Andy Murray will continue his campaign to win his first ever clay court title on the ATP Tour with a third-round match against Santiago Giraldo in the Barcelona Open tomorrow. But with Muzza a short-priced favourite to get past the Colombian, you won’t get rich quickly by backing the Scot to reach the quarter-finals. So to help you increase your winnings, we’ve come up with an accumulator made up of the Murray match and three others being played in Barcelona on Thursday. When put together, the matches make up an accumulator which pays out at odds of close to 2/1. And here’s why you should consider risking your hard-earned cash on the four picks:
First up is arguably the most sure-fire bet of all. World number six Ferrer might have suffered a surprise loss to Thomasz Bellucci in the round of 32 at last week’s Monte-Carlo Masters, but he has won two of the three clay court tournaments he has entered this year. He has good pedigree in Barcelona, too, having reached last year’s final and has beaten Montanes on the two occasions they have met on clay at ATP level. For his part, Montanes has a 3-8 win-loss record this year and looks to be heading for another defeat tomorrow.
Anderson beat Andy Roddick and John Isner on the way to winning the hard court title at Delray Beach in February and is just 12 places adrift of tomorrow’s opponent Verdasco in the ATP rankings. However, he could struggle to match the Madrid-born left-hander on the clay courts of Barcelona. Like Ferrer, Verdasco played on clay in South America before competing at the two hard court Masters series events in Indian Wells and Miami in March. He reached the final in Acapulco having negotiated his way past Juan Ignacio Chela, Nicolas Almagro and Stan Wawrinka (before losing to Ferrer) to prove his pedigree on the red stuff and, having beaten Anderson on clay in their only previous meeting, should have too much know-how for his South African adversary.
The pick most likely to fail, clay court specialist Almagro should nevertheless be backed to avenge his loss to Raonic in Chennai earlier this season. That game, their only meeting to date, was played on hard courts and it should prove a different story on the Spaniard’s favoured surface. Almagro has already played 18 matches on clay in 2012, with plenty of practice secured through winning February’s tournament in Sao Paulo and finishing runner-up to Ferrer in Buenos Aires later in the same month. He has also been in good touch on hard courts, taking Tomas Berdych to four sets in the Australian Open last-16 and beating the same opponent on his way to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells. While Raonic is continuing his climb up the rankings, the Canadian has yet to prove himself on clay. He lost his only clay court match of the season to date in Monaco last week to make it four clay court tournaments in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle. Expect Almagro to progress.
Giraldo reached the semi-final of the clay court event in Acapulco in February to prove he is no mug on red dirt but should find world number four Murray too strong. The Scot put in a disappointing display in defeat to Tomas Berdych in the Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-finals but ruthlessly dispatched Viktor Troicki in the last 32 of that tournament to offer hope that he could have a successful clay court season. And having had little trouble brushing aside the challenge of Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round in Barcelona (he received a first round bye), Murray should safely negotiate the challenge of world number 54 Giraldo to complete this quadruple.
At odds of 17/10, a successful £25 free bet on this accumulator will secure winnings of £67.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
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