It was quite a day at the BNP Paribas Masters on Wednesday and one that went pretty much as I had predicted.
I said yesterday that I wasn’t convinced about the intentions of the top stars and that was proven to be the case with Novak Djokovic, as the world number two slumped against Sam Querrey.
I mentioned that it might not be an easy match for Nole first up and my recommended bet of over 19.5 games easily came in as Querrey shocked the Serb – but it had looked grim when Djokovic handed Big Sam a bagel in the opening set.
The match looked anything but going long at 6-0, 2-0, but Djokovic clearly didn’t fancy it this week after some off court issues and a bit of sickness and he allowed Querrey to launch an unlikely comeback.
There was quite galling misfortune in my other bet on Wednesday when John Isner was 5-2 up in the second set tie break against Michael Llodra with two serves to come and needing just the breaker to win my bet, but the American then lost five straight points.
Thursday’s play at the Palais Omnisports features Andy Murray, who as the highest seed left in the tournament takes on the qualifier Jerzy Janowicz at 1pm UK time in what could be a match worth watching.
I wouldn’t count Janowicz out of this one with the way he’s been playing here so far this week, but I would expect Murray to get the job done eventually.
An outsider that has a big chance today is Stan Wawrinka, who is a tempting 3.10 to defeat David Ferrer, who may not be putting in the biggest of efforts in this tournament, as has been the case in the past.
Ferrer’s best here was the quarters last year where he lost to Isner and despite the surface being more to his liking now I still think he’ll be saving a bit for London and the Davis Cup final.
Stan defeated Ferrer easily in their last match, which took place in Cincy after Ferrer had had a tough summer and the Spaniard is surely vulnerable after a long week in Valencia last week.
These Bercy courts should suit Stan and now that he’s had a few matches to get out of the funk that he became embroiled in after blowing a great chance to beat Roger Federer in Shanghai he should have a decent chance today at an attractive price.
Tomas Berdych is also no shoo-in at a price of around 1.22 against an in-form Kevin Anderson, who has impressed this week and should have beaten Juan Martin Del Potro last week in Basel on a similar surface.
The South African is perhaps benefiting at this stage of the season from controversially skipping Davis Cup duty and looks all the fresher for it. He also really pushed Berdych on the clay of Roland Garros in their most recent meeting and could do so again today.
Anderson is one of the few players who have shown real intent this week and Berdych wasn’t impressive against Seppi for long periods in his first round match so I think that Anderson certainly has a shot of grabbing a set or taking it past the overs.
The total games mark is set at 22.5 and the way that Anderson’s been serving should ensure that the match will go past that at a price of 1.82.
Best Bets: Back Wawrinka to beat Ferrer at 3.10; Back over 22.5 games in Berdych v Anderson at 1.82.