Juan Martin Del Potro’s straight sets victory over Jarkko Nieminen in Rotterdam on Friday made it a winning day for this column.
Our handicap wager on the Argentine minus 3.5 games was a reasonably comfortable winner in a 6-3, 6-4 win for Delpo and those that were on my other suggestion of the overs in the earlier match between Grigor Dimitrov and Marcos Baghdatis, would also have been heading to the pay-out queue, as that one went the distance.
It’s semi-final Saturday in Rotterdam. I would expect Del Potro to defeat Dimitrov, while the all-French affair between Julien Benneteau and Gilles Simon is a tough one to call with any confidence.
Benneteau ousted Roger Federer last night, but Simon has won three of their four matches and I would be on the overs on that one, as I can’t see either winning it in two.
A more interesting bet for me today can be found in San Jose, where Sam Querrey takes on Milos Raonic and I always feel that it’s worth siding with Querrey in this match-up.
Both are lethal on their first serve of course and Raonic is very good at varying his second serve – probably better than Querrey in that regard. However, Raonic’s return game is not good and against a server like Querrey, he finds it tough to break.
In their last match, which was on indoor hard in Bercy at the end of last season Raonic failed to even create a single break point in a 6-3, 7-6 defeat and he only won 20% of return points in that match.
Even over four long sets at Wimbledon last summer, the Canadian created just five break point chances of which he took one. So if Querrey serves around his best level, this has the makings of a long night for Raonic.
Querrey is no great returner either – in fact he was ranked 45th on first serve return points won on tour in 2012, with Raonic 47th and John Isner 48th. It’s a similar story on second serve return points won with Querrey 44th and Raonic 46th in 2012.
Raonic may still win this 7-6, 7-6 of course, as Querrey isn’t the best at pressure points. The overs looks a virtual certainty and four of the six sets they’ve contested have gone to breakers.
Back over 25.5 games in Raonic v Querrey at 1.95
Back Querrey to beat Raonic at 2.50
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