The first Grand Slam of the season is just around the corner and many players are currently looking to get into some decent form in order to prepare for that event, with action currently taking place in Sydney and Auckland.

Olivier Rochus

Source: chascow @ Flickr

Match: Sam Querrey vs Olivier Rochus

Selection: Olivier Rochus

Best Odds: 3.50 @ Bet365

One of the more interesting matches of today’s schedule in Auckland will see Sam Querrey trying to kick his season off with a win against the defending finalist, Olivier Rochus. On one hand, the match-up might seem to be a very awkward one, with the big and powerful American meeting one of the shortest players on the tour, but the reality might be quite different and it wouldn’t be that shocking to see the Belgian prevail today.

The main reason for that is that Rochus can be quite an awkward player to deal with if the conditions are right – and the Belgian’s record in Auckland points in the direction that the conditions do suit his game well. Another thing that has to be considered is that the weather has been quite windy so far, which is something that might hinder Querrey’s chances, since his game is not very compact and he often mis-hits quite a few balls in the wrong direction – and that is even more true whenever his game is affected by the weather conditions.

Seeing that there have already been quite a few upsets in Auckland, it might be worth taking a chance on Olivier Rochus progressing one round further in what seems to be one of his favourite tournaments. The American is not defending any points from last year, so he might be in Auckland just to test the waters a little bit before the Grand Slam and, in that case, he will have plenty of problems today.