What a busy day we have for a Friday night in Australia. Due to the majority of matches last night being rained out, we are seeing more matches today. What we may also see is players having to back up the next day at some stage during the tournament. Definitely something to keep an eye on.
From yesterday, only the one completed match, with Paire -6 covering in straight sets. Maria Sharapova is on the brink of a loss, one point away in fact. She leads Bouchard 6-2 4-2* 40-AD. Could be over in one point of tennis if things go badly.
Here are the other plays from yesterday still pending.
Pending Best Bet
Wawrinka/Zeballos u34.5 games at $1.85 at Sportingbet -> LEADS 6-2 7-6 3-3. Must win 3rd set.
Pending Next Best
Janowicz -1.5 sets into Davydenko at $2.02 at Sportsbet -> Davydenko leads *3-2
Haas -7 games at $1.85 at Sportingbet
Pending Betfair Multi
Paire -> Winner
For odds of $6.40 for 50% Mobile Multi bonus
And now for tonight:
Monfils -1.5 Sets at $1.72 at Sportsbet (Found under the Handicap Markets – Set Handicap)
Anderson h2h at $2.25 at Centrebet (5 set refund)
Pays $6.06 which qualifies for the Betfair 50% Mobile Multi bonus
Match 1: Gael Monfils vs Tommy Robredo
Have not played against each other since 2007
Round 1 Statistics
Round 2 Statistics Okay Mr. Monfils, you have got my attention. That is two incredibly impressive performances back to back now by Gael. He knows he can go deep here considering he has stolen Berdych’s draw for the Open now. Monfils has the ability to force that one more shot on almost every point he plays. It may not seem like much, but every point counts.
After rolling over the top of Jurgen Zopp 3, 2 and 1 in the first round, Robredo found himself in a surprising battle with Igor Sijsling. What was particularly concerning from my point of view was his backhand side. Of his 32 winners for the 5 set match, Robredo had 1 solitary backhand winner in rallying, and 4 on passing shots. The rest all came from the forehand side.
If Monfils can pepper the backhand of Robredo in rallying, dictate the points on his less powerful side, and attack where possible. He won’t threaten Monfils rallying on the backhand side.
What also worried me was the ease at which Robredo let Igor hold serve in the first two sets before he started to fatigue. Sijsling served under 50% in the first set, yet still managed a tiebreak. Once that was upped by Igor in the 2nd set, Robredo got nowhere near breaking serve, winning only 7 points on Igor’s serve, with Sijsling’s stats replicating what I would imagine Monfils will be able to produce tonight.
Robredo got over Sijsling in a fitness battle. Although I had my doubts over the fitness of Monfils, he has proven me wrong of late and I trust he can tough it out here.
No I’m impressed. Monfils overcame Gulbis, playing better in the big moments against both Berdych and Gulbis now.
He showed incredible resilience against Gulbis, finding himself down a set and a break, before reeling off 5 straight games to get himself back in the game. His serve is at the level it needs to be to go deep at Roland Garros.
Gulbis is one of the best returns of serve on tour, and to manage 8 aces is also impressive. He will need his serving to be at his best to get over the line here.
The Final Word
This to me just seems like a horrible match-up and situation for Tommy Robredo. Those who have followed me for a while will recall my desire to back against older players coming off a long/grinding match. I did so earlier in the year when Robredo had to play two matches on one day, and was successful.
I think Monfils in the current situation can comprehensively cover Robredo. Although not on Centre Court, there will be a crowd presence purely on Monfils’ form over the last two matches. He has shown an increased patience, waiting and biding his time to strike, and I think he can wear down Robredo here.
There are two ways I have considered approaching this match. One is through backing Monfils -3.5 games. The other is Monfils -1.5 sets. I have decided to go down the -1.5 set path. I think Monfils wins in 3 or 4, and with the risk of winning a tiebreak and losing a set 6-3 or 6-4, it can make covering that little bit more difficult.
If he can dispatch Berdych in 5 and Gulbis in 4, he can dispatch Robredo in 4 or less sets in my opinion, particularly with Robredo coming off a 5 setter. It is time to get behind the Frenchman.
Suggested Bet: Monfils -1.5 sets at $1.72 at Sportsbet
Best value: Monfils 3-0 at $3.65 at Betfair
Photo By Yann Caradec (Flickr: Gael Monfils) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons