Thursday is men’s quarter finals day at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in the 2014 US Open.
We already know the identity of two of this year’s semi-finalists, with Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori set to do battle for a place in the final from the top half of the draw and today it’s the turn of the bottom half.
Yesterday’s bet was another to flounder on the rocks of Nishikori’s fitness, with those on the 1.5 on Stan Wawrinka, and myself on the unders, stunned yet again by the staying power of the Japanese player, who somehow came up with another five set win.
He actually could have made life much simpler for himself had he taken a set point at 5-2 in the third, but he didn’t and that was the end for my unders wager and Kei's amazing run continues.
We’re set for more hot weather today in New York, with the dial set to hit around 30C when Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic take to Arthur Ashe Stadium Court at around 18:30 UK time.
Tomas Berdych vs Marin Cilic
The Czech has crept along quietly in this tournament so far, with mainly straight sets wins over lower ranked opposition, with the exception of his second round tussle with Martin Klizan that went to a decider.
He landed the odds for our handicap wager last time out with a comfortable win over Dominic Thiem in a match that went the way I expected, with Berdych’s heavy hitting rushing the young Austrian.
Today will be a test to see how far Berdych has come this fortnight after a poor summer that saw him make one quarter final in five events after the French Open.
Losses to Cilic, Yen Hsun Lu, Vasek Pospisil and Feli Lopez (twice) post Paris didn’t inspire much confidence coming into this tournament and we’ll see today how much of his belief has returned.
Cilic played very well indeed to beat Tomas in the gloom at Wimbledon in straight sets, but on grass that’s not much of a surprise and I would expect the Czech to prevail on hard courts.
Despite making a Wimbledon final I’ve never been convinced about Berdych on grass and back on his favourite hard courts he should get a bit of revenge for that defeat today.
The pair have met eight times in total, with Berdych leading 5-3 overall and on outdoor hard it’s 2-0 to the world number seven who may also have an advantage in fitness after Cilic went a long five with Gilles Simon in his last match.
The Cilic/Simon encounter was always going to be a grind, but four hours and 13 minutes of mainly long rallies in the oppressive heat and humidity may be tough for Cilic to recover from and Berdych surely has a slight advantage there.
The Croat has had a day off to recover, so it may not be too bad for him, but perhaps more of an issue could be the wind and there doesn’t seem to be too much of that about today.
It’s blown Berdych off course before, memorably against Andy Murray, when it was gale force and Murray’s chair blew onto the playing surface during a point.
The forecast says 6-9mph, which isn’t much, and it shouldn’t hamper the Czech too much, and I would expect him to be a little too solid for the up and down Cilic overall.
I like the minus 2.5 games on the Berdman here.
Best Bet: Back Berdych –2.5 games to beat Cilic at 1.87