Day one of the 2013 Davis Cup quarter finals was a good one for this column, with three winners from my four selections on singles rubbers. Carlos Berlocq did enough by dragging Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to five sets in Buenos Aires to win the handicap bet, while team mate Juan Monaco did even better by stunning Gilles Simon in straight sets at a handy price. The Vasek Pospisil and Andreas Seppi overs bet was also a very comfortable winner.
I’m glad I didn’t have anything riding on Saturday’s doubles matches, with both the Canada vs Italy and USA vs Serbia doubles rubbers ending 15-13 in the fifth set.
Sunday’s deciding singles rubbers see Novak Djokovic playing for the win against Sam Querrey, with the Serbs 2-1 up after that epic doubles win last night. Surely the world number one will finish the job for the visitors in straight sets this evening.
With all four ties still live going into Sunday the pressure is on for those scheduled for the first rubber. Already on Sunday Evgeny Korolev replaced the ‘injured’ Mikhail Kukushkin for the Kazakhstan team’s early singles rubber against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic, with the hosts needing a win to take it into a decider.
Perhaps the most interesting tie is in Argentina, where there’s an opening rubber clash today between Monaco and Tsonga, with the Frenchman needing a win to force that tie to a deciding clash between Gilles Simon and either Carlos Berlocq or David Nalbandian.
Tsonga and Monaco have played each other three times in the past, with the Frenchman winning all three. But Monaco took a set both times and with the raucous Parque Roca crowd behind him he should be easily good enough to take this match over the total games mark.
I suspect that Tsonga will have just enough to win this one and take us into a decider, but it will be far from easy and 1.45 about a Tsonga win looks low to me. The bet that looks the most appealing is the overs. The mark is set quite high at 39.5 games, but a long four setter or a five setter is what I’m expecting, so at odds of 1.87 this looks a good bet.
Best bet: Back over 39.5 games in Tsonga v Monaco at 1.87