We’re down to the semi final stage in Rotterdam, Sao Paulo and Memphis, with championship match places up for grabs on Saturday.
Andy Murray won’t be there after a truly woeful performance from the Scot saw Gilles Simon cause a shock that few if any saw coming.
Murray had won the last 12 straight against Simon, but a showing full of poor errors from the Australian Open finalist heralded a straight sets win for the Frenchman.
That was good news for my outright bet on Simon, but bad news for my opening wager of Friday, which went down with barely a whimper.
It was a truly woeful showing from Murray, but there was better news later when Pablo Cuevas landed my value bet of the day with an odds-against success over Nico Almagro in Sao Paulo.
Finally, I had stated that Sam Querrey had a great chance of edging out John Isner as underdog in Memphis and so it proved, but backers of my ‘long shot’ wager of 2-1 to Querrey were frustrated when he did it in two tie breaks.
Tomas Berdych vs Gilles Simon
We start at 13:00 UK time on Saturday, with an intriguing clash between Tomas Berdych and Gilles Simon and if anything there might be a bit of value on Simon here.
The Frenchman has a fine record against Berdych, which has been achieved mainly by being ultra solid and waiting for the inevitable error from the Czech, who took a nasty tumble in his win over Gael Monfils yesterday.
Berdych says he fine, but he did take a whack on his left wrist and I wouldn’t be touching the 1.33 on the Berdman in what could be a tricky match for the defending champion.
The Czech has only once in nine meetings beaten Simon in straight sets and that was back in 2008, with only three of those nine clashes ended in two sets.
Over 2.5 sets at 2.55 looks like decent value here in what will either be a bludgeoning win for Berdych or a really hard fought battle and I like the chances of the latter, with Simon taking great confidence from that Murray success.
The second semi final in Rotterdam between Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic should go the way of the Swiss, with Wawrinka easing into some very good form now after a shaky start to the week.
Wawrinka looks to be peaking at the right time and his win over Gilles Muller rarely looked in any doubt once he’d edged ahead in the first set tie break and that clash against a big server will help tonight.
Raonic has been a little in and out this week and he’s also been moaning about the scheduling, with groans about a lack of recovery time emitting from the Canadian’s mouth, and he might have a point.
He endured a tricky three setter with Sergiy Stakhovsky last night and he’ll need to be at his absolute best to win this one for my money.
Wawrinka has beaten Raonic three times from three and the form he’s in right now suggests he’ll make that four.
I like the minus 1.5 games on Wawrinka here at 1.82, which can be doubled with Cuevas to continue his Sao Paulo adventure over Santi Giraldo at 17:00 UK time today.
Cuevas has been good for us so far this season and I see no reason to abandon him today against what will be a fatigued Giraldo after his match with Fabio Fognini ended late last night.
Fogna should have taken that one the distance, but the Italian lost the last five in a row, allowing Giraldo to progress, however the recent form of the pair and the head-to-head record points to Cuevas here.
They’ve had some tight battles and not met for a while now, but I’ve been impressed by the Uruguayan in the last year and the -2.5 games at 1.90 makes a 3.46 double with Wawrinka.
Kei Nishikori vs Sam Querrey
My ‘sure thing’ for today isn’t for Nishikori to win this at 1.30, but rather the over 19.5 total games in this 01:00 UK time clash at 1.32.
Querrey has caused Nishikori all sorts of problems in the past, with three wins from their five meetings and with the American finding a great groove on serve I can’t see the Japanese star winning this one easily.
Nishikori struggled with the Austin Krajicek serve last night in Memphis and eventually came through in three, as he did the match prior to that against Ryan Harrison.
The US Open finalist has never beaten Querrey in straight sets in five tries and the 2-1 to him at 3.85 is a bigger priced option, but it would be a big surprise if this one in conditions where Querrey is comfortable ended quickly.
Sure thing: Back over 19.5 total games in Nishikori/Querrey at 1.32
Value bet: Back over 2.5 sets in Berdych/Simon at 2.55
Long shot: Back Wawrinka -1.5 games and Cuevas -2.5 games at 3.46