We’ve reached the quarter-final stage in Ohio, with the last eight men standing at the 2013 Western and Southern Open. Thursday was a good day for analysis and it would have been a great one for betting had Tommy Haas not choked away his chance of putting Roger Federer away in straight sets. The German bottled it from 6-1, 4-2 ahead and allowed the Swiss back into the match, which ended up being a fatal error.
My pick of Dmitry Tursunov with a set start against David Ferrer was the easiest winner of the week, as the Russian blasted his way past an out-of-touch Ferrer in straight sets. Tursunov goes through to face Juan Martin Del Potro in the opening quarter-final at 4pm UK time.
Dmitry Tursunov vs Juan Martin Del Potro
Tursunov will be delighted at his form over the last few weeks and on hard courts this season, having compiled a record of 16 wins and four losses in all matches in 2013. But against the best opposition he is usually found wanting. Other than the two wins over Ferrer this season, Tursunov had lost his previous 16 matches against top 10-ranked opponents stretching back to 2008, which doesn’t give me much confidence in him getting the win today.
Delpo hasn’t been in fabulous form this week and may still be struggling with a back problem, but he managed to see off an awkward opponent in Feli Lopez yesterday. Lopez’s regular use of the backhand slice annoys Delpo, but he’ll get a regular hard hit ball today from Tursunov and I like the Argentine’s chances in this match-up. They’ve only met once before, which was on indoor hard in Valencia back in 2011, when Delpo won handily. I think the bet here is to side with Delpo minus 3.5 games on the handicap at around 1.82.
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
This match-up needs little in the way of introduction, save to say that it’s the 31st meeting of a series that the Spaniard has dominated to the tune of 20 wins to ten. On paper Rafa is the obvious favourite having displayed by far the better form over the last few weeks and having beaten the Swiss in four of their last five matches. However, sport is rarely as straightforward as that and as bad as Federer was at times yesterday against Haas he does have conditions in his favour and is the fresher of the two.
Rafa’s price today of 1.26 is far too short and in my view; I would make him around 1.5 or perhaps a touch higher. The shortest price that Nadal has ever been in the past on a hard court against Federer is 1.66, when he beat the Swiss in Miami in 2011, and I can’t be on Rafa in these conditions at 1.26. If Federer starts as badly as he did against Haas he’s in big trouble, but these days Federer’s level varies wildly and it’s hard to see him playing that badly again. Rafa should win this, but he’s too short and if Federer plays like he did in the final set against Haas he’ll make this closer than the odds suggest. The +1.5 sets on the Swiss looks value here.
Back Del Potro -3.5 games to beat Tursunov at 1.82
Back Federer +1.5 sets to beat Nadal at 2.0