Tennis - French Open Update
There was no joy from my one remaining women's tournament selection Bacsinszky to win the Second Quarter at 6/1, as she lost in straight sets against the big hitting Kiki Bertens yesterday. Hopefully you will have covered your stake on Bacsinszky, cashed out for a profit pre-match or when she went a break up in the first set.
Its semi-finals day at Roland Garros and due to the poor weather over the last week and subsequent disruptions and delays, we will witness the unusual site of both the men's and women's finalists determined today, weather permitting. Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are both still on track to win their respective titles and Serena especially, will have to do it the hard way and win back-to-back matches four days in a row, including today and tomorrow's final.
Djokovic has not had it easy either having played three day's straight including today but, if he beats Dominic Thiem in today's semi-final, he will get a day's rest before Sunday's final, weather permitting. The weather forecast for today is disappointing again, cool with cloud dominating the Parisian skyline, but like yesterday there's no major rain forecast, just the possibility of light showers mid to late morning.
Djokovic and Thiem have met twice before, both times on hard courts, at the Shanghai Masters in 2014 and Miami Masters 2016 and Djokovic won on both occasions 6-3 6-4. It will be a big shock if Djokovic loses today, but with Theim on his strongest surface I expect him to push Djokovic closer than their previous two meetings on hard courts and he's more than capable of winning a set. The Over 34.5 Games line should go close at 19/20 or if your looking for better value Djokovic to win 3-1 at 29/10 is worth considering.
Second seed Andy Murray faces his biggest challenge of the tournament so far against fourth seed and defending Champion Stan Wawrinka today. Wawrinka is one of the players Murrays has experienced the most trouble against in the past, which is not difficult to work out why as Wawrinka is one of the most aggressive attacking players on tour.
The head-to-head between them currently stands at 8-7 to Murray, but he's lost the last three encounters against Wawrinka between 2013 and 2015, all at major tournaments like Monte Carlo, US Open and the World Tour Finals and all in straight sets. Also, he has never beaten Wawrinka on clay, losing all three encounters in straight sets. The cooler slower conditions will no doubt suit Murray better, but Wawrinka has such brute strength he will still be able to push Murray back and keep him on the back foot if he does not play aggressively enough himself.
My gut instinct tells me Wawrinka's natural aggressive game will overpower Murray again on this occasion and as I advised Murray to win the Tournament at 17/4, it makes sense to cover your bet by backing Wawrinka in the Outright Winners market for the same stake at 13/2, as Murray is only 23/5 on the exchanges. From a match perspective I think this will be close still, possibly 4-5 sets so the Over 40.5 games at 9/10 should go close.
The women's semi-finals today between Serena and Bertens and Muguruza and Stosur should be a more straight forward affair, and I expect Serena and Muguruza to be battling it out in tomorrow's final.