2006 ATP Tennis Record: 7-2 (+$1590)
Another great night with my biggest wager of the year winning on Feli's demolishing of Muller. Let's have another good one.
Round 2: Thursday, January 19, 2006
Max Mirnyi -133 over David Sanguinetti ($665 to win $500)
I know Sanguinetti leads the lifetime meetings 2-1 but both his wins over Mirnyi were in Italy and we are now in Australia. This is the first time they eve meet on hardcourts and I definitely give the edge to Mirnyi here. He looked very rusty and very shaky in his opening match but give some credit to Ascione who gave a good effort in his loss. Max has not had much success in recent years at the Open but he has been to the 3rd Round in the past. Sanguinetti has not. Mirnyi is better suited for the hardcourts and his lifetime record shows it. If you ask me, Sanguinetti's first match against Adaktusson was not really a success because the Swede shot himself in the foot with bad play. The match lasted only three sets yet the Swede made 63 unforced errors and Sanguinetti made 39 unforced errors. Mirnyi on the other hand played a five-setter and made only 23 unforced errors while Ascione was even sharper making only 17 unforced errors. If Sanguinetti makes that many unforced errors again today, Mirnyi is going to win this in three sets easily. Sanguinetti's 1st serve % was only 57% while Mirnyi's was 74%. This goes to who how well Ascione played and how much of a lesser opponent Mirnyi is facing today in Sanguinetti. Give me a win by the beast.
Kristof Vliegen +122 over Fernando Verdasco ($100 to win $122)
This is a tough one to go with (it is anytime you side with underdogs) but I really like Vliegen to advance to his first ever 3rd Round at a Grand Slam. Vliegen is a late bloomer on the verge of making some noise on the ATP Tour. I get that vibe after he kicked off the year with ass whippings of Wang, Schuettler and Srichaphan before givigin Ljubicic a good run for his money in the sem-finals of Doha. Vliegen loves the hardcourts while Verdasco is a dirt baller at best. Vliegen's big serve is going to be his weapon in this one seeing that Verdasco allowed 7 aces to Kenneth Carlsen in Round 1. Vliegen had 17 aces in his Round 1 match with Christophe Rochus and I expect to see him dominate the long ball game. Verdaco was 2 of 15 on break point chances against Kenneth Carlsen which is something that just won't work against a guy like Vliegen. The Belge took every chance he got against Rochus and converted 6 of his 8 break point chances. Verdasco doesn't have the head on his shoulders to win a match where he will be bombarded with booming serves and I really like the underdog Vliegen to win this one.
Luis Horna -167 over Bjorn Phaun ($167 to win $100)
Very small stakes on this one guys because I don't quite trust Horna on hardcourts (even though he was awesome in late 2005 in both Washington and Cincinnati) and I am not sure what to expect. Horna is coming off a fantastic opening match where he sent the tired Gael Monfils packing early. Phau on the other hand struggled to beat qualifier Carlos Bercloq. In fact, Phau was horrendous, comitting 69 unforced errors but somhow he held on to win the match. Phau struggled badly with his serve which is not good for a match like this one. Horna doesn't do anything special but he is composed and he is very concentrated on getting his first serve in (84% in his first match) and he doesn't force shots enough to make mistakes. Believe it or not Phau is older than Horna but Horna's game is much more developped and much more controlled. If Horna loses a set in this match it will be via tie-breaker. Horna has never made it past the first round of a Grand Slam and now that he has done it, why not come out and make it to the 3rd Round. I like Horna a lot here but again I will keep it small.