It’s semi-finals day in North Carolina on Friday, with the last four doing battle in the 2014 Winston-Salem Open.
The tennis gods are conspiring to keep Lukas Rosol in this tournament whether he likes it or not, as, after an opening round retirement by Ryan Harrison and a bizarre incident against Pablo Andujar his quarter-final opponent pulled out on Thursday.
John Isner quit the tournament due to injury, leaving Rosol a free pass to the semi final and voiding my opening bet of the day yesterday.
And, in all honesty, I made a bad call in my other selection, which was David Goffin, who looked jaded after a lot of tennis and was comfortably beaten by Jerzy Janowicz.
Those on the handicap on Sam Querrey would have enjoyed a good winner though, as the American came from a set down to win by five games in total over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
So, Rosol is the highest seed left in the tournament as we reach the last four stage, which begins from 20:00 UK time on Friday and it’s set to be very hot again at around 33C.
Lukas Rosol vs Yen Hsun Lu
Rosol finds himself up against the in-form Lu in the day’s opening match and it’s a hard one to call in the sense that Rosol’s commitment has to be questioned here.
As I said earlier he offered nothing this week until Pablo Andujar whacked him with the ball and I can’t see him busting a gut today, although after being handed that walkover maybe he’ll fancy it now?
Lu has been impressive this week and he was solid again in beating Andreas Seppi yesterday and combined with his win over Rosol in their only career clash and the Czech’s dodgy attitude this week he should be the winner here.
It doesn’t always work like that though and especially in pre-slam week when players will retire, tank or withdraw if they feel any potential injuries, so the 1.40 is not for me today.
If I were having a bet in this one, I’d probably take a chance on the minus 3.5 games on Lu at 2.00, but much depends on Rosol’s attitude today.
Jerzy Janowicz vs Sam Querrey
These two big servers seem sure to want to put it in with a title in sight for each after both have endured really poor seasons in 2014 thus far.
The passionate and emotional Pole declared “everything” as an answer to the question posed to him about what aspects of his game are working well for him right now, so he’s clearly pretty pleased with himself.
In contrast, the indifferent Querrey rarely shows any emotion other than boredom and he looked at times like he was on the way out against GGL last night before eventually prevailing.
This pair have met just once before and it was on clay at altitude in Madrid when Janowicz was a straight sets winner and more telling might be the semi final record of Querrey here.
The American has lost his last seven semi-finals in a row (one was a walkover, so six really) and he won just the one set in those half a dozen matches, so that alone would put me off the 1.60 about Querrey here.
There’ll be some nerves around tonight for sure and I would rather side with this one going long or with Janowicz than the favourite here.
I don’t trust the Pole’s highly questionable temperament in such situations and I think we’ll see a tight, nervy affair here, with the over 23.5 games looking the best choice at 1.88.
Back over 23.5 total games in Querrey/Janowicz at 1.88