Friday at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships couldn’t quite match the previous day’s drama, but it wasn’t far off. Roger Federer almost joined his nemesis, Rafa Nadal, in not making the second week of the tournament when he went two sets down to Julien Benneteau. However, the Swiss was finally able to climb out of trouble and into the next round.
Saturday’s matches on the men’s side look pretty competitive, but I’m going to start today by sticking with David Goffin to come up with the goods again versus Mardy Fish. The Belgian starlet should have too much gas in the tank for Fish, who has been out of the game for months after a heart scare and had a five set battle with James Ward just to get to this stage.
Fitness will be a problem for Fish, but I like Goffin’s chances to win this one anyway. I rate him highly, and despite his lack of grass court experience, his calm temperament and quiet confidence have seen him rise to most challenges that have fallen his way of late. Goffin is the bet in this one at a price of around 1.62
The star of Wimbledon this year so far has been Lukas Rosol, who bludgeoned his way past Rafa Nadal on Thursday night under the roof on Centre Court. I doubt we’ll see a repeat of that today against Philipp Kohlschreiber, however. These two meet second on Court 12, where Rosol will find the atmosphere and circumstances a little different and I’d be amazed if he finds anywhere near that sort of level again this afternoon.
Everything seemed to fall for him against Nadal and his brand of all-or-nothing hitting paid off, but he’ll do well to back it up with a similar performance today. This match is pretty much all about the Czech player. If he plays as he did against Nadal he wins – against anybody. But I wouldn’t take odds of 2.85 that he’ll find that level again today.
Kohlschreiber is a very capable player on grass and I’m backing him to take Rosol out with a handicap of minus 3.5 games at a price of 1.80.
I’m tempted by Benoit Paire’s price of 2.36 against Brian Baker and by Jie Zheng’s chances on the handicap against Serena Williams with a 6.5 game start, but I’m going to take a chance on Kei Nishikori against Juan Martin Del Potro.
I’ve never really rated Del Potro on the grass courts, as he’s rarely looked comfortable on them and he’s only been past the second round here once. Nishikori is hardly a grass court legend either, but I’m happy to back him on the handicap with a 5.5 game start against Delpo today.
The big Argentine failed to cover that handicap mark against either Go Soeda or Robin Haase, so I doubt he will today against a much more capable opponent.
They’ve met on two occasions in the past and Delpo won both comfortably, but that was when he was in his pomp before the injuries struck and in 2012 on a grass court this match might well be a bit closer than the prices suggest.
I certainly wouldn’t be adding Delpo to my potential accumulator list today, but Marin Cilic, Kohlschreiber, Goffin and David Ferrer all look good for that sort of bet.
Back Goffin to beat Fish at 1.62
Back Kohlschreiber -3.5 games to beat Rosol at 1.80
Back Nishikori +5.5 games to beat Del Potro at 1.70