It’s the final day of the first round matches in the 2013 Davis Cup today and several ties are hanging in the balance.
The insanely long doubles match between the Czech Republic and Switzerland highlighted once again the need for some sort of cut-off rule in final sets. The benefit of playing more than 40 games in a final set is zero and the quality of the Tomas Berdych v Stan Wawrinka singles match will obviously be impaired as a consequence.
That match kicks off early today and I would expect Berdych to win that one now, but both players will be exhausted, mentally if not physically.
But the match I like the look of today from a betting perspective is the one between Marin Cilic and Andreas Seppi, where the Italian has been put in very short for me at 1.60.
Cilic struggled against the limited Paulo Lorenzi in rubber one and had a four set doubles match yesterday, which explains the pricing. But I would fancy that Marin has enough left in the tank to push Seppi today. It’s a rubber that Croatia must win to stay in the tie and I like the odds of around 1.87 that this one will go over the 40.5 games mark.
Arguably, Seppi is more effective on hard courts these days and he’s never beaten Cilic on clay, with the Croatian having won both of their red dirt encounters. Their overall series is level at 5-5, with Cilic having won three of the last four, although Seppi won a five setter at the Australian Open a couple of weeks ago.
Seppi is no Davis Cup legend, with an 11-10 record in the competition in singles, while Cilic is 12-7. Although the possible fatigue factor points to a Seppi win late on, I can’t see him doing it in less than 40.5 games against someone like Cilic.
Best bet: Back over 40.5 games in Cilic v Seppi at 1.87