Tennis - Friday Update
There have been plenty of shocks and big upsets this week and, at Dubai, third seed Federer (7/2), fourth seed Monfils, fifth seed Berdych and sixth seed Bautista Agut all crashed out against unseeded players at the third round and quarter-finals stage. Federer had three match points in the second set tie break and lead 5-1 in the third set tie break against qualifier Donskoy but the world number 116 fought back spectacularly and fended off Federer to clinch the second set tie break 9-7 and the third set tie break 7-5.
Veteran Fernando Verdasco knocked out sixth seed Buatista Agut in the fourth round and fourth seed Monfils in the quarter-finals while Haase knocked out fifth seed Berdych in the fourth round. Top seed Murray is still on track to win the title, but came close to losing yesterday and had to come from a set down to beat Kohlchreiber 6-7 7-6 6-1. Murray will face seventh seed Pouille in today’s semi-finals while the other semi-final is between unseeded players Verdasco and Haase.
At Acapulco, top seed Djokovic crashed out in straight sets against sixth seed Kyrgios this morning as did defending champion and fourth seed Thiem against the unseeded Querrey. Fifth seed Goffin was defeated by Querrey yesterday and seventh seed Sock and eighth seed Isner both lost in the first round against qualifier Nishioka and the unseeded Johnson respectively. Second seed Nadal is still on course to win the title and is now the favourite to do so. He will face third seed Cilic for a place in the final tomorrow morning, while Kyrgios faces Querrey for a place in the final and Kyrgios (5/2) is my idea of the winner of the tournament now.
At Sao Paulo there have been fewer shocks and the tournament is now down to the quarter-final stage. Top two seeds Carreno-Busta and Ramos-Vinolas are still in action and Carreno-Busta faces fifth seed Fognini today and Ramos-Vinolas plays the unseeded Pella today. Pella (16/1 ½ the odds) looks overpriced for the tournament for me as he’s just as good as the remaining players left in the bottom half of the draw on his day and just lost to Ramos-Vinolas on a third set tiebreak when they met in Buenos Aires recently. Third seed Cuevas (7/1) faces sixth seed Schwarztman today and Schwartzman leads the head-to-head 3-1 so I advise backing him to cover your outright stake if you’ve backed Cuevas this week. Fourth seed Sousa from Portugal faces seventh seed Del Bonis in the other quarter-final today.