Muller set to return with a convincing display in Atlanta
Home support can see Laaksonen master Bellucci
Sky Sports Arena, 10am Wednesday
BT Sport 1, 10am Wednesday
Gilles Muller has been keeping things low-key since his epic five-set defeat to Marin Cilic in the last eight at Wimbledon but the Luxemburger can show he has suffered no ill-effects by brushing aside French qualifier Quentin Halys in his opening match of the Atlanta Open.
Muller won the hearts of many following his heroics at Wimbledon – which included vanquishing the rejuvenated Rafael Nadal in a dramatic fourth round encounter – and the veteran’s confidence is sky-high.
Muller, at 34, is serving at the peak of his powers and his only two triumphs on the ATP Tour – the Ricoh Open and the Sydney International – have both come this year, showing he is as hungry as ever.
The second seed has had almost two weeks to overcome his Wimbledon exertions and the inexperienced Halys, who spends most of his time competing in Challenger events, is unlikely to get many opportunities to break the Muller serve.
Bad weather in Gstaad interrupted Thomaz Bellucci and Henri Laaksonen’s first-round encounter yesterday and if the match is played this morning as expected, punters should pounce on the Swiss performer to cause a shock.
Gstaad has been a happy hunting ground for Bellucci but he arrives in Switzerland in awful form.
The Brazilian – Swiss Open champion in 2009 and 2012 – has lost his last five matches without winning a set and his only previous meeting with Laaksonen ended in a defeat.
Swiss ace Laaksonen stunned Pablo Cuevas before losing in a deciding set to David Ferrer – the eventual champion – in the quarter-finals at Bastad last week and home support may guide him to a surprise success.
Andrey Kuznetsov came from a set down to defeat Cuevas in his Hamburg opener and the Russian should have too many tools for German Florian Mayer in his second-round tussle, while Argentinian Diego Schwartzmann should overcome Mayer’s compatriot Cedric-Marcel Stebe.
G Muller to win 2-0
2pts 4-5 Coral, Ladbrokes
1pt 11-10 bet365