The weather was a problem again in both Eastbourne and Rosmalen on Thursday, as both tournaments struggled to get their matches finished.
Rain was a constant issue in the Netherlands, while the sea fog made for reduced visibility and slippery courts in the UK.
My opening bet of the day was unfortunate when Fernando Verdasco blew a 4-1 lead in the second set tie break to foil my 3.75 gamble on Feliciano Lopez to beat him by two sets to one. Feli beat his good friend in two tight sets instead.
Things didn’t get much better when Radek Stepanek - who was the subject of much salacious speculation about his private life yesterday - gave credence to the tabloid story by producing an effort bereft of any energy whatsoever. The Czech went 3-1 up and then lost 11 of the next 14 games to hand Seppi the win and later confirmed that he had separated from wife and ex-tennis pro Nicole Vaidisova.
Friday’s semi-finals in Rosmalen feature number two seed Stan Wawrinka taking on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Xavier Malisse facing Nicolas Mahut.
In Eastbourne, where I will be in attendance today, Ivan Dodig plays Feli Lopez, while Andreas Seppi plays Gilles Simon.
Today's are not the most appealing matches I’ve ever seen from a betting perspective and the only one that I really like the look of is for Lopez to take down Dodig.
Wawrinka should have few problems beating Garcia Lopez, while the match between the grass court veterans Malisse and Mahut could go either way, though it should be noted that Mahut has played six matches here this week already and he has had heavy strapping on his knee.
Seppi could be worth an interest against an ailing Simon, but I’m not sure that I trust the Italian against a man that makes so many balls like Simon.
Lopez is taking on Dodig for the second time and the first time on grass. The conditions here in Eastbourne do suit the Spaniard’s game, with his leftie serve being a big weapon here.
Feli’s low ball toss won’t be affected by the occasionally windy conditions and he’s only been broken once this week, which suggests to me that a mediocre returner like Dodig will probably have to go to a couple of tie breaks if he wants to win this.
The Croatian is looking to reach his second tour level final on grass after making the Rosmalen final in 2011, while surprisingly Lopez is yet to make a championship match on the green stuff in his career. I think he will make amends for that today by halting Dodig’s run.
Best Bet: Back Lopez to beat Dodig at 1.65
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