ATP Tennis Betting: Haase can start quickly in Shanghai against Gasquet

Round one of the 2017 Shanghai Masters continues on Monday at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, with 10 matches on the card for day two.

We were simply unlucky on day one with our 2.62 chance Pablo Cuevas, who went down 7-6, 4-6, 4-6 to Jared Donaldson in a match where both men scored the same amount of points overall.

Cuevas didn’t take his chances, going 0-8 on break points in the match, and that was the difference between winning and losing, with Donaldson taking two of his six.

Conditions look like they could be a little tricky in Shanghai on Monday, with a warm day of around 30C in the shade expected, with high humidity, and a fairly lively breeze as well at up to 20kph.

Robin Haase vs Richard Gasquet

This is the first match of the day at around 06:00 UK time on Union Pay 3 court and in these conditions on a fast surface I couldn’t back Gasquet at 1.33, even against an opponent he’s beaten five times from six.

That head-to-head doesn’t tell the whole story, with Gasquet failing to beat Haase in straight sets in any of their five most recent meetings going back to 2012.

The Dutchman has won the opening set in three of their last four matches on grass, indoor hard and outdoor hard and I’m tempted by the odds of 2.85 on Haase starting strongly again.

Gasquet has endured an injury hampered campaign in 2017, with his back causing problems once more this year and he dropped down to Challenger level for the first time in seven years after the US Open to get some matches under his belt.

Since then he’s been beaten by Denis Istomin and David Goffin and defeated Yen-Hsun Lu and Sam Querrey and it’s hard to know what sort of level to expect from the Gasman these days.

He’s never been past the round of 32 in Shanghai, where it’s surely too quick for his naturally defensive court positioning, and it’s easily forgotten that Haase made the semi finals of the Canada Masters only two months ago on hard courts.

Haase has seemed happier on court in 2017 after linking up with a new coach and while I still wouldn’t trust him not to get down on himself against an opponent he’s lost to plenty of times in tight matches there’s enough to risk a set one play at good odds.

Of the other 06:00 matches the obvious option is to side with set one tie break in Feliciano Lopez’s clash with Ivo Karlovic, given that eight of their nine opening sets have ended that way and 13 of their 23 sets against each other in total have too.

It’s not much of a price though and the other 06:00 match looks a shocker to call, with out of form pair Albert Ramos and Joao Sousa facing each other. Ramos had a career best win here against Roger Federer a couple of years ago, but he’s looked well off form lately, as has Sousa.

Moving on to the second matches of the day at around 08:00 UK time I’m not sure that I’d have Frances Tiafoe as favourite against Benoit Paire, but I assume these prices are due to the retirement of the Frenchman in Tokyo.

Paire was pictured with an elbow strap on during practice in Tokyo, but it was cited as ‘fatigue’ as the reason for his retirement, having had the doctor on court very early in his match.

Perhaps not one to get involved in, but Tiafoe looks a tad short.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Karen Khachanov

The young Greek has been knocking on the door at this level for a little while now and a first win can’t be too far away for the 19-year-old after eight defeats so far.

Tsitsipas wasn’t far away at all against Jared Donaldson and following that he was unlucky to draw Marin Cilic in Tokyo. Prior to that he was stopped by a very much in-form Paire in Metz the week the Frenchman made the final.

And the man that beat Paire in that Metz final, Peter Gojowczyk, was taken down by Tsitsipas in qualies here in Shanghai, which is a good win for the Greek, as was his second qualie success over Yen-Hsun Lu.

That sort of form could be enough to beat Khachanov, with the Russian looking low on confidence at the moment after a barren run of form that’s seen him lose to Lu, Yuichi Sugita and Denis Istomin in recent tournaments.

I imagine it’ll probably click for Khachanov soon enough, but for now it could certainly be argued that Tsitsipas is playing better tennis and serving well too, with 35 aces in those two qualifying matches.

He beat a similarly aggressive opponent to Khachanov in Tiafoe comfortably in Tokyo last week and he has a chance to get off the mark at main level on Monday.

Elsewhere, I was tempted in these quick conditions by Andrey Rublev’s attacking game against Damir Dzumhur as underdog.

Rublev has beaten Dzumhur twice already in his main level career on hard and clay and he played well last week in Beijing, coming from a set down to beat Tomas Berdych and Jack Sock.

He is very up and down though and it might be one for in-play betting to see how he starts.

Roberto Bautista Agut crushed Hyeon Chung for the loss of one game in their only career meeting and with RBA defending big ranking points having made the final here last year he won’t want to hang around again this time.

It doesn’t appear to be a kind match-up for Chung and the latter hasn’t played what I would call a competitive match since the US Open, so it looks a big ask for Chung.

Finally, Jeremy Chardy’s big serve and forehand should be too much for Di Wu, while Kyle Edmund is likely to be too good for Jiri Vesely in these conditions, with the latter hardly the best of movers around the court.

Best Bets
1 point win Haase to win set one at 2.85
1 point win Tsitsipas to beat Khachanov at 2.38