The last four places in the quarter-final draw of the Men’s Singles at the French Open 2014 are up for grabs on Monday after another dramatic day’s play in Paris yesterday.
My second week began in decent style when Tomas Berdych eased past John Isner in straight sets, covering the minus 4.5 game handicap relatively comfortably in his much-talked about floral shirt.
His clothing sponsors got the attention they wanted with that creation, while the Berdman goes forward to face Ernests Gulbis tomorrow.
Meanwhile, wearing the all-white of surrender, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga barely broke sweat in a really disappointing showing against Novak Djokovic that will see Jo fall to number 17 in the world and possibly lower next Monday.
So, Monday sees the last vague title hope of French tennis this fortnight in action – and it is a really tenuous hope.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 2.30 vs Gael Monfils 1.60
This 16:00 UK time match will likely go the way of the fitter man after both played tough five setters in the previous round and I couldn’t possibly trust Gael’s body or brain at odds-on in this one.
I said in my preview on Saturday that GGL might have a tougher time with Donald Young than the odds suggested and he certainly did, with the American fighting hard before going down in the decider, while Lamonf and Fabio Fognini were clowning around on the other court.
It’s tough to describe the Monfils/Fognini match and it’s probably best not to dwell on it, save to say that Gael doesn’t look to me like a man who will be up to the physical demands of another clay court test today.
Lamonf said he was “dying” against Fognini, which I suspect was a tad of an exaggeration, as he seemed to be well enough to win the match, but GGL has to be the bet today.
The pair have met on five prior occasions, with Monfils leading 3-2, but past performance means little with Gael and his recent injury and the high level of hitting shown by the Spaniard this week and in recent months means that the underdog holds the value.
Gael normally runs out of gas round about now in this tournament and the 1.71 about GGL winning this with a 1.5 set start looks a better bet than the 1.60 about the Frenchman, whose body will surely let him down at some stage.
In the second match scheduled for Court Philipp Chatrier at around 12:00 UK time Rafa Nadal faces Dusan Lajovic and with the Spaniard saying after his last match that he’s struggling with his back it’s tough to recommend a bet in this one.
Rafa just, narrowly covered the handicap for us against Leo Mayer and he didn’t look in the best form in that one, with Mayer contributing much to his own downfall and perhaps the best option here would be the +10.5 games on Lajovic at 1.90.
Nadal said after the Mayer match “I felt some pain in my back, so that's why I slowed down my serve a bit,” and went on to add “I wouldn't really like to give you too many details,” which could be taken any number of ways, but it doesn't sound good.
I’m taking it as a sign to not have a bet on this match, but Djokovic outright backers may find his comments of interest.
Back Garcia-Lopez +1.5 sets to beat Monfils at 1.71.