The third round of matches in the men’s singles at Wimbledon 2015 completes at the All England Club on Saturday, with Roger Federer and Andy Murray both in action on day six.
My headline tip of Friday was a winner when my value bet of Nick Kyrgios +1.5 sets to beat Milos Raonic came in and those who took Kyrgios in match odds would also have profited when the Aussie won it in four sets.
There was misfortune for my ‘sure thing’ though when Leo Mayer made a mess of the second set tie break against Kevin Anderson and failed to take the set point that would have brought that bet home.
But Bernard Tomic was disappointing in a straight sets loss to Novak Djokovic and didn’t come close to taking the one set we required of him.
We start at 11:30 on the outside courts and 13:00 on the show courts on Saturday and there are a few options around for ‘sure thing’ backers on day six.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Ivo Karlovic
The real certs of Saturday, Roger Federer, Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray are unbackable at around the 1.03 mark each, so instead I’m going for a couple of tie breaks or more in the Tsonga v Karlovic clash.
This one should take place at around 14:30 UK time on No.3 Court and it will be the third career meeting between these big servers of a career series that’s seen four tie breaks played in the six sets they’ve contested.
It’s been a long time since they last met though – way back in 2009 at the same third round stage of Wimbledon as Saturday – and Karlovic was able to win that one in four.
There may be some fatigue in the Croatian’s 36-year-old bones after a marathon five setter against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the last round, but he doesn’t need to run much with his game style and the arm should still have few problems walloping down aces.
Karlovic has 95 aces in his two matches so far, while Tsonga has racked up 55, and with both men being rather limited on return it seems highly unlikely that we won’t see tie breaks here.
The over 36.5 games at 1.32 is another option, but it would be a surprise if there weren’t several breakers in this match.
Gilles Simon vs Gael Monfils
The very mention of this match-up sends shudders down my spine at the prospect of about four or five hours of this pair bunting the ball back to each other until one of them wilts.
But on grass I would certainly favour Simon, who has had much the better results on this surface and the head-to-head is heavily in his favour at 5-1.
I try not to out too much emphasis on a head-to-head, but with Monfils it is relevant because he tends to mentally check out when faced with an opponent he thinks he can’t beat.
Tomas Berdych is a prime example with Monfils admitting that he knew he couldn’t win before their last clash and on a surface he hates in grass his attitude is likely to be rather devil may care.
Monfils enjoyed a fun knockabout with Adrian Mannarino in the last round and that suits him just fine, but in this first meeting on a grass court I like the -1.5 sets on Simon at 2.50 here.
Usually my first thought is for overs with this pair, but I’m not convinced that Monfils will be prepared to put himself through another marathon with Gillou on this surface.
Roger Federer vs Sam Groth
The outsiders all look rather fanciful, with the exception of Nikoloz Basilashvili against Roberto Bautista-Agut, and I like the idea of a ‘long shot’ double for Saturday.
Federer has spent a fair chunk of his career nullifying big servers and he did it again in his round two match here against Sam Querrey in straight sets.
I’m expecting something similar in this 13:00 UK time clash with Groth, who isn’t up to this level and should be sent packing by the Swiss in straight sets.
Federer defeated Groth in three sets of 6-4 at the US Open last season and on grass he’s 18-2 against the big servers in my database and 104-23 in total on all surfaces.
The under 33.5 games at 1.79 combined with Basilashvili +1.5 sets makes a 4.50 double if successful.
Bautista-Agut looks awfully short to me given his weak serve and mediocre performances of late including the one last time out when he a little fortunate to escape against Benoit Paire.
Basilashvili has the power in his game to make life difficult for RBA and he has a couple of sets in him here at a decent price, with the Spaniard looking very short indeed.
Sure thing: Back over 1.5 tie breaks in Karlovic/Tsonga at 1.38
Value bet: Back Simon -1.5 sets to beat Monfils at 2.50
Long shot: Back under 33.5 games in Federer/Groth and Basilashvili +1.5 sets in a double at 4.50