Friday at the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals yielded one winner from my two best bets. The day’s play began in ridiculously unfortunate fashion for my opening wager when Tomas Berdych somehow managed to blow a 5-1 and 6-3 lead in the second set tie breaker against Novak Djokovic.
Holding three set points to bring my overs bet in, the Czech yet again displayed his brittle mindset by losing five points in a row in double quick time to lose my wager and also put himself out of the tournament.
There was better news in the evening match though, as Andy Murray came through against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the predicted straight sets, although he did his best to blow it from a set and 4-2 ahead before taking the win on a tie break.
Saturday sees the last of the matches in Group B, where the qualification scenario is fairly straightforward. Roger Federer is already through, Janko Tipsarevic is already out, and so either Juan Martin Del Potro or David Ferrer will join the Swiss in the semi-finals.
Del Potro takes on Federer in the afternoon match at 1.45pm UK time, looking for back-to-back wins over the Swiss for the first time since the US Open and World Tour Finals back in 2009. Neither Delpo or Fed have been at their best so far in this tournament and Delpo is at his lowest ever price against Fed of around 2.85 for the win today. This suggests that the layers think Federer might take his foot off the gas a touch today.
I’m not so sure about that though, as surely the Swiss maestro would want the dangerous Del Potro out of the tournament and his bunny David Ferrer qualify in the Argentine’s place.
Either way, we should be seeing a committed effort from the Tower of Tandil today and it’s worth taking a chance on that 2.85 that he can replicate his win over Federer in Basel a few weeks ago. The courts are the same here as in Basel and I haven’t seen anything from Federer since in two gimmes over Ferrer and Tipsarevic that suggests he’s in better form than he was in Switzerland.
The evening match at 7.45pm UK time between Ferrer and Tipsarevic should be done and dusted in less than the 20.5 total games mark if current form is any guide. Tipsy has been awful at the O2 so far and probably should have pulled out and let the alternate have a go instead, but he’s soldiered on to no great effect and was bagelled by Del Potro on Thursday night.
He claims he hasn’t had time to practice due to illness, but the fact is that at the moment he’s out of his depth and the last thing he needs now is to face the Spanish road runner Ferrer, who will make him work for every point. Tipsy doesn’t have the consistent powerful hitting needed on these slow courts and Ferrer will get too many balls back, assuming that he himself isn’t fatigued and with one eye on next week’s Davis Cup final.
Ferrer really needs to win this match in straight sets to have a decent chance of qualifying for the semi finals and he should have the motivation, as he can still overtake Rafa Nadal and finish as world number four if he reaches the final here this week.
The Spaniard has much more still to play for than his opponent, whose pride may kick in after some awful efforts thus far, but I wouldn’t count on it and Ferrer should get this done in less than 20.5 games. But by the time that Ferrer plays his match he may already be out of the tournament if Del Potro has won, so bets may need to be placed with caution if it ends up being a dead rubber.
Back Del Potro to beat Federer at 2.85
Back under 20.5 games in Ferrer v Tipsarevic at 1.72