Tuesday was another winning day at the 2012 French Open with Sam Querrey taking the opening set against Janko Tipsarevic to bring my first bet in.
The second was void when, as I suspected, Igor Andreev retired thereby canceling any overs bets and stakes were refunded.
Talking of retirements, my first wager on Wednesday concerns one of the game’s all-time most legendary retirers and I speak, of course, of Michael Llodra who has either retired or withdrawn an astonishing 28 times in his career.
And the clash between Llodra and Tomas Berdych is set for the afternoon when the crowd start to wake up and the Paris-born Llodra will be up for another upset of the Czech – providing he can resist the urge to retire.
We saw on Tuesday evening exactly what this Paris crowd can do to even the toughest of characters when Serena Williams was in tears at courtside during her stunning loss to Virginie Razzano, so just think what it might do to someone like Berdych.
Llodra defeated the Berdman here in 2008 and went on to beat him in New York in 2010, plus he gave him a very tough match at Wimbledon prior to that, so the Czech won’t be looking forward to this match one bit. The playing style of Llodra is clearly not one that Berdych enjoys facing.
Although Llodra is most at home on fast indoor courts with his serve and volley style, he has had some results on clay, beating the likes of Nico Almagro, Guillermo Canas and of course Berdych.
The Czech is a massive favourite for this at around 1.09 and his form lately is such that a shock may be beyond Llodra, but it looks highly likely that this match will go beyond the 31.5 total games mark at a price of around 1.87
With the likes of Berdych, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all being priced up prohibitively short I’m happy to take another overs bet on, as there are several that have the look of long battles in today’s schedule.
The first is between Viktor Troicki and Fabio Fognini in the match that takes place last on court six this evening. These two players are very capable of playing in patches – a perfect example being when Troicki lost five games in a row to lose a set from 5-2 up against Thomaz Bellucci in the last round and still went on to take the next set and then the match.
And many will remember the up and down battle between Fognini and Albert Montanes here last year that the Italian eventually won before deciding not to bother showing for the quarter finals. They have met three times before, with Troicki leading 2-1 and their only meeting on clay went the distance in Monte-Carlo last year. I’d be amazed if either of these flaky characters managed to win this in straight sets and for me it has all the hallmarks of a five setter.
The Serbian’s confidence has improved since the World Team Tournament and it was enough to see him through against Bellucci, which was another much-needed boost for Troicki. Fognini can be anything on any given day and you would think that he’ll be looking to emulate last year’s French Open success and retain some ranking points, so both players should be giving 100 percent today, which is sometimes questionable with Fognini.
Elsewhere, I also like the look of Kevin Anderson v Horacio Zeballos to go long and the only odds-against shots that might have a chance today include Edouard Roger-Vasselin against a potentially injured Juan Martin Del Potro and Mikhail Kukushkin who is a tempting price against the over-rated Andreas Seppi.
Best Bets: Back over 31.5 games in Llodra v Berdcyh at 1.87; and Back over 38.5 games in Troicki v Fognini at 1.87.