Richard Gasquet has been struggling of late and Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci can knock him out of the Madrid Masters this afternoon.
The blue clay of Madrid is still causing a stir. The softness of the courts, the advertising and the low bouncing surface are the main concerns. One player who doesn't seem fazed by the blue is Thomaz Bellucci who recently tweeted that he had completed a good practice session and wasn't sure what all the fuss was about. According to him, the courts were playing the same as last year.
The left-handed Brazilian faces last week's Estoril finalist Richard Gasquet, who was defeated by Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets on Sunday, and will no doubt be feeling a little fatigued and tired having had to travel straight from Portugal to Madrid without much rest or practice.
Bellucci is more accustomed to the new blue clay courts than his opponent. He also reached the semi-finals of last year's Madrid Open, defeating Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and clay court specialist Pablo Andujar all in straight sets, the 2.34 available seems to be a decent bet. Especially as Gasquet has lost four in a row in Spain and four of his last five in Madrid.
Another player I fancy to win on Tuesday is Madrid resident Feliciano Lopez. He can be backed at 1.65 to defeat fellow left-hander, Jurgen Melzer. Lopez, who lost to Roger Federer at last year's event in three tie-break sets, is more suited to playing at altitude than his opponent and he will fancy his chances against the fading Austrian. Not only will Lopez's serve and slice back-hand be more effective on centre court, he will also know that Melzer has lost four of his last five matches on clay, four in a row in Spain and four in a row against left-handers.
Lopez also compiles a superior ranking, match rating and surface rating, so it's hard to oppose him. He will want to show that he has what it takes to make the latter stages of his home event.