In another bizarre day at the 2012 BNP Paribas Masters I managed to avoid the carnage and ended up showing a profit. All four favourites at the Palais Omnisports were beaten on a bad day for punters, but it was still almost a perfect day for us – and would have been had Janko Tipsarevic not opted to retire a couple of games away from defeat.
The Serbian was 4-1 down in the deciding set when he decided that he’d deny Jerzy Janowicz his victory by quitting and simultaneously voiding my overs bet, which was about to come to fruition. At least there was some handy compensation later on when Michael Llodra defeated Sam Querrey as predicted to earn us a well priced winner.
Today’s semi-finals have the look of an early season ATP 250 tournament about them, rather than a Masters 1000, with Llodra taking on David Ferrer and Gilles Simon facing Janowicz.
The first of the semis kicks off at 1.30pm UK time today and it’s a classic defence versus attack match-up between the human backboard Simon and the big serving, bit hitting Janowicz. They’ve never met before, but perhaps a reasonable comparison could be to see how Simon fared against Ivo Karlovic in the past - although Janowicz has more about his game than Dr Ivo.
Simon has never been able to defeat Karlovic at tour level in straight sets and their four meetings are split at 2-2, which illustrates that despite being renowned as a decent returner, Simon hasn’t been able to deal with the big service bombs that effectively. I certainly don’t see Simon as value at 1.57 at all and as in yesterday’s match with Tipsarevic, Janowicz is certainly the value pick in this one at 2.34.
Nerves will perhaps play a part with both players today and if anything I suspect Simon has it worst with the pressure of being favourite in front of his home crowd. I just don’t see him winning this in two, so if you fancy Simon, the bet surely has to be 2-1 at 4.0 for a bit of value. The overs at 23.5 games looks the call to me at a price of 1.87.
The second semi-final is the third career meeting between Ferrer and Llodra and I can’t see anything other than a Ferrer win in this one. Llodra has done extremely well to get to this stage after a poor season and it would be great for him in the twilight of his career to reach a Masters 1000 final. It would also be good for tennis to have a serve/volleyer back contending for title.
But this match-up on this slowish surface should play into the hands of Ferrer, who must be sensing a first Masters title. I think the unders is the play in this one or Ferrer 2-0. Either should be a good bet and the value probably lies with the latter wager at a price of 2.08.
Back over 23.5 games in Simon vs Janowicz at 1.87
Back Ferrer to beat Llodra 2-0 at 2.08