Friday’s play at the Lindner Family Tennis Centre in Mason, Ohio features the quarter-finals of the men’s singles in the 2014 Western and Southern Open.
Jerzy Janowicz won’t be joining us today after an implosion of fairly epic proportions from the end of set one onwards against Julien Benneteau, which put paid to bet one on Thursday in Cincy.
Indeed, ‘capitulation’ was the buzzword of the day, as my other bet featured an even worse collapse, as Mikhail Youzhny failed to win another game from being 5-2 ahead in the opening set against David Ferrer.
The Russian slumped to a 5-7, 0-6 loss and the second set was quite pathetic from Youzhny, as he gave up and allowed Ferrer to cruise into the last eight.
According to the forecast it’s set to be in the mid to high 20s with no chance of rain and with lower humidity today, so it should be quite a pleasant temperature for fans and players alike in Cincy today.
There have been a few shocks at this quarter final stage in Cincy in recent years, with John Isner taking down Novak Djokovic last year and Tomas Berdych beating Roger Federer and Mardy Fish over Rafa Nadal in 2011, but it doesn’t have that sort of feel to it today.
David Ferrer vs Tommy Robredo
Tommy stunned the world number one Djokovic yesterday in what was, in truth, another really poor showing from the Serb, whose connections must be concerned going into the US Open.
Djokovic was well off the pace again and we shouldn’t go overboard about Robredo’s performance – it was very good, but it didn’t need to be fabulous to beat the ailing Serb.
There’s usually some form of let down after a win like that and also in watching that match it seemed to me that increasingly Robredo was in pain from some sort of ankle or foot problem, which puts me off him today.
That’s not to mention the career head-to-head, which reads 7-2 in Ferrer’s favour, although pretty much all of their prior meetings were on clay.
If Tommy isn’t fully fit – and I have doubts over him – he’ll really struggle in the long rallies and he may well decide not to risk himself ahead of the US Open and he is down to play in Winston-Salem next week.
I doubt he’ll turn up to that now and for me he doesn’t offer much value at the prices, with the 1.54 about Ferrer looking a sensible choice.
I’ve been happy to go against Ferrer so far this week, but this opponent doesn’t strike me as the style of player that can hurt him.
Milos Raonic vs Fabio Fognini
This is an interesting one, with Milos pretty fortunate in the end to get through against Steve Johnson yesterday after making a real hash of serving the match out.
The Canadian produced three double faults in that game and was behind a mini-break in the ensuing tie-break, but Johnson blinked and rather handed it to Raonic with a string of errors.
Fognini meanwhile was on Court 3 with no hawk eye and spent most of the match arguing with umpire Damien Dumusois in his usual semi-threatening manner.
I recall Dumusois saying very early on that he didn’t want to hear from Fognini until the end of the match, but there was no chance of that, with the Fog moaning about all sorts throughout.
It did seem to fire him up though and Raonic will need to be better than he was yesterday to win this if Fabio is in the mood.
It could well be the case that Fognini decides he’s had enough hard court practice now and goes away rather tamely and given that he’s never beaten a top-10 opponent on a hard court Raonic is the obvious pick.
The Italian has won only five sets in his 13 matches against top-10 players on a hard court and I’d be siding with either the 2-0 to Raonic at 1.55 or the –3.5 games at 1.79.
Back Ferrer to beat Robredo at 1.54