It’s quarter finals day at our two ATP 250 events in Sydney and Auckland this week.
Tuesday night’s wagers were on the money, as Marinko Matosevic won in straight sets, while Jack Sock took down Tommy Haas in two to bring in the total games in set one bet and those who were braver would have been rewarded with a very nice priced winner on the set handicap or outright.
The other matches went the way I intimated too, with Jerzy Janowicz easily beaten on his return from injury and Sergiy Stakhovsky taking down Julien Benneteau, while the overs was indeed the bet in Juan Martin Del Potro vs Nicolas Mahut.
Wednesday night’s play in Auckland features top seed David Ferrer taking a 5-2 head-to-head advantage into his match with Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and it could be worth siding with GGL to take a set in that one in these conditions. Ferrer began slowly against Donald Young last night, dropping the opener and the first set market could be worth a look there.
John Isner vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
At 1am UK time Kohlschreiber faces Isner for the sixth time and, having beaten Big John for the last two years in New York, the German will fancy his chances against an opponent still suffering with an ankle injury.
The big man edged past Lukas Lacko last night, but still has that ankle heavily strapped and, although conditions aid the Isner serve, Kohlschreiber has a good record here and has plenty of experience in dealing with the American’s delivery.
Matches between this pair tend to be tight and there hasn’t been a straight sets win in their five previous encounters. The overs looks likely again, but I fancy an investment on the 2-1 Kohlschreiber win at around 3.95 with Isner likely to be the one to struggle late on with that sore ankle.
The 3am Steve Johnson vs Yen Hsun Lu match looks a real coin toss, with Johnson likely to be fatigued after two matches yesterday. Also, the layers can’t split Sock and Roberto Bautista-Agut; if Sock serves at his best he'll probably edge it, but that's a tough one to call with my stats favouring the Spaniard.
Over in Sydney I’m tempted to take Bernard Tomic on again with Alex Dolgopolov, who has a great record against the Aussie, but I’d want a bigger price than 2.05 before investing in the unreliable Dolgo.
I don’t see Del Potro as a good thing against Radek Stepanek at 1.3 in their 1am UK time clash, with Delpo looking unsurprisingly rusty last night and again the overs looks like a better bet there. Serves are likely to dominate in this one in quick conditions and the Czech is playing some decent stuff at the moment – perhaps due to his off-court romance with Petra Kvitova spurring the veteran on late in his career.
Denis Istomin vs Dmitry Tursunov
This 2am UK time clash in Sydney is one of two that tempts me, along with Matosevic again versus Stakhovsky, but the Aussie is a little short in that one while the 2.05 about Tursunov represents a bit of value to my mind.
Istomin’s price is presumably based on a very good win over Marin Cilic last night, but he’s not a player to trust at the business end of tournaments, having lost seven of his last eight quarter finals stretching back to the summer of 2012. The only one he won during that time was against lucky loser Michael Russell in Memphis.
The Uzbek served very well against Cilic last night, winning 87% of his first serve points, but he’ll need to produce something similar again tonight if he’s to defeat Tursunov.
The Russian was a little slow out of the blocks against Lukas Rosol, but came through well in the end and was a comfortable winner once he found his range. This looks to be another that will be dominated by serve and at odds-against I much prefer Tursunov’s delivery and results at this stage of tournaments.
Back Kohlschreiber to beat Isner 2-1 at 3.95
Back Tursunov to beat Istomin at 2.05
Read more from Unibet columnist Sean Calvert.