It was one winner from two bets at the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday.
The day looked for all the world like it was going to start in the best possible fashion when Andy Murray stamped his authority all over the early exchanges between he and Novak Djokovic.
Murray was playing the kind of tennis that makes him a delight to watch sometimes in an opening set of high quality from the Scot, but he fell away in the second set after some error-strewn tennis cost him his serve and eventually the set.
The world number three fought back from 2-4 down in the decider to move within a couple of points of the match at 5-4, but Djokovic was solid when he needed to be and the errors came again from the racquet of Murray.
Things got better in the night session though, as Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought out the predicted three set battle, which went comfortably over my recommended wager on the total minutes.
Thursday’s play at the O2 sees Roger Federer take on David Ferrer and Juan Martin Del Potro faces Janko Tipsarevic in two matches where one would expect the favourites to prevail.
Federer and Ferrer open proceedings today at 1.45pm UK time and while Federer is the overwhelming favourite due to his 13-0 head-to-head record against the Spaniard, at least Ferrer is coming into this with plenty of confidence.
Ferrer is on a roll after winning two titles in a fortnight indoors on the tour and seemed to still have something left in the tank, as he dismantled Del Potro in three sets in his opening match here.
I’m not too sure where he gets his energy from, but if he hasn’t hit the wall yet then this match could prove a little tighter than the odds and the history suggest.
If there’s ever a good time for Ferrer to try and beat his nemesis it’s today, as both Nikolay Davydenko and Fernando Gonzalez both overcame similarly poor head-to-heads with the Swiss at the year-end tournament.
Much will depend on the belief of Ferrer and there are worse 5.00 shots around today to take a chance on, but the solid bet looks to be to get involved in the first set, where Ferrer’s confidence will still be intact.
If he loses it Ferrer will probably fade, but in three of their last four meetings he’s taken Federer to more than the 9.5 total games, which is the mark today and overs looks the bet at around 1.67.
Tonight’s match between Del Potro and Tipsarevic looks a slightly tricky one to judge, as neither player appeared to have a great deal left in the tank on the evidence of their first matches at the O2.
Delpo is always hard to read though, as his general manner always makes him appear disinterested and lethargic, so he’s probably perfectly OK, but Tipsy looks done for the season and is supposedly suffering with a virus.
The Serb is yet to take a single set from Delpo in the three matches and seven total sets that they’ve played together on the tour and with the Argentine needing a win today to stay alive effectively I can see him continuing that trend.
Tipsy has lost nine of his last 12 matches against top-10 ranked opposition and I doubt he’s carrying much belief that he’ll improve that today against a player who has too many weapons for the Serb to cope with.
The best bet in this one looks to be the 1.63 about a Delpo 2-0 win, as he should be looking to end this quickly for purposes of set wins, which will probably come into the reckoning for qualification from this group.
Best Bets: Back over 9.5 games in set one of Federer v Ferrer at 1.67; Back Del Potro to beat Tipsarevic 2-0 at 1.63.