The remaining fourth round matches in the men’s singles at the 2015 Australian Open go in-play on Monday, with Novak Djokovic among those trying to seal quarter final spots.
Tomas Berdych is already there after a weak showing from Bernard Tomic and an excellent one from the Czech meant losses for my overs wagers on Sunday, before Kevin Anderson took on Rafa Nadal.
I said yesterday that I wasn’t feeling an upset there and so it proved, but Anderson had his chances to take the opening set and it was frustrating loss for my 3-1 set bet on the Spaniard.
We start at around 02:15 UK time on Monday, but today’s ‘sure thing’ is the last match on at around 10:00 UK time.
Novak Djokovic vs Gilles Muller
This should be fairly routine for the world number one, who has only once since 2007 dropped a set to a player ranked in the 40s in the world at a major.
That was when he went five sets with his mate Viktor Troicki at the 2010 US Open, but since then only once has the Serbian even been extended to a 7-5 set in seven straight sets wins.
Muller’s big, lefty serve may take Djokovic a little time to get used to, having never faced it before, but he was pummelled for three sets by a hard serving lefty in Fernando Verdasco in the last round and came through unscathed.
Djokovic means business this fortnight and when he does get a read on Muller’s serve the rest of the match should be fairly comfortable for the former champion.
The 3-0 win to Djokovic is a 1.36 shot and that looks the one to be on today as far as decent priced ‘sure things’ go.
Feliciano Lopez vs Milos Raonic
Lopez is by far the best option in terms of ‘long shots’ on Monday at a very tempting 5.20 against the Canadian.
The Spaniard was certainly fortunate to get through the opening rounds here when he should have been beaten in each of his first two matches, but he showed some fine tennis tactics to dispose of Jerzy Janowicz in round three and beat Raonic last time they met.
Lopez nullified Janowicz in straight sets and beat the Canadian on his home patch in Toronto last season, so I’m not too sure where this price of 1.16 on Raonic comes from.
The Missile has been playing well in Melbourne so far, but he has beaten very little and he’s yet to be tested by a top opponent, which Lopez certainly is on his day.
It will be a test of the often-questionable returning skills of Raonic if Lopez serves somewhere near his best and 5.20 on the lefty could at least prove a good starting point for in-play punters.
David Ferrer vs Kei Nishikori
The Japanese is a short-looking 1.38 in this one, due largely to the battle that Ferrer had with Gilles Simon in which the Spaniard looked cooked and exited the court bleeding from a foot wound.
That may well have taken too much from even an athlete in Ferrer’s elite condition and by rights Kei should win his fifth straight match against the Spaniard, but it’s likely to still be tough for Nishikori.
Nishikori has started his matches slowly and nervously this tournament, perhaps weighed down by the large amount of support he’s been receiving in Melbourne, and the 2.38 about Ferrer winning set one is tempting.
Ferrer has won the opener in four of their last six meetings and he’ll probably feel like he has to get this one done quickly or not at all after that Simon slugfest.
Indeed, the only two opening sets in the last six that Ferrer didn’t win were won on tie breaks by Nishikori, so that bet offers a great deal of value given their past meetings and Kei’s dodgy starts so far.
The other wager in this one that appeals is the 1.94 about over 38.5 total games, but we’d be guessing a bit on Ferrer’s condition and the set one bet seems a better choice.
Sure thing: Djokovic to beat Muller 3-0 at 1.36
Value bet: Back Ferrer to win set one vs Nishikori at 2.38
Long shot: Lopez to beat Raonic at 5.20