Has there ever been a day like Wednesday in Wimbledon history?
I watched dumbfounded from my seat on Court 3 as the withdrawals, retirements and shocks mounted up in both the men’s and women’s draw. Seven former world number ones were beaten in total.
The All England Club were even forced to put out a statement denying their courts were dangerous, but on the day Maria Sharapova, Vika Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Lucie Safarova, and Sorana Cirstea were either beaten or withdrew.
It was great news for backers of my best bets yesterday though, as all three were winners at 3.1, 1.68 and 1.75 making for a fine day’s punting amidst the carnage.
Star of the show was Petra Cetkovska who battered Wozniacki into submission for the loss of just four games at 3.1, but I was made to sweat on Court 3 by Sloane Stephens who won 8-6 in the third, while Garbine Muguruza did enough to land my set handicap wager.
Thursday surely can’t be anything like Wednesday, as the top half of the draw try their hand on the supposedly questionable Wimbledon courts and I sense it will be a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ today.
I like an early double today on Na Li and Kimiko Date Krumm, which would pay around 2.07 if successful.
Na Li takes on the in-form Simona Halep, but the diminutive Romanian must be tired by now after two-and-a-half weeks of non-stop tennis, culminating in a three setter first up here.
Halep has been going great guns, winning back-to-back titles, but unless she gets a load of unforced errors from the Chinese player I can see her running out of gas today and 1.48 on Li looks good to me.
Date-Krumm takes on Alexandra Cadantu, whose win over an injured Tamira Paszek has made the odds on the Japanese player better, but it was Cadantu’s first win on grass lifetime and the veteran Date-Krumm should give her a little bit of a grass court lesson today if she’s fit – which she says he is.
Laura Robson looks awfully short against Mariana Duque-Marino and the inconsistent Brit looks a shocking price at 1.17 to me against a very capable opponent and the +5.5 games on the Colombian looks worthy of consideration there.
The other bet I really like is for Madison Keys to hit past Mona Barthel with something to spare.
I like the young American’s game on grass and her big serve and ground strokes should be way too much for the feeble Barthel, whose defensive skills surely have to be questioned on this surface.
The 1.70 for Keys winning this one with a handicap of minus 2.5 games looks solid to me.
Finally, it’s worth taking a chance on grass-loving Alison Riske at odds-against in her match against Urszula Radwanska, which takes place last on Court 14 today.
Riske has beaten U-Rad on grass before and now that the American has found the winning habit away from her beloved Birmingham, she can kick on and take this one at 2.12.
Back Na Li and Date-Krumm in a double at 2.07
Back Keys –2.5 games to beat Barthel at 1.70
Back Riske to beat Radwanska at 2.12