The quarter finals of the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon 2015 are set for Wednesday at the All England Club.
Our bets in the women’s quarter finals on Tuesday went two from three, with the over 18.5 games comfortably landing in the Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka match, while the -1.5 game handicap on Garbiñe Muguruza against Timea Bacsinszky was also a winner.
We didn’t get the performance we wanted from Coco Vandeweghe in a really poor quality match against Maria Sharapova, but it was a profitable day eight nonetheless.
It’s the turn of the men on Wednesday and looking back at the quarter finals of the last two years, there was three winning favourites from four in both 2013 and 2014, with Grigor Dimitrov’s defeat of Andy Murray at 4.14 the pick of the underdog winners.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs Richard Gasquet
Surprisingly, this pair of crowd pleasing one-handed backhand exponents have only met twice in their careers and only once in the last nine years.
A five set encounter on clay at the French Open two years ago that Wawrinka won 8-6 in the fifth set is all we have to go on as regards their career series, but it certainly seems to me that Wawrinka is priced too short here.
Wawrinka had the best of the draw on paper at the start of the tournament and it would have been disappointing from his point of view had he not made the last eight at least, but this looks a test.
I’ve never been a fan of Wawrinka on a grass court and until he beats someone decent on it (he’s still 1-6 vs top-20 opponents on grass) and his only top-20 win is the tight victory over David Goffin a few days ago.
I don’t think he moves on grass very well and he takes too long to set himself up for his shots to be a force on this surface without some substantial tweaks to his playing style.
Gasquet also has a rushable style on grass, but he loves to take his opponents right out of the court with some sublime angles off both wings and he’ll make this a really uncomfortable afternoon for the French Open champion.
Also in Gasquet’s favour is the confidence that he will have gained from getting the win over Nick Kyrgios when it looked like we would be heading to a fifth set and he must have been thinking about blowing all of those match points against the Aussie a year ago.
Confidence is a big thing for the brittle Gasquet and if he starts well he could very well win this, but it could be tight and I like the +1.5 sets on the Frenchman at 1.95 here.
Marin Cilic vs Novak Djokovic
This 13th career clash between the US Open champion and the defending Wimbledon champion is a repeat of last year’s quarter final clash here that Djokovic ended up winning in five sets.
To say it’s been a rather one-sided career match-up would be to put it kindly as far as Cilic is concerned, with the Croat yet to win a match against the Serb.
Their three meetings at majors have been well contested though and Cilic did lead 2-1 here 12 months ago before losing the remaining sets 6-2, 6-2 to slump to defeat.
And it’s been a tough road for Cilic here this fortnight, with tests pretty much every match apart from round one, and two five setters, including the marathon against John Isner.
But he’s come through them and it might actually have done Cilic some good, as he hasn’t played this many matches back-to-back since winning the US Open last summer.
He needed matches to get back to that sort of form and while he hasn’t quite managed it yet he should be able to give Djokovic a reasonable match if he serves as well as he has been.
Cilic is third in the aces count this Wimbledon with 99 aces and he’s won 83 percent of his first serve points, which suggests that he can hold often enough to put pressure on Djokovic.
The world number one was ripe for the taking on Tuesday when faced with a one set shoot out in tricky conditions against a big server in Kevin Anderson and really had to pull out all the stops to get through that one.
He was aided by what was essentially a choke from Anderson who threw in a shocker of a final service game to hand the match to Djokovic, but Anderson showed again that a big serve and big game does frustrate Djokovic.
It’s hard to see Cilic winning but the over 33.5 games at 1.85 looks a decent shout, with Djokovic never having beaten Cilic at a major in fewer than 40 games.
Back Gasquet +1.5 sets at 1.98
Back over 33.5 games in Cilic/Djokovic at 1.85