Thursday at Wimbledon 2013 started in the perfect fashion for my best bets with an easier than expected victory in the men’s singles.
Andreas Seppi won the opening set against Michael Llodra from 4-1 behind and that proved to be enough. The Frenchman opted to pack up his bags and retire at that point for his 31st retirement or withdrawal of his career.
Llodra explained his hamstring wasn’t strong enough for singles, but was fine for doubles later on in the day, as incidentally was Radek Stepanek’s, who retired yesterday. A shambolic situation that has blighted many a punter and doubtless will do again – this time it was to my benefit and Seppi’s.
My other bet is still live, as a good comeback from Jan-Lennard Struff made it one set all with Jeremy Chardy and the overs a distinct possibility when they resume after the rain delay.
Friday at the All England Club may be one of those annoying days where play will be on and off due to rain as the tournament reaches the third round stage.
Casual tennis observers may not recognise some of the names on the schedule today, with several players finding themselves in unfamiliar territory of the third round of Wimbledon.
It’s created a series of tricky match-ups today, such as Sergiy Stakhovsky against Jurgen Melzer. In normal circumstances I would back Melzer, as Stako has been priced up too short after beating Roger Federer, but Melzer’s hernia concerns me and I can’t get involved in that one.
Mikhail Youzhny also had treatment on his back during his win over Vasek Pospisil and he has a foot problem, so it might be worth siding with Viktor Troicki there, but would you trust him at odds-on?
Andy Murray should have few problems getting past Tommy Robredo, particularly as it is played under the roof where the Scot can be more aggressive. Meanwhile, Ernests Gulbis vs Fernando Verdasco is not a match I would ever bet on.
As much as I’ve gone against Juan Monaco here this week I have to side with him against Kenny de Schepper, who benefitted from the withdrawal of Marin Cilic, and from whom I’ve seen very little to change my opinion that he’s little more than a walking serve.
That may have been OK a few years ago here, but now it’s not going to get the job done unless he serves off the charts and Monaco decides he’s had enough. But he didn’t do that in the last round when Rajeev Ram tested him and I can see a comfortable win for Monaco in this. The handicap of minus 4.5 games on Monaco at 1.90 looks a good choice in this one.
I’m prepared to take a chance on Benoit Paire to defeat Lukasz Kubot today with the Pole receiving a +5.5 game start on the handicap a 2.04.
The Frenchman has a 4-0 head-to-head lead over Kubot and he’s beaten him on grass, clay, hard and indoor hard, plus Paire has improved considerably of late too, while Kubut has arrived here after defeating Igor Andreev and receiving a walkover.
Andreev, sadly, is no longer a force at all and was here for a payday as his career looks to be winding down, so it’s hard to gauge Kubot’s form, but these are the kind of matches that Benoit should be winning relatively comfortably now.
The Pole will give his all as he always does, but his net rushing style clearly suits Paire, who has the ability to pass on both wings and he should do this handily.
Back Monaco -4.5 games to beat De Schepper at 1.90
Back Paire -5.5 games to beat Kubot at 2.04
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