The sports bulletin given from Centre Court on BBC Breakfast showed sun. It was very warm and sunny in Worcester this morning but has just started pissing it down. Lets hope the southerners are having it better than us.
Tomic v Djokovic
The Australian teenager is having the fortnight of his life beating big names such as Davydenko and Soderling and beating an in form Malisse. Oddly the weakest of his opponents, Andreev, was 2 sets up against him.
Reality may hit him with a thump today though as he faces his first big name who isn’t either sick or well below his old form. Djokovic has lost just one set ( to Baghdatis) in these championships and on the whole he has progressed through the rounds with little difficulty. If Tomic serves as well as he has been doing then it may take the Serb a few games to be able to read it. You have to expect that he has the experience and skill to do so.
There is an outside chance in my opinion that Tomic may take a set here so a lay at 1.12 is a cheap option. I have decided to use the set betting market and have gone for a combination of Djokovic 3-0 @ 1.80 and Djokovic 3-1 @ 4.00 to give me a 24% profit. I don’t want to see any upsets today 🙂
Update: Djokovic won totally on top in the first set and it looked like it was going to be a quick match. Then in the second set he suddenly couldn’t get a first serve in and Tomic relaxed a little and was hitting the lines on most shots. He levelled at 1 set all. Tomic then broke serve in the first game of the second set and Djokovic didn’t break back until late in the set. Tomic’s confidence was affected in the next couple of games and Djokovic was able to hold easily and break again to win the set.
In the 4th set Djokovic took a 2-0 lead but Tomic again fought back but at 5-5 Djokovic broke serve and then served out the match to win 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The 3-0/3-1 bet/trade was looking good after the first set and I coulod have hedged out for profit then. After Tomic levelled it was possible to get out for a small(ish) loss. In my “wisdom” I didn’t take either opportunity. When Tomic broke serve at the start of the third set and managed to hold serve for a great deal of the set I had written off the stakes as being lost so was pleased to see Djokovic come back to take the set. I let it run into the 4th set but when Djokovic was 2-0 up the price of 3-1 dropped to 1.05 and I decided to hedge out, getting matched at 1.07 . Moral of the story? Trade out after the first. if the set goes against you you still have the small insurance of the 3-1 back bet.
Tsonga v Federer
Federer leads the head to heads here 4-1.
Tsonga has been in great form on the grass courts and pretty much controlled Ferrer from the start of their 4th round match. He has lost just 1 set ( against Dimitrov in round 2) and is serving extremely well.
Federer was looking pretty solid until he lost the opening set against Youzhny. It proved to be just a minor wobble though and he won the following 3 sets 6-3.
Tsonga’s game is all about power with very little finesse. Thats not a good tactic against Federer who will soak up the power and out-think the Frenchman. I can see Tsonga running out of ideas pretty quickly if the A game isn’t working. He could scrape a set in a tie break but it has to be a Federer win in 3 or 4 sets.
Federer is suprisingly often held quite close in opening sets and a first set tie break even against much lower ranked players isn’t that uncommon. Tsonga’s best chance of a set win is in the first set so laying Fed from the start is an option. If Fed takes the first set I think it could be over quite quickly after that.
Update: Federer got off to a fast start and took the set 6-3. The second was a tie break and also went Fed’s way and it all looked very familiar. But Tsonga fought back to 2 sets all. His A game was working now and Fed didn’t quite as sharp as normal. Tsonga won an early break in the deciding set and held on to take the match 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Murray v Lopez
Who will Murray’s mum be cheering for the most? Tough call.
Murray leads the head to heads 4-0 and Lopez has taken just 1 set in those four matches. Murray’s level dropped a little in the opening couple of sets against Ljubicic but against Richard Gasquet he just got better and better as the match progressed until he was playing superbly in that third set.
Lopez had a nightmare against Kubot in the fourth round. His normally reliable serve let him down early in the match and he found himself 2 sets down. A tight third set tie break was the turning point with Lopez taking it 9-7 and he was able to find enough motivation to win the next 2 sets 7-5, 7-5.
I expected Gasquet to take a set against Murray but the Scot’s consistency especially in the important points was excellent.
The prices for the set betting are similar to the Djokovic game and that is probably the way I’ll play it. Laying Murray in the match odds market is a cheap lay at 1.11 but unless lopez take the opening set you won’t see much return (if any).
Murray to win in 3 or 4 sets.
Update: Murray never looked in trouble throughout this match even when he was having some pain from a minor injury.
Lopez was frustrated at not getting his serve past murray for easy points and this led to a poor display from the Spaniard.
Murray won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Nadal v Fish
Nadal leads the head to head 5-0. Fish has managed to win just 1 set in those 5 matches.
Nadal has had the problem with his foot which he claims will not affect his play. He had a practice session yesterday and seemed fine although he wasn’t moving around too much.
Fish has surprised me by getting this far. His serving which can be a little fragile at times has been excellent and he has lost just 1 set so far which was a tie break in the Haase match. He went toe to toe with berdych in the last round and even though Berdych has been in decent form he couldn’t cope with Fish’s big ground strokes and accurate serving.
Nadal starts at 1.20 which is the highest price for all the quarter finals’ favourites. This could be a match where a lay on Nadal can take advantage of the slightest hint of a problem with Nadal’s foot. If it really isn’t giving him any pain then obviously he is a massive favourite to take the match but I expect at least the first set to be close with a high possibility of a tie break.
Nadal would need to be in pain to lose a set in my opinion and I expect a win for the Spaniard in 3 or 4 sets. Set betting has Nadal 3-0 @ 2.16 and Nadal 3-1 @ 3.65 .
Update: Nada seemed to have no problems with his foot injury and won 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.