French Open 2013 Day 9 – Round 5

Another strange day. Tsonga u36 games was never in any doubt, with Tsonga winning 6-3 6-3 6-3. The biggest disappointment for the day (even more than the Almagro multi leg), was Federer -8. After winning the first set convincingly 6-1, Federer took a tumble at 3-3 in the second set, and took an hour to re-find his rhythm. Simon lifted, taking the 2nd set 6-4 and 3rd set 6-2. That 3rd set ended up being the killer, as Federer fought back 6-2 in the 4th, and had break points for a 4-0 5th set lead, but it wasn’t to be unfortunately.

It is becoming a trend, that best bets are putting themselves in commanding positions, then finding a way to lose. It shows that the losses aren’t far off the mark, and the wins are getting over the line convincingly.


Nadal/Nishikori u29.5 games at $1.85 at Sportingbet (available everywhere at time of posting)


Kohlschreiber/Djokovic under 30.5 games at $1.89 at Betfair (would also take 30 flat)


Nadal u29.5
Djokovic u30
$6.04 at Betfair + bonus 50% mobile bonus if successful.

Futures Watch

There were a number of future bets and trading options we suggested at the start of the tournament. Time to assess how they are all going:

1)      Novak Djokovic to WIN at $3.75 at Betfair

  • Tracking along well is Novak. Yet to drop a set and dispatched Dimitrov with ease last round. If he gets beyond Kohlschreiber here, as he should, we are getting closer to the semi final everyone wants to see. Potential Quarter Final awaits against Haas/Youzhny, which he should have no issues with.

2)      Tsonga to progress further than Berdych at $1.57 at Bet365

  • That was home on Day 2 luckily enough. Thanks Gael.

3)      Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win Quarter 4 at $5.20 at Sportsbet

  • Going well is Jo. Yet to drop a set, and has only dropped serve twice this tournament. His backhand looks to be improving, and his serve placement over power has been sensational thus far. At present it looks like Tsonga will jump at about $2.50 vs Federer. You now have $5.20, congrats! Could potentially lay off your stake and then some, which I would probably suggest if you are on both this and the Tsonga outright. You don’t want to be too liable on the one match.

4)      David Ferrer to win Quarter 3 at $2.04

  • Opened around $1.05 in his quarter final against Robredo. Happy to let this one ride I think. Laying off at $1.05 isn’t risking a whole lot of your winnings if you are that way inclined.

Trading Watch

Note – As I did pre-tournament, I did not include Novak as a trading option, purely because I have him as the outright selection. If anything changes I will let you know.

1)      Tsonga at 80-1

  • Traded in as short as around $18 last night with Federer in trouble.  Currently sitting around $27. This has been the most successful of the trades at present. Now it is about finding the right time to get out. I believe Tsonga beats Federer. That being said, you don’t want to do all this work and have nothing for it. May I suggest for those who are a little worried, to lay your stake off prior to the Federer match. I will deliver more options in-play regarding my intentions. I will wait to see how Federer starts before deciding what I will do, but it will most likely be on in the middle of the night which is difficult for a lot of people.

2)      Ferrer at $30

  • Easy easy draw, and is trading in accordingly. Is currently sitting at $16, and may come in to $15 or so after an Almagro win. I suggest waiting until the Semi Final to make a move here. Hopefully we can find a position where Ferrer is safely through, and one of the other big guns is in trouble, giving us an opportunity to trade out for our stake (+ the stake on Gulbis, just to cover the loss). I will go through this again after his next match.

3)      Gulbis at $140

  • Thanks for the memories Ernie. Not sure best of 5 sets is your thing now.

The slow start for Nadal has seen him ease out to around $2.25 for the title. The current quote of Nadal for the title is the longest it will be prior to meeting Djokovic in my opinion. If you think he has the goods, then now is the time to act. As you can see below, I believe Nadal is about to make a statement. The one we have all been waiting for all week.


Game 1 – Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori

On court: 3rd up on Centre Court

Weather: Predicted to be Sunny and 17 degrees on court

Round 1 Stats

FO D9 1

Round 2 Stats

FO D9 2

Round 3 Stats

FO D9 3


The weather is starting to suit Nadal more and more as the week progresses. I am starting to think that people have overreacted regarding Nadal’s form through the first 3 rounds. He has struggled in the first set of each match, coming off second best to opponents that all had one particularly strong weapon, and nearly dropping the first set vs Fognini. I will re-emphasise something, they all had a particular weapon or style of play that worried Nadal.

I don’t believe Nishikori has any particularly concerning weapon in this match.  Nishikori isn’t a massive offensive threat. He is technically sound, yes, but look at his opponents and you will see that his opponents lost more than he won. Levine hit 9 winners and 33 unforced errors round one (to Nishikori’s 26 winners/25 UEs), Zemlja 24 winners/47 UEs and Paire 36 winners/64 UEs. Nadal will not afford Nishikori those opportunities on Centre Court here today. Nishikori will have to win it off his own racquet, and I simply cannot see it happening.

Other big players have made statements of late. Djokovic crushed Dimitrov and hasn’t dropped a set. Tsonga has cruised through to a quarter final. And Federer made a statement with his stroke play in the 4th and 5th sets yesterday. Nadal is yet to assert his authority on the tournament. This is the match.

This matchup suits Nadal more than any other match he has endured this week. Nadal knows that to have a chance against Djokovic, he needs to drop the time on court over the next two matches to ensure he is in good shape for what appears to be a mini final.

I fear this could get ugly for Nishikori. Really ugly. Similar to Ferrer vs Nishikori at the Australian Open ugly. It is all about the start for Nadal. If he can get the first set 6-3, then I will be very confident this play gets over the line.

In Nishikori’s losses to seeded players at Grand Slam level (occurred 9 times), Nishikori has failed to cover a 29.5 game total 8 times (one cover vs Cilic at US Open). When Nishikori is beaten, it can get ugly.

In their previous 4 meetings, Nishikori has won an average of 43% of points on his second serve. The worst part for Nishikori, is none of those meetings came on the red clay. Across those 4 matches, Nadal has only been broken 4 times in 48 service games, to Nishikori’s 16 times. If Nishikori is any chance to get close to Nadal today, he will have to serve over  around 70% of 1st serves in, and that is to even get close.

If he does that, then all credit to him, but I like the overreaction here and will gladly take the under 29.5 games offered pretty much everywhere.

Suggested Bet: Nadal/Nishikori under 29.5 games
Confidence: 75%

Photo By Alberto Carrasco Casado [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons




I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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