Thursday at the French Open was very close to being a perfect day, as my bet from the previous day cruised home as did one other and the final one was agonisingly close.
Viktor Troicki and Fabio Fognini went the full distance in the match delayed from Wednesday and easily went past the handicap mark, before Julien Benneteau beat Dmitry Tursunov in straight sets to cover the -1.5 set handicap.
Lukas Rosol was a couple of points away from making it another winner, but he just couldn’t get over the line in two tie-breaks against Juan Monaco.
But we’re doing OK in what has been a tricky opening week in Paris and although on the face of it there doesn’t seem a huge amount of value around today there’s a couple of bets that I like the look of.
The first concerns the third match scheduled for Court Philippe Chatrier between home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fabio Fognini. Any bet concerning Fognini is a risk, but we did collect on him yesterday and I’m prepared to take the chance that he’ll be in the mood again today.
Conditions don’t suit Tsonga here at all and although it’s playing a bit quicker than usual this year in Paris the world number five usually has to really battle to win his matches here.
That’s been in evidence again this year as his opening two rounds have shown and I don’t see any reason why the Italian can’t take at least a set from Tsonga today.
Jo has never been past the last 16 here and although he should win today, I can’t see it being in straight sets against a canny red dirt operator like Fognini who has the perfect conditions with which to execute his game plan.
They have met just the once before on Tsonga’s favoured hard courts in Montreal and the Frenchman won - as you would expect - but it wasn’t easy (6-4, 7-6) and it wouldn’t take much for Fognini to grab a set this afternoon.
The worry with Fognini is that he might not fancy it after a five setter in the last round, but that match was played over two days so he should be OK and he has the big stage that he enjoys. Back Fogna to take this match to at least four sets at around 1.67
The last men’s match scheduled for today on Court 7 between David Goffin and Lukasz Kubot should go the way of the aggressive game of the big Pole at around 1.52 Goffin is a talent and looks all set for a decent future in the game but the baby faced Belgian might find Kubot too much to handle today.
The 21-year-old has had a great tournament by coming through qualifying to defeat two veterans of the game in Radek Stepanek and Arnaud Clement, but it’s hard to see him making it a hat-trick today against the wily Pole.
Kubot had an excellent tournament here last year and he’s backed that up again in 2012 and it will be interesting to see how Goffin deals with the net-rushing Pole’s attacking game this evening.
Goffin has had to go the full five sets in both of his matches in the main draw here so far and I’d be surprised if Kubot won this easily, so this could go long again, but I think that Kubot will wear the young prospect down eventually and make it through to the fourth round to face Roger Federer.
Best Bets: Back Fognini +2.5 sets at 1.67 v Tsonga; and Back Kubot to beat Goffin at 1.52