The big names join the fray as the second round of the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club gets underway. With the dust barely settled at Roland Garros the grass season is young and players’ relative merits on the surface have been priced up tentatively. Our 17/1 second round treble can snaffle up some of that nice-priced action.
It seems that the lawns of England have a tendency to bring out an otherwise dormant lust for the limelight in Nicolas Mahut, who played his part in the longest match in pro tennis history at Wimbledon back in 2010.
Queen’s too has seen Mahut turn it on for the British spectators. He reached the final in 2007 and KO’d the great hope of the Union Jack-waving brigade Andy Murray in the second round last year.
Despite Mahut having lost at the first hurdle in five of the six clay tournaments he’s entered this term, he showed that grass is more suited to his serve and volley game by comfortably disposing of world 127 Rhyne Williams in round one at the AEGON Championships.
With Murray by his own admission short of match sharpness the Frenchman is fancied to take a set off the Scot at 13/8, but the temptation is to believe Murray with extra grass court practice under his belt (thanks to his decision to swerve the French Open) will prevail – a 2-1 win can be backed at 7/2.
Many will remember Lukas Rosol for defeating Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon last year, but the Czech world number 34 has a losing career ledger of 7/8 on grass and could be expected to struggle against proficient lawn player Benjamin Becker, who reached the final of the Nottingham Challenger in his last tournament.
However, having lost his one and only grass match of his first five seasons on the surface Rosol had a watershed winning year last term, beating decent players such as Marcos Baghdatis and the aforementioned 12-time Grand Slam winner – he can backed as an evens underdog to prevail over his German foe.
Julien Benneteau may have won four of his five meetings with Feliciano Lopez, but the Spaniard won their only meeting on grass in straight sets. Having played through qualifying here he’ll have the benefit of being better accustomed to the singular demands of the grass court game and can join Rosol in the winning underdogs’ enclosure at 10/11.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.