It was a washout on Wednesday at Delray Beach, with persistent showers preventing any matches from being completed, so they try again today with my bet carrying over to tonight.
Thursday is quarter finals day in Dubai and first on court are Juan Martin Del Potro and Daniel Brands, with the Argentine a prohibitively short-looking at 1.13, despite playing for long periods yesterday nursing a wrist injury. Had Somdev Devvarman not produced far too many unforced errors he may well have pushed Delpo closer, as the big man lacked his usual power on the backhand side.
One would think that with a dodgy wrist he wouldn’t want to push too hard this week, with Indian Wells and Miami coming up back-to-back and Brands has the game to make this match much closer than the odds suggest.
The big German has compiled a 16-3 record so far in 2013 and has found the quickish conditions here to his liking, having not dropped a set so far. His 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 loss to Delpo in their only career meeting, took place indoors in Vienna at the end of last season and proves he has the ability to test the Tower of Tandil.
There were zero breaks of serve in that Vienna match and I’m happy to take Brands to win this with a handicap of +4.5 games at a price of 1.70. I don’t think Delpo has been at his best this week and Brands is in good enough form to take advantage of any drop in Del Potro’s level today.
There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of value in the remaining three quarter finals, with Tomas Berdych a 1.06 shot to beat Dmitry Tursunov, Novak Djokovic at 1.03 to beat Andreas Seppi and Roger Federer 1.09 against Nikolay Davydenko.
Of these, Berdych wasn’t overly impressive against a half fit Tobias Kamke yesterday and although he destroyed Tursunov last week indoors I wouldn’t make him a 1.06 shot to do so again today.
Djokovic has a 10-0 record over Seppi and it’s hard to see anything changing in that today, but if Davydenko is on one of his occasional great days he could trouble Federer despite the 2-18 career stat in Federer’s favour. If Davy can get his game together he could nick a set at odds of 2.75.
Best Bet: Back Brands +4.5 to beat Del Potro at 1.70
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