Kei Nishikori delivered an easy winner yesterday in Memphis, as he took down number one seed Marin Cilic in straight sets. I indicated that Cilic might well be fatigued after a long spell of matches recently and he certainly looked tetchy early on. You don’t see that often from Cilic and it was a good sign that he was cooked. Nishikori eased to a comfortable win in the end and is a good position to land the Memphis title now.
In Marseille I said that Juan Martin Del Potro might struggle against Gilles Simon, but I don’t think many would have predicted a 6-4, 6-3 win for the Frenchman. Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both won tight matches, while Dmitry Tursunov emerged victorious against Gilles Muller despite scoring 14 points fewer than his opponent.
Today’s semi-finals in Marseille offer little in the way of value, so I prefer switching focus to the clay of Buenos Aires, where it’s worth taking a chance on Stan Wawrinka against Nico Almagro in the Copa Claro.
This pair met here at the same stage last year and Almagro just edged it 7-5 in the decider, but Wawrinka does have a 3-1 lead in matches played on clay over the Spaniard. Stan has only lost two matches in 2013 so far – one of them an epic against Novak Djokovic in Melbourne and the other against Berdych the day after a ridiculously long doubles match.
Almagro was beaten by David Nalbandian in Sao Paulo and hasn’t been overly convincing here in Argentina so far. Although I’m expecting a very close match the +2.5 games on Wawrinka at 1.76 looks well worth backing to me.
The 2.24 about the Swiss winning outright is certainly worthy of consideration, but I can see this going down to the wire and that small 2.5 game edge could make the difference.
Best bet: Back Wawrinka +2.5 games to beat Almagro at 1.76