Day Three of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships was an excellent one for betting, as three of my best bets were successful.
The match carried over from Day Two between Caroline Wozniacki and Tamira Paszek turned out to be a classic, with my tip Paszek coming back from match points down to take out the Dane in a decider at a nice price.
My recommended treble of Sabine Lisicki, Julien Benneteau and Denis Istomin was a winner just before darkness enveloped the All England Club, as was Jerzy Janowicz, who won 9-7 in the fifth set against Ernests Gulbis.
So, we’re in good shape heading into Day Four where the second round matches continue and although there aren’t many big prices that look anything other than fanciful wagers around today on the men’s side, there are a few solid bets that I like.
The first is to take advantage of the current disparity in form between Grigor Dimitrov and Marcos Baghdatis and side with the young Bulgarian.
I’ve often been a critic of how the media have fawned over Dimitrov as some sort of up and coming legend of the game and quite honestly I still don’t think he has the mental capacity to be anything like as good as some will have you believe, but he should win today.
This is more to do with Baghdatis’s current malaise that has seen him lose to the likes of Lukas Rosol and Steve Darcis in recent weeks on the grass than anything else, but Dimitrov has shown excellent form on grass lately and he should win today.
Dimitrov defeated Baghdatis in their only career meeting so far on the clay of Hamburg last year, but he has also shown a liking for grass lately and backed it up with a solid win over the dangerous Kevin Anderson in round one.
Baghdatis has hardly had a win all year and unless the grass of Wimbledon triggers something in him from days gone by, this match will be another in his list of losses.
Dimitrov can be backed at around 1.48 for the win today.
Another at a similar sort of price, which could be added to accumulators, is David Goffin, who is first up on Court 14 against American leftie Jessie Levine.
This one might look like a junior match from a distance with two of the smaller players on tour taking to the court, but Goffin has ability that belies his appearance.
The young Belgian impressed again in round one by beating Bernard Tomic and he seems to be getting used to the grass nicely, which is bad news for Levine, who is a decent, but limited player that Goffin should beat.
They’ve never met on the tour, but although Levine has put a lot of hard work into his grass court preparation for this and has more experience on the surface, over five sets I can’t see him having enough in his locker to defeat Goffin, who’s the bet at 1.50
On the women’s side today it’s always worth taking on Ana Ivanovic on grass and I’ll be doing so today in her match versus an opponent who she’s never beaten.
Ivanovic was pretty awful at times yesterday on serve against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who battered her second serve and broke her four times and she’ll need to do far better today to justify odds of 1.25 against Kateryna Bondarenko.
The Ukrainian wasn’t overly impressive herself yesterday either, but she got through and will enjoy the underdog status against Ana, who she has beaten both times they’ve played.
Bondarenko has had some great results on grass over the years, with wins over Sam Stosur, Sara Errani last week in Eastbourne, and Yanina Wickmayer, plus she has won a title on grass, so she can play on it if in the mood.
I’ll be backing her with a +1.5 set start on the handicap at a generous-looking 2.22 today.
Best Bets: Back Dimitrov at 1.48 to beat Baghdatis; Back Goffin at 1.5 to beat Levine; Back Bondarenko at 2.22 +1.5 sets to beat Ivanovic.