The quarter-finals are set at the St Petersburg Open and we have the usual unexpected line-up of players in the last eight again this year.
More big names fell on Thursday, including number one seed Fabio Fognini, who decided that he couldn’t be bothered to continue at a set and 5-3 down to Michal Przysiezny and promptly retired. Reportedly, last year’s finalist was upset that he was on a court with no Hawk-Eye and in yet another display of petulance, walked off the court a couple of points away from defeat.
There was misfortune in my wager on Evgeny Donskoy, who held a match point, but ultimately fell in a final set tie-break, while Karen Khachanov did well in both sets against Lukas Rosol, but was broken at 4-5 in each set.
Play begins on Friday at 10am UK time and I’m prepared to take on Rosol again, this time with the ‘Polish Federer’.
Michal Przysiezny vs Lukas Rosol
It’s been a welcome couple of wins for Rosol, who was on a 10 match losing streak before coming to St Petersburg, but I think the prices are a little out here, with 1.65 on Rosol looking short to me. Like the Donskoy/Bautista-Agut match yesterday I have this as a 50/50 match, which makes Przysiezny a touch of value at around 2.20.
Przysiezny was given a helping hand by Fognini’s appalling attitude yesterday, but after retiring in several of his recent matches he showed no signs of injury against the Italian.
Rosol still looks below par and a more experienced player than Khachanov would almost certainly have made the Czech pay for some fairly sloppy play yesterday. The stylish Pole could be just the man to take advantage here.
Elsewhere, Ernests Gulbis, as usual, is confident of winning this tournament, but he produced a typically disjointed effort on Thursday against Jurgen Zopp. Bautista-Agut would have a good chance here had he not had a long match yesterday, which puts me off backing him at around 3.20.
Joao Sousa should be exhausted by now after an awful lot of tennis over the last week and that stops me from siding with him to take a set against Dmitry Tursunov, which he is capable of doing. The final match of the day is a coin toss between Denis Istomin and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and is priced as such.
Back Przysiezny to beat Rosol at 2.20
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