We’ve reached the quarter final stage at this week’s two ATP 250 grass court events in London and Halle and we arrive there in good shape after a bumper day on Thursday.
Yesterday was one of those enjoyable days when every bet I suggested won, with Dustin Brown taking the major honours by not only taking the opener against Rafa Nadal but blitzing the world number one in an hour.
The slick, speedy grass of Halle was never going to be fun for Rafa after his French Open efforts, but Brown took it to him and landed a 3.80 winner that was most welcome.
Those on the overs in the Feli Lopez and Kevin Anderson match also would have been winners, as would those on the big price about Radek Stepanek taking set one over Andy Murray, who also slumped to defeat.
My other bet of the day was void, as Teimuraz Gabashvili withdrew from his match with Steve Johnson.
Grigor Dimitrov vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
This 16:00 UK time quarter final at Queen’s looks a decent opportunity to back Dimitrov against an opponent, who may well be below par physically.
Dolgo pulled out of his doubles match yesterday in the second set with a right leg injury and that can’t be good news for the Ukrainian’s chances against an in-form Dimitrov today.
Dolgopolov was himself the beneficiary of an injury retirement in singles yesterday when Jarkko Nieminen was unable to continue, but the reverse could well be the case today, with Dolgo now perhaps the injured party.
Indeed, injury may play a part in some of today’s other matches at Queen’s with Marinko Matosevic also struggling, but even without the fitness issues I would fancy the Bulgarian for this one.
Dimitrov was semi finalist here two years ago when he lost to the much-missed David Nalbandian and after some below par efforts on the green stuff since then he’ll be looking to make the final this week now with many of the big names already out.
Dolgo has never done anything on grass and this is his first quarter final on this surface in 10 tries, stretching all the way back to Eastbourne in 2010, which was his only time he won three straight matches on grass.
The minus 2.5 games looks the one for me here at around 1.85.
Elsewhere at Queen’s Feliciano Lopez looks the best of the underdogs, with the Spaniard backable at 2.65 against Tomas Berdych, who isn’t as much of a natural on this surface as the Spaniard.
The overs looks good again in this one, while Stan Wawrinka should take care of an injured Matosevic and Stepanek vs Anderson also has the look of an overs proposition.
In Halle their opener could be anything with Alejandro Falla taking on Peter Gojowczyk and my preference there would be for the German playing with the support of the home crowd.
I’m not too sure why Gojowczyk is the slight underdog in that one, but he has a decent shot, as does Brown, who faces fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
As my pre-tournament wager was Kohlschreiber I’m hoping the favourite can see it through, but Brown is very dangerous and that could also go long, although I get the feeling it could be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show with Dustin today.
The pair played out two tie breaks here a couple of years ago and the overs again looks decent there, while once more Roger Federer is much too short and will need to be on his game to cover the handicaps against Yen-Hsun Lu.
Johnson is not without a chance against Kei Nishikori either, with the Japanese star looking to make just his second grass court semi final. He should make it, but he looks too short for me and the first set overs is interesting there at 1.78.
Back Dimitrov –2.5 games to beat Dolgopolov at 1.85