Day five at the Olympic tennis tournament was an excellent one for my bets, with both wagers winning on a dramatic day’s play at Wimbledon. Maria Kirilenko got us off to a fine start with a straight sets win over Julia Goerges before Marcos Baghdatis did more than enough to push Andy Murray over the total games mark.
Elsewhere, Lleyton Hewitt rolled back the years to frighten Novak Djokovic before running out of gas and there was an excellent match between Maria Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki before late drama on Centre Court.
David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori’s rather odd match was moved to Centre for what turned out to be a single game as the light faded and the Japanese star broke to secure the upset.
Thursday at the All England Club looks to be another great one to have tickets for with the men’s and ladies quarter finals all scheduled for today. Murray is back in action in his last eight clash with Nico Almagro that takes place on Court 1 at 12pm and this match is not one that I would want to put too much money on.
Almagro has nothing to lose; Murray quite the opposite and I have no idea what we’re going to get from the Spaniard, who has an injured shoulder, today. He has the tools to be a decent grass court player, but if he gets behind early he could go away quite tamely, so this will most likely be an in-play bet for me.
A wager I do think is worth chancing pre-match is for Kim Clijsters to beat Maria Sharapova at a price of around 2.55. This is the final match on Centre Court today and it should be worth waiting for, as the pair have never played on grass (or clay for that matter) and have hardly met at all on a tennis court for the last few years.
Their last encounter was the final of Cincy back in 2010, which Kim won and she has a 6-3 overall head-to-head lead, but grass hasn’t been the Belgian’s best surface throughout her career. Sharapova is regarded as the better grass court player and probably rightly so, but the main factor in this match is the fitness of Clijsters, who if fit is still one of the best two or three around in my view.
This will be the Belgian’s last time here at Wimbledon and I think she’ll enjoy it and with nothing much to lose she should be able to show what she’s capable of. Sharapova was a little fortunate to get by Sabine Lisicki yesterday and Laura Robson gave her a good match too and at odds of 2.55 it’s worth taking a chance on Kim.
The match that immediately precedes Clijsters v Sharapova is another intriguing clash between Roger Federer and John Isner. The American serving machine has reached this stage by doing just that and I can’t imagine the Swiss maestro relishing the prospect of what will be his fifth meeting with the big man.
Federer has only once reached the semi finals of the Olympic singles and although I expect him to do it today it could be for the loss of a set against a man that is just starting to find his feet on grass. Isner’s returning is still too poor on this surface to expect him to win this match, but he can certainly steal a set away from Federer, who will be wary of Isner over this best of three sets distance.
This will be their first meeting on grass – a surface that heavily favours Federer, but you wouldn’t have thought Isner would win on clay either, but he did. The number 10 seed’s only real chance is in tie breaks, as I just can’t see him breaking the Federer serve on grass, but the odds on him winning the first set or winning the match with a 1.5 set start look appealing, as does the Federer 2-1 win.
The number one seed is yet to drop a set so far this week, but I suspect he will today and any of those three bets are worth taking on, depending on your level of adventure. The most likely is the 2.50 on Isner on the handicap, so I’ll take a chance on that.
Best Bets: Back Clijsters to beat Sharapova at 2.55, Back Isner +1.5 sets to beat Federer at 2.50