Thursday at the Western and Southern Open features a host of great match-ups as the Masters 1000 tournament gathers pace in Ohio.
Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafa Nadal are all in action today in what is expected to be another unseasonably cool day in Mason.
Wednesday was one of those days where I plumped for the wrong two wagers of the four matches I previewed and annoyingly both David Goffin and Tommy Robredo won, while James Blake was beaten and my other bet was void when Jeremy Chardy retired.
Roger Federer vs Tommy Haas
I have to side with the German in this one in the current circumstances, with Federer quite short today at 1.42 and struggling for form and fitness.
The Swiss doesn’t seem to know which racquet to use and went back to his tried and trusted Wilson for his opening match here with Philipp Kohlschreiber, which he won narrowly.
Haas has been in fine form this week after quitting Montreal with a shoulder complaint last week and we know from their numerous meetings in the past that Tommy’s game can match up well to Roger’s. Federer will be determined to do well here in defence of his title, but how much has he got left in the tank? The cooler conditions won’t help him and for me all the value here has to lie with Haas at around 2.70.
David Ferrer vs Dmitry Tursunov
Ferrer was quite simply awful in his match with Ryan Harrison, who somehow managed to lose despite the Spaniard spraying countless errors all round the Lindner Family Tennis Centre.
Had Harrison been able to call upon his best shot, the serve, then surely he would have taken down Ferrer, who looks really out of sorts at the moment. Tursunov foiled my bet yesterday by winning the battle of the forehands and in these conditions and with Ferrer never being past the last eight, I find value with the Russian at around 3.30.
Ferrer will scrap until the last ball after losing early in Montreal and there will almost certainly be a stage where Tursunov goes off the boil, so the set handicap looks interesting. Tursunov took Ferrer down on clay at a huge price in their only career meeting and the latter has to be worth betting against at the moment.
I’m slightly tempted by Goffin +5.5 games on the handicap against Novak Djokovic, who looked less than 100 percent last night in a scratchy win over Juan Monaco. The Belgian pushed Nole all the way on the dirt at the French Open earlier this year and the 2.50 on him making it close again is worthy of consideration.
Back Haas to beat Federer at 2.70
Back Tursunov +1.5 sets to beat Ferrer at 1.75