It was a bumper day in Halle on Friday, as every bet I recommended and suggested was a winner.
Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated a half-hearted Rafa Nadal, rewarding those who were on the big price on a Kohlschreiber win or the handicap.
Following that, Milos Raonic and Roger Federer went well over the handicap mark leading to a successful overs bet and the Canadian took the first set as well for those that were on that wager.
So, it’s semi finals day at both Halle and Queen’s and I’m going to have one bet from each venue today.
In Halle, the first match on is Federer v Mikhail Youzhny and I can’t really see an angle on that one, with the Swiss holding a 11-0 head-to-head lead in their personal series. The only bet I might be tempted to take in that match would be Youzhny with a 4.5 game start on the handicap. I don’t think it will a walk in the park for Federer, but I prefer the other semi-final for betting purposes.
Kohlschreiber’s reward for taking out Nadal is an all-German clash with Tommy Haas, who defeated Tomas Berdych on Friday night. There will be delight in Halle that a German will be in the final again this year. I couldn’t back defending champion Kohlschreiber at a price of around 1.57 for this match, although I am quite tempted with the 2-1 win at around 3.90
The 34-year-old Haas is likely to be a bit stiff this morning after that two-hour plus battle with Berdych and in any case I envisage this being a tight encounter. Both of the previous meetings between this pair have come here in Halle and they have one win apiece, with both matches going the full distance.
These two are closely matched at their best and, unusually for an ATP 250 event, the tournament means something to them both. We could see a hard-fought encounter that will please fans and the organisers alike.
I’m just leaning toward Kohlschreiber to come out on top, but the overs looks the bet in this one. Both Halle clashes have lasted well over today’s total games mark
of 23.5, which is available to back at around 1.87
Over in Queen’s, I’m going to take a chance on Sam Querrey to make another final at the AEGON Championships at an attractive price in his semi final against Marin Cilic. In a tournament that has been incredibly tough to predict I’m siding with the likelihood of another upset today at a price of around 2.67.
I would probably have had this as a bit closer if I were compiling the odds, as Cilic has had a pretty cosy route to the last four. I don’t see him as a natural grass-court player by any means. The Croatian has had some OK results on grass, but he’s never made a grass final and this is his first semi final on the green stuff since Nottingham back in 2008.
Cilic’s has not faced anyone ranked inside the top 50 in the world on the way to the final and he’s only played five full sets to get to this stage, which may not have him prepared for a likely battle today.
The one and only previous meeting between these two was also on grass at Wimbledon in 2009, when Cilic won in five tight sets. Another close match is
I think Cilic is too short at 1.45 for this anyway, given that he can spray the unforced errors on his forehand at any time, but on grass I’m happy to take a chance on Querrey, who has played far more tennis this week and to my mind will be more comfortable with conditions.
The other semi-final looks hard to call, with the tennis media’s darling Grigor Dimitrov taking on David Nalbandian.
Dimitrov is apparently a shoo-in for every major title under the sun if you believe some of the nonsense that gets written, but this is his first semi final at tour level. In his previous four quarter-finals he only won one set, so at least he’s heading in the right direction, but I wouldn’t like to call this one today. I think it will go long, so the overs could be the call.
Back over 23.5 games at 1.87 in Kohlschreiber v Haas
Back Querrey to beat Cilic at 2.67