Fortunes can change pretty quickly in tennis. That was in evidence again on Monday, when after suffering on Sunday my best bet was a super quick winner at the French Open.
My advice of backing Tommy Haas at around 1.90 paid off well before lunch time, as the German veteran advanced to his first ever French Open quarter-final, completing the set of major quarters in his career. Haas did benefit from a pretty awful showing from Mikhail Youzhny, who suffered a meltdown not too dissimilar to the infamous bleeding head incident in Miami 2008.
My advice of siding with the +8.5 game handicap in the Novak Djokovic/Philipp Kohlschreiber match would also have paid dividends to those who opted to get involved in that match. We could have had a really competitive match, but as ever Kohlschreiber's mental game let him down, with some strange shot choices and errors at the vital moments.
Today’s quarter-final schedule features a real crowd-pleaser, as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on Roger Federer for the 13th time, but only the second time on the clay. I've never seen Tsonga look so good on clay, and he certainly has a shot at taking down Federer with the crowd on his side. In a big match atmosphere and I have this one down as being close.
The big man is moving well on the clay, which he hasn’t always done. We can expect a match of plenty of winners and a fair few shanks as well, but if Tsonga can serve well he can worry the Swiss with his weight of shot.
The pair played out a great match in Melbourne at the start of the year on hard, which Federer won in five. This one could well go the distance too, as the Swiss isn’t quite the athlete he was. Federer said he wasn’t inconvenienced by a stumble and fall against Gilles Simon last time out, but he was certainly inconvenienced by the winners flying off Simon’s racquet and I can see him being pushed again today.
Little niggles in his back have been hampering the Swiss maestro lately but how typical would it be if the great man were to put it all together this afternoon and make it a Swiss treble over French players over the last few days?
I think Federer will come through this one, but I doubt it will be overly straightforward. I like the over 40.5 games at around 1.92 in this.
Best bet: Back over 40.5 games in Federer vs Tsonga at 1.92