Friday is quarter finals day in week six of the 2015 ATP World Tour in our three events this week in Rotterdam, Sao Paulo and Memphis.
Thursday’s wagers began with a winner for my ‘sure thing’ when Andy Murray overcame a mini mid-match meltdown to defeat Vasek Pospisil in straight sets.
Murray was cruising at a set and a break up, but in typical Murray fashion he lost three games in a row and came perilously close to losing set two before eventually taking it and the match.
Later in the evening at the Ahoy Stadium there was success for those on the +1.5 set handicap bet on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who took the opener against Stan Wawrinka on a tie break.
But the bad luck that has been hanging around reared its head again when Milos Raonic and Simone Bolelli took their second set, rather than the first, to a tie break.
The Canadian played the first set like he was late for a dinner date, with some superb tennis that would have been too good for most on the tour.
Finally, I ended up choosing what turned out to be the wrong bet, with my suggestion of Joao Souza over Martin Klizan providing a nice odds-against winner, while the overs was miles away in Memphis between Sam Groth and Kevin Anderson, which was a surprise.
Groth missed far too many first serves and without that weapon he had little chance of covering the over total games.
Andy Murray vs Gilles Simon
Today’s ‘sure thing’ will be a double of Murray and Raonic, which pays around 1.32.
Murray is facing an opponent that he loves to play against, having won the last 12 in a row against Simon and he’s won 23 of his last 24 against Frenchmen.
Simon won their first meeting back in 2007 on the clay of Rome, but he’s had no such success since and it’s hardly surprising given Gillou’s defensive game which plays right into Murray’s hands.
Unless we see the all-out attacking version of Simon that went toe-to-toe with Rafa Nadal on the clay of Rome last year the Frenchman seems destined to defeat again.
He has pushed Murray close in their last two meetings, but he’ll need something special today to get past the Scot.
Raonic has found his groove after a very slow start in Rotterdam this week and he should have too much weaponry for Sergiy Stakhovsky, who has a very mediocre record against big servers.
Stakho is 19-34 against the big servers on my database and he’s lost his only meetings with today’s opponent.
The Ukrainian doesn’t have a great record on indoor hard either, with this being only his third quarter final indoors since 2009, and it would be a big surprise if he were able to win this one.
John Isner vs Sam Querrey
Querrey has a pretty decent record on indoor hard against big servers, boasting a 7-3 record against the ones on my list, including victories over Isner, Raonic, Jerzy Janowicz, Ivo Karlovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The win over Isner came here in Memphis in the 2010 final and although that has little relevance to today’s tussle Querrey’s overall record in these conditions against the big hitters makes him a decent underdog today.
It’s sure to be a long encounter, but there’s little value in the over 25.5 games, so I prefer siding with the 2-1 win to Querrey at a tasty 4.50.
Big Sam has won two of his three against Isner, who hasn’t shown a great deal this season to make him favourite for this encounter.
Querrey’s 35-18 winning mark on indoor hard in the United States in his career reads well compared to Isner’s 24-15 record in the same conditions and he looks worth risking to edge this at a nice price.
Pablo Cuevas vs Nicolas Almagro
We landed a nice winner a little while ago with Cuevas beating Almagro in Sydney and although today’s Sao Paulo clash is a different kettle of fish it’s still worth siding with the underrated Uruguayan as underdog here.
Nico is still feeling his way back onto the circuit after a bad foot injury and Cuevas will be fresh and confident here after a quick win in his last match and a 2-0 career lead over the Spaniard.
It could well be a long one and the over 22.5 is decent too, but Almagro will need to serve at his best to come out on top in what looks to be a 50/50 call and that makes Cuevas worthy of interest at 2.12.
Back in Rotterdam, Gael Monfils is rarely one to bet for or against if there are alternatives and he’s come out and said what we’ve all known for years – namely, “I do not feel 100 percent in my head.”
He means that he’s still struggling with the after effects of a fever, but you just never know with Monfils and I’ll be sitting that clash with Tomas Berdych out, but Gilles Muller has half a chance against Stan Wawrinka.
Muller pulled out of the doubles with illness and was coughing against Grigor Dimitrov, but he doesn’t seem unduly affected by it.
Sure thing: Back Murray and Raonic in a double at 1.32
Value bet: Back Cuevas to beat Almagro at 2.15
Long shot: Back Querrey to beat Isner 2-1 at 4.50