It’s semi-final Saturday at the Portugal Open and the BMW Open, with the early action starting at 12.30pm UK time in Munich. Friday brought one winner with Tommy Haas and Phillip Kohlschreiber comfortably bringing my recommended double, in before Fabio Fognini blew a winning position against Pablo Carreno-Busta.
The semi-finals in Munich have a very German look about them with three of the last four men standing being from the host country. The one exception is Ivan Dodig, who I mentioned yesterday had to be respected against Alex Dolgopolov, who was too short in the betting.
Dodig faces Haas first up. This will be their second meeting this year after Delray Beach on hard which Tommy won in three sets. This is only Ivan’s second semi-final on clay at ATP Tour level and it comes two years after his first, which was a loss to Rafa Nadal in Barcelona. Haas will be keen to improve upon his pretty average Munich record by reaching the final and it’s hard to see him being tested too much by Dodig, so the -3.5 game handicap for Haas at 1.75 looks the bet in that one.
The second semi could be closer. Daniel Brands and Kohlschreiber have met on one occasion, which was here in the first round back in 2010. Kohlschreiber won that day and he should just about prevail again, but I’m not sure he should be as short as a 1.53 shot in a match that could be tough for him.
Over in Portugal, the action begins at 2.30pm with Carreno-Busta in his first ATP Tour semi-final against Stan Wawrinka. The Spaniard is such a battler that the 1.14 about Stan looks short and although the Swiss should take this I might be tempted by the +4.5 game handicap at 2.20 about Carreno-Busta. Stan has lost seven of his last eight tour level semi-finals, which doesn’t inspire confidence and certainly doesn’t make me want to part with much money at 1.14.
The second semi-final also features a short-priced favourite, with David Ferrer taking on Andreas Seppi. The number one seed is rated a 1.16 shot to inflict another defeat upon the Italian, who he has dominated historically. Ferrer has won all four of their previous matches in straight sets, but they haven’t met since 2011. Admittedly, Ferrer hasn’t exactly been on top form lately, while Seppi is just beginning to show something after a poor run.
Still, this is a good match-up for Ferrer and I’m not sure that Seppi has the weapons to hurt him. The top seed could be vulnerable, but I’m not convinced that Seppi is the man to take advantage, so the -4.5 game handicap on Ferrer looks like it may be the way to go.
Best bet: Back Haas -3.5 games to beat Dodig at 1.75