It was one winner from my two bets on Thursday at the 2012 BNP Paribas Masters. The day began in fine style as the Kevin Anderson vs Tomas Berdych match went the way I predicted, with Berdych struggling against the in-form South African, but getting the job done in the end. Our overs bet was looking a little shaky when Anderson produced a near perfect set of tennis at the start, but the Czech showed a great deal of character to ride the storm and bring in the profit.
But drama was to follow when US Open champion and tournament favourite Andy Murray was beaten from match point up by Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz, who we’ve done well out of this week with our bets. I did say not to count Janowicz out in yesterday’s column, but the comeback was remarkable, albeit assisted slightly by a less than 100% motivated Murray.
Talking of demotivated, Juan Martin Del Potro was less than inspired during a fairly tame loss to home favourite Michael Llodra to leave David Ferrer as the highest remaining seed. Ferrer downed my second bet of the day by defeating Stan Wawrinka, who had his chances at a good price, but came up short in the deciding set against the Spaniard.
So, Friday’s quarter-final line-up is probably not what tournament director Guy Forget would have hoped for, but at least there are three Frenchman still in it for the home crowd to cheer on. The first of these, Gilles Simon, takes on Tomas Berdych in the opening match of the day and certainly has a shot in these conditions, but I would fancy Berdych to maybe take that one in a decider.
Janowicz plays Janko Tipsarevic after that, and the big Pole will be on cloud nine after taking down Murray. On that form he has a big chance against the Serbian, who had treatment for blisters against Juan Monaco on Thursday. Tipsarevic also qualified for the year end championships yesterday, along with Tsonga, and it’s guesswork as to whether he’ll decide that he’s had enough in Paris now that his primary goal has been achieved.
This is the only one of today’s quarter-finals that involves players that have not met before and Tipsy looks a tad low at around 1.44 to me under the circumstances. Janowicz has the game to give the Serbian a real run for his money and he’s the value in this one at around 2.70. A better bet, though, is for this to go over the 23.5 games mark at 1.87.
In fact, there’s a case to be made for all of today’s last eight matches going long. The final match of the day features Llodra taking on Sam Querrey and the Frenchman has to be value at 1.97 to prevail. Llodra will be pumped for this one in surely his last chance to reach the semis or better of a Masters 1000 event. He will be confident again after beating Del Potro.
Querrey does have a decent record against lefties, but he won’t have faced anything like Llodra for a while – their only previous career meeting came on clay last year, and Llodra won. I can see Mika outfoxing the one-dimensional Querrey in enough of the rallies to get the job done.
Big Sam has been in good form this week, but I don’t fancy him as favourite. I think this may go to a decider, but the extra passion that Llodra will have plus the home support should tip the scales in his favour.
Back over 23.5 games in Janowicz v Tipsarevic at 1.87
Back Llodra to beat Querrey at 1.97