We were in profit again in Asia in the early hours of Friday with two winning bets from my three selections in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
The day began in disappointing fashion when Gael Monfils yet again appeared to be struggling with injury and provided only token resistance in the second set of his loss to Gilles Simon.
Hopefully for Lamonf’s sake it’s not a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for the majority of this season.
But there was much better news from my other two wagers, as Janko Tipsarevic and Julien Benneteau both won their matches in straight sets for a good end to the day.
Tipsarevic and Simon face off for the sixth time in their respective careers in the early hours of Saturday morning in Bangkok, with Tipsy a 1.50 favourite to progress to the final.
But the match-up with the solid Simon has proved tricky for the Serbian to overcome in the past, with the Frenchman leading their career series 4-1 overall.
Tipsarevic won their most recent meeting, which came on clay in Madrid this year, but they were unique conditions on the slippery blue dirt at altitude and that came after a loss to Simon a few weeks prior in the more traditional red dirt of Monte Carlo.
They’ve met once indoors, but it was way back in 2008 in Rotterdam, but the most relevant stat that may be of use to us is that each of their career meetings has gone over today’s total games mark of 22.5.
Tipsarevic was struggling at times against Fernando Verdasco on Friday morning and should have lost the first set to the Spaniard, who blinked at the vital time.
Tipsy went on to slam his racquet to the floor on a few occasions before he was able to overcome the mentally fragile Spaniard and Simon’s low risk game could also frustrate the number one seed.
But the world number nine is playing his best tennis at the moment and should edge this, so the bets to consider are Tipsarevic to win 2-1 at a price of 3.90 and the overs at 1.87
Four of their five previous matches have gone to a deciding set and it’s worth taking a chance on the Tipsarevic 2-1 win in this one I think at a very tempting price.
Another one that could well be a close match is the semi final in Kuala Lumpur between good friends Juan Monaco and Kei Nishikori, who know each other’s games well as they’ve been practicing together this week with an eye on their doubles campaign in Shanghai.
Nishikori benefited from yet another retirement from the disgraceful Nikolay Davydenko, who quit on his stool for an astonishing 30th total time in his career after the first set had been completed against the Japanese star.
Some of those 30 matches have been withdrawals, but the fact remains that Davydenko’s record of not completing doesn’t do the Russian any credit whatsoever.
That aside Nishikori wasn’t overly impressive against Davy in the set that was played and I don’t think that 1.70 represents great value personally.
Monaco has not dropped a set so far in this tournament and to my mind this looks like one that will be decided by the odd point or two.
They’ve played twice in the past, with one win each and the most recent one was an easy win for Monaco on the outdoor hard of Winston Salem last year.
I expect this one to be a much closer battle than the 6-0, 6-3 win for the Argentine on that occasion and I slightly favour Monaco at the prices, but my bet in this one will be the over 22.5 games at 1.75
Best Bets: Back Tipsarevic to beat Simon 2-1 at 3.90; Back over 22.5 games in Nishikori vs Monaco at 1.75.