We got back to winning ways on Thursday night, as my ATP bet of the day was a straight sets winner at odds-against. Philipp Kohlschreiber produced a fine performance to oust Sam Querrey and progress to another Auckland final, where he will face David Ferrer in a repeat of the 2011 final. Ferrer’s win over Gael Monfils in the semi-final was aided by (yet another) injury issue for the Frenchman and Ferrer’s a touch low at 1.18 for my liking, so I'll be leaving that one alone.
Over in Sydney there will be a lot of pressure on Bernard Tomic to deliver and land his maiden ATP Tour title when he takes on big Kevin Anderson at around 8.30am UK time on Saturday morning. Both of these players can be nervy, but Tomic to me is a better closer than Anderson, who has displayed choking tendencies on a number of occasions. But he did manage to close one out yesterday when he edged past Julien Benneteau 10-8 in the final set breaker.
I said that that match could go either way and there was just a single point in it in the end, with the Frenchman scoring 107 to Anderson's 106. The near two-and-a-half hour match must have been a stressful one for Anderson backers, and will have taken a lot out of the South African. I feel Anderson will have to toil again if he's to emerge
with the title against Tomic, whose serve has improved considerably at the start of this season.
Tomic spent an hour less on court in his tight victory over Andreas Seppi, but his better temperament and better physical condition give him the edge tonight and one assumes that he'd love to grab his first title on home soil.
The pair have met on two previous occasions, with Tomic winning the most recent and most relevant encounter on hard courts in Shanghai at the end of 2011 in three sets. Tomic has revealed that his win over Djokovic in the Hopman Cup gave him a real boost confidence-wise and if he wants to be regarded as a genuine dark horse in Melbourne then one feels that he needs to step up and land this title tomorrow morning.
Anderson has two tour level titles to his name from three finals, but he did face much lower ranked opposition in those showdowns. This is the first senior tour level final that Tomic has contested. At around 1.70 Tomic has to be the bet with the crowd behind him. With momentum on Tomic's side, Anderson will need to serve very well to trouble the Aussie.
Back Tomic to beat Anderson at 1.70