ATP Tennis Betting: Tie breaks unlikely when Gasquet and Monfils clash

There’s semi final action scheduled for Friday on the ATP World Tour at the Aegon International and Antalya Open on the grass.

We were very unlucky with our 3.70 shot Ramkumar Ramanathan, who was beaten in a final set tie break by Marcos Baghdatis in front of literally some spectators in Antalya.

And even more annoyingly the other one I mulled over, Richard Gasquet, beat Kevin Anderson in straight sets as underdog, while Eastbourne outright Mischa Zverev was beaten by Bernard Tomic, who I’d backed at huge prices outright in previous weeks.

Tomic soon reverted to type though when he became the first player ever to be bageled by Gael Monfils on grass and then both of my outrights in Antalya moved through to face one another in the semi finals, guaranteeing us a finalist there.

Andreas Seppi did it in reasonably comfortable fashion against Radu Albot, who had a meltdown right at the end of the match when he thought there was a double bounce or double hit from Seppi in the tie break.

The audio is so bad from Antalya this week it’s hard to tell what Albot said, but he got a code violation for it as Seppi eased through to face Adrian Mannarino.

Mannarino’s path was rather different, coming from 2-6, 1-4 down to beat Fernando Verdasco, who was 1.01 in-play, and so we’re in good shape in Turkey.

Once again play starts in Antalya at 10:00 local time (08:00 UK) and again it’s Baghdatis in action when he takes on Yuichi Sugita in a first career meeting.

The tough battles in the brutal heat that Baggy has had (he had the doctor out in the final set against Ramanathan) have seen the layers go with Sugita as favourite for this one.

Sugita had a far easier time of it on Thursday and should be much the fresher player, but he’s hardly good value as a 1.63 chance, which is the first time he’s ever been favourite at main level versus a top-100 opponent.

I’m not sure if Baghdatis will have much left in his legs for another boiling day and it’s set to be even hotter on Friday, with the dial hitting 37C by 10:00 and 40C by 13:00.

Andreas Seppi vs Adrian Mannarino

By the time this pair embark upon their sixth career meeting at 15:00 local time it’ll be 41C and both semi finals in Antalya on Friday could well be a case of survival of the fittest.

I remember watching England play cricket in Perth a few years ago and it was 43C in the stands (over 50C on the pitch) and I was forced to repair to the bar to cool off, so running around in that sort of heat seems like it’ll be a massive struggle.

The history between this pair has strongly favoured quick matches, with not one of the 10 sets they’ve contested going past 10 games and no tie breaks and under games look the ones here.

Mannarino doesn’t look to me like a man that copes well in the heat and he appeared pretty much ready to chuck it in against Verdasco on Thursday until the Spaniard handed set two to him virtually gift-wrapped.

Neither of these men have good records in main level semis, with Seppi winning just one of his last nine completed semi finals (8-17 in total), while Mannarino is also around the 33% winning mark, having won two of his six.

On the hold/break stats Seppi is 8% ahead, but the heat looks like it’ll be more of a factor and another quick encounter between this pair seems likely.

They clashed twice on grass within the space of a fortnight last summer and the result was one straight sets win for each man. In these conditions I’d expect another 2-0 win to be the outcome.

Richard Gasquet vs Gael Monfils

There are no such problems with extreme heat in Eastbourne expected on Friday, with light rain and cloud forecast, and highs of around 20C.

We enjoyed a nice odds-against winner with Gasquet over Monfils a couple of weeks ago in Halle and now it’s the Gasman who’s favourite and rightfully so given Lamonf’s well-documented dislike for grass.

That bagel that Monfils had over Tomic has boosted his return stats a bit, but he’s still a good 10% worse off on the hold/break stats on grass than Gasquet over their last 10 matches each.

And when it comes to going the extra mile to win on grass Monfils generally doesn’t bother, with zero sets won in his three career semi finals on this surface.

He’s also won only three of his last 11 semi finals, while Gasquet has won four of his last six, and the Gasman has had a far tougher route to reach this stage than Monfils.

Kevin Anderson and John Isner were both despatched in straight sets without the need for a tie break in either match, while Monfils has faced world number 236 Cameron Norrie and a tanking Tomic.

A few wagers appeal here, with the under 0.5 tie breaks at 2.23 perhaps the best value, given they’ve played just four tie break matches in the 15 they’ve contested against each other (two in their 13 on hard courts and grass).

And Gasquet’s tie breaks per set mark is a very low 0.07 over his last 10 matches on grass, while Gael’s is far from high at 0.17, and it just looks better value than 1.79 on Gasquet.

Over 2.5 sets is likely as well at 2.25, with Gael likely to put on a show for one set at least, but I expect Gasquet to prove the better player on this surface.

Novak Djokovic is a tricky man to try and second guess these days, with his form rather up and down, but he could face a decent test from Daniil Medvedev if the young Russian is physically up to it.

He was struggling with his shoulder last week at Queen’s, so it’s a little surprising that he’s been able to play back-to-back three setters on the same day here this week.

I have my doubts as to whether Novak will really bust a gut to win the title this week and I was going to have a bet in this I’d probably chance Medvedev to win a set at 2.60.

Best Bets
1 point win under 22.5 games in Seppi/Mannarino at 2.07
1 point win no tie breaks in Gasquet/Monfils at 2.23