The quarter finals of the 2015 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters are in-play on Friday, after a perfect day’s clay court tennis betting on Thursday.
A hat-trick of winners was the result of yesterday’s bets, with Gael Monfils landing a tasty 3.80 winner by defeating Roger Federer, while the over total games in set one of Rafa Nadal’s match added to the success.
David Ferrer finished it off as the light faded by defeating Gilles Simon in three sets and we start all over again on Friday at 09:30 UK time.
Tomas Berdych vs Milos Raonic
I was rather disappointed to see Raonic hobbling about the court on Thursday against Tommy Robredo, having backed the Canadian outright at 66-1 each way pre-tournament.
It transpires that Raonic has a metatarsal injury and he did very well indeed to get past Robredo under the circumstances, but it’s hard to see how he can repeat that feat hampered by injury.
The Canadian does have a good record against the Czech, with three wins from their four career meetings and Raonic is often underrated on the clay, but unless he has some sort of miracle recovery overnight it seems likely that Berdych will capitalise.
I would have expected a close battle between these two under normal circumstances, but this is anything but and the 1.61 on Berdych winning this did actually looks like decent value last night, but that’s gone now.
Raonic has only ever retired three times at tour level, but we could well see one today, so the 1.60 on Berdych winning set one might be a better bet here, with Milos unlikely to last the pace.
Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic
Only one place to look for a ‘sure thing’ today in my view and that is to put our faith in Djokovic to deliver a straight sets win over Cilic, who is only a handful of games into his comeback from injury.
Cilic did play pretty well against another player on the comeback trail in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday, but this is a different level and now that Djokovic has a few matches under his belt on clay it seems unlikely that the US Open champion will be able to really test the world number one.
Djokovic has a huge mental edge with an 11-0 career lead over the Croatian and he eased through the gears yesterday by ending the challenge of Andreas Haider-Maurer by delivering a bagel to the Austrian.
Cilic has rarely been as much of a force on clay as he has on hard and grass and that is borne out by the stats, with Cilic winning 67 percent of his matches on both hard and grass, while that dips to 61 percent on the clay.
Either Djokovic 2-0 at 1.26 or the ‘no tie breaks’ at 1.22 both look good here, with Djokovic and Cilic having played five breakers in 31 sets against each other.
Rafael Nadal vs David Ferrer
Friday’s long shot has to be to take Ferrer as a fairly large underdog against Nadal, who for my money is still some way short of his best.
John Isner could and perhaps should have beaten Nadal yesterday, having had set points on his own serve to take the set one tie break before winning set two and Rafa still looks short of form and confidence.
He hasn’t faced Ferrer since last season’s French Open quarter final and since that tournament Nadal hasn’t beaten an opponent ranked inside the top-10, so he has it all to prove against a player who beat him here last year at the same stage of the tournament.
Ferrer was typically strong physically against Simon on Thursday and even after Gillou played an inspired tie break in set two he always looked like he’d still grind the Frenchman down in the decider and so it proved.
Rafa’s price of 1.30 is twice the price he was in that French Open match against Ferrer last year and the biggest he’s been against this opponent since the 2013 Acapulco final.
It’s still too short though, based on his form this year, and I’m happy to take the 3.45 on Ferrer today.
Sure thing: Back Djokovic to beat Cilic 2-0 at 1.26
Value bet: Back Berdych to win set one at 1.60
Long shot: Back Ferrer to beat Nadal at 3.45