Friday’s action on the finely manicured lawns of The All England Club features the Men’s Singles semi finals, with Roger Federer taking on Milos Raonic.
We managed to make a slight profit on the Ladies’ Singles semi finals on Thursday, with both wagers proving successful in the Angelique Kerber vs Venus Williams clash after a blowout in the Serena Williams match.
It’s the turn of the men again on Friday when the semi finals begin at 13:00 UK time with Roger Federer into his 11th Wimbledon semi and he’s yet to lose one.
Roger Federer vs Milos Raonic
The Swiss maestro can consider himself rather fortunate to have made it to this 11th Wimbledon semi final after saving match points against Marin Cilic in the quarters and how well will his almost 35-year-old body recover from that effort?
Fed’s record in Wimbledon semis is awesome, with 10 wins from 10 and only one set dropped in 31, which was against Novak Djokovic in 2012 when he went on to claim his last major title.
He has lost all three semi finals he’s played in 2016 though and my worry with backing Fed at odds-on here is about his ability to recover from tough five setters, which hasn’t been the best in recent years.
The last time he played a five setter at a major was when going two sets down to Gael Monfils in New York in the 2014 quarter finals and in the next round he was taken down in straights by Cilic.
The time before was when he came from 1-2 down against Gilles Simon in the 2013 French Open and he was beaten in straights by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the next round and in the Australian Open of the same year Fed beat Tsonga in five and lost to Andy Murray next up.
I had to go back to Wimbledon 2012 to find a situation where Fed had played a five setter and won the next round, which was when he came from 0-2 down against Julien Benneteau to win 3-2 and then he defeated Xavier Malisse in four sets next up.
That was four years and seven five set matches ago and Raonic at only 25 years old should have a clear advantage in terms of physical fitness today in his bid to reverse the result of the 2014 Wimbledon semi, which Federer won in straight sets.
The Canadian hasn’t exactly set the tournament on fire, having to come from two sets down against David Goffin, and coming out on top in four against a disappointing Sam Querrey in the quarters and if this were more of a level playing field I’d be siding with Fed for sure.
Fed’s grass court service hold stats are marginally better than Raonic’s at 93.8 percent to 93.2 percent, but he breaks far more often at 23.9 percent to just 12.8 percent for the Canadian.
In the last 10 matches on grass Raonic has held serve 95 percent of the time and broken 13.8 percent of the time, compared with Federer’s 92.6 percent holds and 22.1 percent breaks.
The overall head-to-head heavily favours Federer, who has won nine of their 11 matches, and Raonic holds only 86 percent of the time against Federer, compared with a career mark of 91 percent.
Looking at it the other way, Federer has held 96.7 percent of the time in all 11 matches against Raonic and I haven’t seen a great deal from the Canadian to fancy him to turn that around.
The ‘sure thing’ looks to be over 9.5 games in set one at 1.26, with all six of their sets on grass going to at least 10 games, while Federer to break serve first at 1.70 is pretty decent value given their head-to-head hold/break stats.
Bigger-priced punters may take a chance on the 3.70 on under 37.5 games, given Federer’s weak showings following five setters on one hand and on the other hand Fed’s excellent record against Raonic. Either way it might well be over quicker than the layers expect.
Sure thing: Back over 9.5 games in set one at 1.26
Value bet: Back Federer to break serve first at 1.70
Long shot: Back under 35.5 games at 3.70