Tuesday at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships got better as the day went on, with a couple of winners saving the day.
Angelique Kerber pushed my blood pressure higher than it really needed to have been by blowing three match points for a straight sets win, but eventually she came from behind to win a topsy-turvy encounter. Then Tamira Paszek weighed in with another late on as she beat Victoria Azarenka with a 5.5 game start on the handicap to ease what had looked to be a bad day.
Richard Gasquet had destroyed my treble by slumping to defeat against Florian Mayer before an awful performance from Juan Martin Del Potro saw David Ferrer cruise to victory in a match that I thought would be far closer.
It’s men’s quarter finals day today – weather permitting of course – and Roger Federer kicks us off on Centre Court against Mikhail Youzhny.
Federer has a perfect record of 13-0 against Youzhny and beat him at Wimbledon last year. The Russian did take a set that day and the way that Federer has played here this fortnight so far, I fancy him to do the same again this time around.
Fed was clearly in real trouble with his back in the last round against Xavier Malisse and he had to come from two sets down to beat Julien Benneteau the round before, so we’re not looking at a vintage Federer at the moment.
It would surprise no one, though, if he stepped it up and eased through this 3-0 in double-quick time, but it’s worth backing Youzhny with a 2.5 set start on the handicap at 1.97 on the evidence of what we’ve seen so far.
Youzhny is easily as good as Benneteau and Malisse, and if he gets that attractive one-handed backhand firing he could cause some damage today. Federer has lost at this stage for the last two years in a row and he’ll be desperate to avoid a hat-trick. Will his back allow him to perform at his best, though?
It’s worth risking that it won’t and if you’re betting in-play it might be worth siding with Youzhny from the start at 5.70.
One can easily make a case for both David Ferrer and Philipp Kohlschreiber as underdogs in the betting in their respective matches. I think Ferrer in particular has a great chance of taking out Andy Murray, but a bet I like at a bigger price concerns Novak Djokovic.
Scheduled first on the outdoor Court 1, Florian Mayer proved that he can handle the delays and the greasy surface by beating Richard Gasquet in four sets in the last round. He has stated that his game plan is to “irritate him a little bit” and Mayer’s awkward style can certainly do that to opponents.
Djokovic will almost certainly work Mayer’s strategy out sooner or later in this match, but there’s possibly some value in backing the over 3.5 sets in this one at around 3.12.
The world number one has only played the German once and so he won’t be overly familiar with his opponent’s style. Mayer is a real confidence player, and will be on top of his game after his performances here so far.
Djokovic’s speed around the court will nullify Mayer’s drop shots, slices and crafty approach in this match, but the 5.90 about the German winning the first set is not a bad bet. I’m looking for a fast start from Mayer and in a match that will be affected by the weather, the odds on him nicking a set are worth chancing.
Back Youzhny +2.5 sets to beat Federer at 1.97
Back over 3.5 sets in Djokovic v Mayer at 3.12