Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among those in action on day four of The Championships Wimbledon 2015 as round two of the men’s singles completes.
And the luck is still not with us so far this tournament after we saw yet another five set loss on Wednesday – this time from two sets and a break ahead.
At least my ‘long shot’ of John Millman did allow for plenty of profit in-play, having started at 3.50 and reached 1.06, but a 16th fifth set loss in 17 matches that have gone to a decider in 2015 is tough to take.
We did get a winner with the over 32.5 total games in Kevin Anderson vs Marsel Ilhan though and the Turk really should have been two sets up in that one, but splitting the opening two sets 7-6 was perfect for our purposes.
And perhaps the fifth set curse has actually finally lifted after Marin Cilic won in a tight decider against Ricardas Berankis to complete the ‘sure thing’ double after Nick Kyrgios had earlier beaten Juan Monaco.
Dustin Brown vs Rafael Nadal
Nadal must have shifted uncomfortably in his seat when he saw this draw, with Brown being everything that Nadal isn’t – wildly unpredictable, laid-back, and a man who loves to entertain.
He brought all of that to the court in Halle on the grass a year ago when Nadal made his annual very short pilgrimage to the Gerry Weber Open and as is tradition lost in the first round.
This will probably be a different result, but surely the German will come out all guns blazing here on the big stage and we may well get the opposite from Nadal, who’s looked edgy and vulnerable early on all season long.
Thomaz Bellucci was apparently ‘injured’ in his first round match with Rafa here earlier in the week and that may go some way to explain his tame performance against the Spaniard in which he let a below par Nadal off the hook a bit.
It’s highly unlikely that Brown will win this match over the best of five sets, but his unpredictability will get under Nadal’s skin at some point in this match, as he has periods where he really is unplayable.
The set one to Brown at 3.85 looks a decent call here with Nadal having lost all six of the first sets he’s played at Wimbledon that were sandwiched between the 2012 win over Bellucci and the 2015 win over the same player.
Roberto Bautista-Agut vs Benoit Paire
This match-up has always been rather one-sided in favour of RBA and given the outspoken Paire’s attitude towards grass court tennis this one should go the way of the Spaniard again.
RBA’s metronomic hitting off both wings has always been too much for the moody Paire to deal with and on a surface he despises it’s hard to see how a different result will ensue on Thursday.
Paire did have a win as an underdog in round one, but it was over the badly slumping Mikhail Youzhny and it’s easy to see Paire going away all too easily if he goes behind early.
In six career meetings Paire has a 1-14 record in sets played against Bautista-Agut and only one of those 15 sets has gone past 10 games, so the unders at 30.5 games at 3.20 looks a decent big-priced option.
The ‘sure thing’ will be the 1.25 about any Bautista-Agut win though and others to consider for cert status on Thursday include Gilles Simon, Andreas Seppi, Roger Federer and probably Tomas Berdych.
Seppi should find Borna Coric with little left in the tank after a mammoth four-hour first round, but I prefer the price on RBA.
Sam Groth looks very short indeed against his current house mate James Duckworth at 1.25 and I’m tempted to go with the latter there, but again he had a long five setter first up.
Lukas Rosol vs Pablo Andujar
Another who looks much too short in price is the inconsistent Rosol, who has done nothing on grass apart from that one shock win over Nadal back in 2012.
His record on the green stuff at all levels is 9-14 in his career and it’s hardly a great feather in his cap to have beaten grass-hating and out of form Ernests Gulbis in round one.
Andujar’s win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez reads far better on paper and assuming that he’s not too fatigued after that one he has every chance of at least taking this match over the 36.5 total games mark.
That win was Andujar’s first on grass in 14 attempts at main level and in theory now that he has it in his head that he can actually play on this surface he should want more and this is very winnable.
Rosol is either on or he’s not and 1.30 about him being on is rather short and in their most recent meeting, which was on a hard court Andujar took a set and can at least do so again here.
Other options include over 10.5 games in set one of Feli Lopez’s clash with Nikoloz Basilashvili at 2.48; over 38.5 games in Gael Monfils vs Adrian Mannarino; and I quite like over 28.5 in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Albert Ramos too after Tsonga’s tough clash with Gilles Muller.
Sure thing: Back Bautista-Agut to beat Paire at 1.25
Value bet: Back over 36.5 games in Rosol vs Andujar at 1.90
Long shot: Back Brown to win set one vs Nadal at 3.85