Sean Calvert is moving swiftly on to the second round matches for his best bet of Tuesday's Shanghai Masters, and he rates Juan Monaco a good bet to prevail...
It was a winning start to the week in Shanghai, as Tommy Haas staged a fairly miraculous recovery to take down Nico Almagro.
The Spaniard served like a dream for most of the match, with 18 aces and 80% of first serve points won, but Haas was able to hang in and took advantage of Almagro's poor tie break record to force a decider.
Almagro's Achilles heel has always been his lack of mental strength and once again he crumbled meekly from 1.051/20 at one stage in the match to defeat in a one-sided final set.
Tuesday in Shanghai sees the rest of the first round matches played to completion and the second round matches begin.
And it's one of the second round matches that has caught my eye today as Fernando Verdasco and Juan Monaco face off for the 11th time in their careers. Monaco has had the better of the series so far, with seven wins from 10 and the Argentine won the only two to have been played on hard courts, although they were a long time ago.
Verdasco has been struggling of late and other than a semi final in Auckland at the start of the year the man from Madrid has done nothing on hard courts all year.
He also has a poor record in Shanghai, where he only won one match and that was against world number 358 Zhe Li of China.
Monaco in contrast is a former semi finalist here and he's in with a real shot of reaching the ATP World Tour Finals next month so his motivation to do well this week should be higher than that of Verdasco.
Pico has no ranking points to defend here from last year, so a strong showing will help his bid to reach the O2, while Verdasco has nothing to play for except the outside chance of a role in Spain's Davis Cup side for the final.
That's a long shot though and these slowish courts in Shanghai should favour Monaco in a match that will probably play out similarly to their clay court meetings, of which Monaco has won five of seven against Verdasco.
Pico can be backed at around 1.625/8 and that looks a good bet to me.