The second week of The Championships Wimbledon gets underway on Monday, with a packed schedule of matches.
Due to the usual poor scheduling a few hours of rain has derailed proceedings to the extent that a few players in the men’s and women’s draws are now unfairly handicapped by having to play more matches in a shorter space of time.
That won’t be a problem for Jerzy Janowicz though after the Pole produced another horror show on serve, dishing up 16 double faults in defeat for him and my bet against Tommy Robredo.
It wasn’t a good day for Poland overall on Saturday, as Lukasz Kubot faltered in set three of his match with Milos Raonic to scupper my overs bet, which was looking okay after two tie breaks in the first two sets.
The fourth round action begins at around 13:00 UK time on Monday and in this round 12 months ago all eight favourites won with barely a sniff of an upset in sight.
Jeremy Chardy vs Marin Cilic
The Wimbledon junior champion of 2005 takes on a losing quarter finalist in that particular tournament in the fourth career meeting between the two.
Chardy beat Robin Haase for the title that year in juniors, while it was the Dutchman who ended Cilic’s run, but the outlook appears much brighter for the Croatian in this year’s senior Wimbledon after Cilic took down Tomas Berdych in the last round.
It was a stunning performance from Cilic, who played with great aggression and was a worthy winner of a very good contest against Berdych.
Now he faces a tricky fourth round match against the Frenchman – an opponent that Cilic has lost to once in the pro ranks and last defeated in the Australian Open juniors back in 2005. They also met in the US Open juniors that year, incidentally.
Expect some big serving and huge forehands in this one and much will depend on whether Marin is able to find a similar level to the Berdych match again.
If he does he should justify his price of 1.30, but that’s too short for me against an opponent who has begun to perform well of late in majors, with defeats only to top-10 players in five of his last six Grand Slams.
I expect Chardy to take a set here, with the 3-1 to Cilic looking decent at 3.60.
Novak Djokovic vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Nole fans were holding their collective breath when the number one seed took a tumble against Gilles Simon in the last round and while he seems to be fine physically it highlights perhaps why he doesn’t have a great record on grass comparatively speaking.
I’ve always felt that Novak doesn’t really trust the grass and is scared of getting injured and it was the same story on the legendary blue clay of Madrid a couple of years ago.
Perhaps this was the big idea all along in bringing Boris Becker in – to get him comfortable on the green stuff – but at the moment he should beat Tsonga with a bit to spare on any surface.
I get the distinct feeling that Jo has given up hope of landing a major title and against top-five players he’s won just one of his last 20 and he hasn’t beaten Djokovic since 2010.
Indeed, in all competitions Nole has won the last 15 sets in a row against Tsonga, including the meeting on grass at the London Olympics two years ago, and unless he nicks one on a tie break somehow I can’t see him doing so today.
Jo was fortunate to get past both Jurgen Melzer and Sam Querrey and unless the Serbian is very much below par or perhaps suffering after that fall I can only see a comfortable Djokovic win here.
The under 35.5 total games appeals the most to me in this one, with the 3-0 Djokovic and under 152.5 total minutes at 1.87 also worthy of consideration.
Back Cilic to beat Chardy 3-1 at 3.60
Back under 35.5 total games in Djokovic/Tsonga at 1.90