The championship matches on the grass at the AEGON Championships and Gerry Weber Open are set for Sunday in London and Halle.
And we head there in good shape after one winner, one still to complete and a void on Saturday, thanks to Kevin Anderson and Gilles Simon going to three sets; Roger Federer winning and we await Andy Murray’s result, as his match was stopped due to rain.
Anderson rewarded over 2.5 set backers and those who took the bigger-priced option of the 2-1 win on the South African, while also helping my 66-1 outright wager into the Queen’s Club final.
My ‘long shot’ of the day was void when Kei Nishikori arrived on court in Halle in no fit state to compete and he retired early against Andreas Seppi.
Roger Federer vs Andreas Seppi
Federer’s clash with Ivo Karlovic on Saturday went pretty much as expected, with the Swiss biding his time, remaining patient in the face of more huge serving from the Croat, then striking to take the match in two tie breaks.
Seppi’s route to the final could scarcely have been more different, with two retirements in a row thanks to the injured Kei Nishikori, who was unable to even last a set with what appeared to be a significant calf injury.
That followed the retirement of Gael Monfils in the quarter finals and Seppi goes on to face Federer for the 13th time and the third this season, with one victory apiece in 2015.
Seppi snapped a 10-match losing streak to stun Federer on quick outdoor hard at the Australian Open in January before the Swiss struck back in windy conditions at Indian Wells in the spring.
This will be their first meeting on grass and as capable as the Italian is on grass he doesn’t have the specific skill set on this surface that Federer possesses and it just gives the Swiss an edge in the tight moments.
That said, Federer’s last three opening sets in Halle finals have all gone to tie breaks and in his last seven Gerry Weber Open finals six have featured at least one breaker in the match.
Five of Federer’s last seven on grass have seen a tie break played as well, which makes the 2.25 about one featuring in this match decent value.
The Swiss played two in last year’s Halle final against Alejandro Falla and he hasn’t broken serve often enough I’m sure for his own liking on grass of late.
Seppi’s serve has improved this season and on grass that helps his cause – indeed two of the fours sets he played against Fed in Melbourne went to tie breaks.
All told Federer looks rather short at 1.10 in this one and his record as a 1.10 to 1.20 favourite on grass is 22-2, with both losses coming in the Halle final – one in 2010 to Lleyton Hewitt and the other in 2012 to Tommy Haas.
So, it’s no absolute certainty that Federer will win this one and I’d rather take a chance on the 2.25 about their being a tie break than take the Swiss maestro at a cramped price here.
Value bet: Back over 0.5 tie breaks at 2.25