The semi finals of the AEGON Championships and Gerry Weber Open are set for Saturday in London and Halle, with Roger Federer and Andy Murray among those in action on day six of week 24.
We couldn’t have been any closer to a clean sweep of winners on Friday, with the ‘sure thing’ a comfortable winner with over 19.5 games in Marin Cilic’s win over Stevie Johnson getting the ball rolling.
Later in the day Florian Mayer landed a nice 2.45 success for ‘value bet’ backers when he defeated Andreas Seppi, but David Goffin failed on what were effectively five match points to land the ‘long shot’.
Marcos Baghdatis and Alexander Zverev went past the set one overs mark and all the way to a an 11-9 tie break to set it up for Goffin, who was blitzed in the opener by Federer, but he served for the overs win at *5-4 in set two and then wasted more set points in the tie break.
That was a tough one to take, as it would have meant a 4.42 winner, but those are the breaks sometimes in tennis betting.
We did well with the weather at Queen’s Club on Friday and it’s forecast to be showery again on Saturday, but it doesn’t look too bad, and we should get a full day’s play in.
Andy Murray vs Marin Cilic
In this first Queen’s Club semi final at 13:15 UK time two former champions go head-to-head and Cilic has probably the best chance of all four of the underdogs today of causing an upset.
Murray has been pretty mediocre this week so far against some pretty average opposition, with the exception of the tricky Nicolas Mahut, which was a match he could easily have lost.
He dropped a set against Kyle Edmund on Friday and he looks like he needs a few more matches on grass to be ready for Wimbledon and he may not get them at Queen’s if Cilic finds his best form.
Murray’s hold/break stats are very good indeed on grass and I wouldn’t fancy the Croat over the best of five at Wimbledon against the Scot, but here over the shorter format and in quicker conditions he could do some damage.
Cilic has lost 11 of his 14 against Murray, but he does pop up with wins over the Scot every now and then and he took the opening set the last time they met at this tournament in 2013.
The Croat will need to serve at his best to keep Murray at bay and if he manages that he has a shot here at 5.0, but the more likely outcome is that Murray will nick it in three, which is a 3.80 chance.
Dominic Thiem vs Florian Mayer
Thiem had a day off yesterday after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew from Halle with a left hip injury, while Mayer played very well in landing the odds against Seppi.
This second Gerry Weber Open semi final is a first meeting between Mayer and Thiem and while it ‘should’ be a win for the Austrian over the German I cannot see it being easy for Thiem.
Mayer served very well yesterday, hitting 16 aces in two sets against Seppi and not facing a break point, which is fine form and the Italian played pretty well himself.
Mayer has good stats on grass, holding serve 83.8 percent of the time and breaking 18.3 percent of the time, and the Austrian manages to break serve only 15.4 percent on grass, while holding his own serve 85.1 percent of the time.
The over 18.5 games looks today’s ‘sure thing’ at 1.18 and over 9.5 games in set one is a bigger priced alternative for that wager, while the +1.5 sets on Mayer at odds-against seems good value too.
Elsewhere, Bernard Tomic was complaining of a back injury and said he was: “a little bit worried about whether I’d play or not,” of his match with Gilles Muller yesterday.
I can’t imagine that a three set battle with Muller has done much for that particular injury, so the Aussie’s match with Milos Raonic looks one to avoid, with the unders quite tempting now.
Federer should get past Zverev, but again that could be tight, with the Swiss maestro probably proving just a bit too good in a couple of sets.
Sure thing: Back over 18.5 games in Mayer/Thiem at 1.18
Value bet: Back Mayer +1.5 sets at 2.17
Long shot: Back Murray to beat Cilic 2-1 at 3.80