The last men’s tennis action ahead of the Australian Open takes place tonight, with the finals of the Apia International and the Heineken Open.
Last night’s bet in Auckland was successful, with John Isner and Roberto Bautista-Agut going the distance to bring our overs wager in, whilst David Ferrer was upset by Yen Hsun Lu.
Over in Sydney, Bernard Tomic’s defence of his title continues against Juan Martin Del Potro, who eased past Dmitry Tursunov.
Yen Hsun Lu vs John Isner – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 01.35
The first of our two finals tonight is scheduled for around 01.35 UK time, with Auckland seeing the second career meeting between Lu and Isner.
Lu was delighted after a straight sets win over Ferrer in the semi, with the Spaniard disgusted with his own performance, although one has to feel that the soon to be 32-year-old had more than some of his mind on Melbourne with that effort.
Isner on the other hand has shown some courage this week and should have lost in straight sets to Bautista-Agut, but the Spaniard failed to serve it out and Isner clawed his way back into the match showing admirable, but not necessarily wise, commitment to this tournament in the process.
The big American hammered Lu two and one in their only previous encounter on an outdoor hard court in Atlanta back in 2011, and the world number 62 does have a poor record against tall players.
Lu has won just 35% of his career matches against players over 6’4” and he’s never beaten a top-20 player of that height or more, so it’s fair to say that he’s likely to struggle if Isner serves anywhere near his best.
The ankle has to be a worry for Isner, but it hasn’t hampered him so far and I doubt it will now he’s made the effort to make the final.
The 2.30 about a 2-0 Isner win here looks good.
Juan Martin Del Potro vs Bernard Tomic – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 08.35
At the more acceptable viewing time of 08.35 in the UK, Del Potro faces Tomic for the second time in their careers in what should be a decent spectacle.
Against Tursunov in the semi-final, Delpo stepped it up considerably from what we’d previously seen from him this week, and he didn’t give the Russian much of a chance. A repeat of that sort of serving – he won 92% of first and 76% of second deliveries – should see him through to a first title here in Sydney and first in Australia.
Tomic on the other hand struggled past the challenge of Sergiy Stakhovsky, and had the trainer out at one stage of a tough two-and-a-quarter hour three-setter.
Bernie’s suspect conditioning may be his downfall in this final and I’m not sure in these quick conditions his cat and mouse game will be the answer to Delpo’s power.
The Argentine’s record in finals can’t be faulted, winning eight of his last 10, with the two he lost both tight ones against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Indeed, the last time Delpo lost a final to a player not ranked in the top-10 at the time was to Tomas Berdych in Tokyo back in 2008, and he has far more experience than Tomic at the business end of events.
Bernie’s win here over Kevin Anderson 12 months ago was his only final before this one, and Delpo should come through this match minus 3.5 games on the handicap at around 1.90.
Back Isner to beat Lu 2-0 at 2.30
Back Del Potro –3.5 games to beat Tomic at 1.90