It was another two winners from two on Wednesday on a night of dramatic tennis at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York.
My opening wager of the day on Sara Errani to beat friend and doubles partner Roberta Vinci was a straight sets winner, while Tomas Berdych did much more than push Roger Federer over the 38.5 total games mark.
The Czech, after being broken in the first game of the match, stormed back to take out the Swiss, who had a night to forget with a huge number of unforced errors, largely on the forehand side. I did say that Federer’s price was awfully low at 1.15, but I didn’t expect the Berdman to see it out.
Before all of that my previous day’s bets, which were delayed went two from three, with Janko Tipsarevic beating Phillip Kohlschreiber in straight sets and Maria Sharapova coming from a set down to defeat Marion Bartoli and complete my treble.
The only sour note was Andy Roddick just failing to cover the 5.5 game handicap mark, which had looked a good thing after two tie break sets, but the American on his final appearance on tour let a set go at 6-2 and that was pretty much that.
Juan Martin Del Potro was the victor and his reward is a stellar match-up with Novak Djokovic under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium Court at an unnecessarily late hour in the UK due to a bizarre, but not surprising piece of scheduling from the tournament committee.
At midnight we’re treated to a knockabout involving John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Adam Sandler and Kevin James (who I’ve never heard of) and I’m sure the crowd (who perhaps have heard of James) will enjoy it, but it does very little for viewers in Europe.
Delpo is given the same chance by the layers as Berdych was yesterday at 5.50, while Djokovic assumes the Federer price of 1.15.
Again it’s a very dangerous match for the tournament favourite, who has suffered losses in two of his previous three matches against Delpo, although one was through injury, but it was the Argentine who was not fully fit in their most recent encounter in Cincy.
Djokovic benefited from a pretty comfortable match against serial underachiever Stan Wawrinka, who retired in their match yesterday, while Delpo had the unenviable task of becoming the crowd’s boo boy as he ended Roddick’s career in a much tougher encounter.
It’s quite surprising that these two have only met twice on outdoor hard courts in their careers and as Delpo was unable to hit a two-handed backhand properly in that Cincy match the form between them is scarce in these conditions.
My gut feeling is that Del Potro will come up just short tonight, but we haven’t seen Djokovic tested at all yet in this tournament, thanks to a comfortable draw, so it’s tough to know what sort of form he really is in.
The world number eight loves playing under the lights here – they both do – and I’m hopeful that we’ll get a match to light up the men’s tournament, as I’m struggling to think of a great men’s match this fortnight so far.
I think we may just get one tonight if Delpo can keep his level up for long enough and so I’m backing him with a 2.5 set start at odds of around 1.90
Best Bet: Back Del Potro +2.5 sets to beat Djokovic at 1.90.