We were lucky with the weather yesterday but I’m not sure we will be today 🙁
Raonic meets Gilles Muller who received a wild card place which he justified by beating Tommy Haas in the first round. Raonic dealt with lucky loser Gicquel in straight sets. This won’t be an easy match for the Canadian as Muller served 37 aces against Haas. Raonic has lost 4 in a row against left handers and also 4 in a row against big servers. This would certainly be a surprise if Raonic goes out here but he will need to do more than just serve big. If Raonic starts to struggle to get to grips with his opponent’s serve his price will rise as we approach a tie break. Could be worth a lay on Raonic from the start but if Muller’s serve doesn’t seem to be rock solid get out of the trade. I expect Raonic to come through.
Update: Raonic retired after 5 games of the first set.
Haha do we ride the Verdasco rollercoaster again or do we need a break? Today he plays Haase and his starting price is 1.59 . Verdasco performed his Houdini act to win in 5 sets against Stepanek yesterday. Verdasco is usually pretty good on the stamina front so I don’t expect that to be an issue. More important is that his win will have given his confidence a much needed boost. Verdasco needs to believe in himself to perfom at his best. If his confidence goes he could struggle to beat a ball boy. Yesterday’s win was exactly what he needed to get him fired up again. Haase may get swept aside here and I’ll be backing Verdasco from the start. If anyone needs me I’ll be behind the sofa….
Update: Verdasco’s tactic of giving his opponent a 2 set lead backfired. He pulled a set back but Haase won 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Ljubicic starts at 1.56 against Stakhovsky. Everyone seems to be waiting for Ljubicic to run out of steam but it just doesn’t happen. He had a great 4 sets win against Cilic in the last round on what is supposed to be his worst surface. Stakhovsky promises so much yet time after time he fails to deliver. He is a joy to watch when playing at his best with big ground strokes and amazing touch around the net but he just doesn’t seem to have the self confidence that is essential at this level. He won his first round match in straight sets but made hard work of it at times. I’ll wait a couple of games to let them have a service game each but will be looking to get on Ljubicic for the win. Stak’s best hope is a tie break to take a set.
Update: Favourite match of the day! During the first few games it was clear that not many traders were following this market. Some large lays were coming in on Ljubicic and pushing his price up. Towards the end of the set Ljubicic had break point and there was a large unmatched lay bet of several thousand at 1.70 . It was still there AFTER the break!! I managed to get over 1k matched before the market woke up and held it until after Ljubicic held serve and the market woke up and returned to nearer its correct price of sub 1.30 . A couple of other smaller opportunities were taken later in the set and the start of the second set.
Ljubicic won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.
I think Denis Istomin will be happy to have beaten Kohlschreiber in the last round but I don’t rate his chances against Mardy Fish. Fish’s price at 1.32 is a little low though and I will be waiting for a better price to back him at. Fish came through a tricky 3 sets win against Granollers. It was a tight match but that was Fish’s first game on grass this season. I expect him to lift his left for this match.
Update: Istomin broken serve at the start of the match but Fish came back and took the set in a tie break.
Fish won 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.