Yulia Putintseva may be the most volatile player on tour but she is talented and she can account for Andrea Petkovic in round two. Petkovic may have swept aside Laura Robson but she has not been in the best of form on clay this season and the Briton is sadly a shadow of the player she once was. This match certainly won’t be dull and ‘Poots’ is a more than fair price to get the better of ‘Petko’ even if she makes Andy Murray look like calmness personified on occasion.
Virginie Razzano\ has looked a player transformed in recent weeks and she is a big price to beat Russia’s rising star Daria Kasatkina. The 33-year-old Frenchwoman, who once knocked out Serena Williams at Roland Garros, looks right at home on clay at present and she can reach round three.