This quarter of the draw sees Roddick, Berdych, Gonzalez, Cilic, Wawarinka, Blake and Del Potro all fighting for a semi final spot. This is a very open quarter so hopefully we can find some nice betting angles.
At the top of the draw we see Andy Roddick
who has been plagued by injury since that epic Wimbledon final against Federer. He is back fit and healthy again and he hasn’t lost his old touch, winning in Brisbane beating some good players on the way Stepanek, Berdych and Gasquet dropping just one set.
Roddick starts off against de Bakker and then possible Bellucci who is an upcoming Brazilian who was impressive last week but Roddick should dispose of these two easily enough.
In the last 32, Roddick honestly could face any three of the four possible. Feliciano Lopez has a big serve and volley game but is in decline could easily lose to Cuevas who like Bellucci in the recent preparation tournaments has looked in good shape. The winner will face Sam Querrey a huge serving American who is a threat but his return game is poor, I think this game could go all the way with Querrey just winning and facing Roddick.
This match up could be really tricky for Roddick, he leads the head to head 3-1 but Querrey won their recent hard court match in two tie breaks with the first 13-11! However, this was played when Roddick still had some niggling injuries so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in this one, even more so when only 2 weeks before also on a Hard court Roddick won in straight sets v Querrey. So for me a healthy Roddick gets the nod to reach the last 16.
The group of this quarter is a good one, Berdych should beat Haase, whilst Korolev should beat Brands who is an awful player. Korolev is a dangerous player, he hits the balls hard and plays a solid counter attack game, Berdych needs to serve well to beat him but lets not forget that when Berdych was the number 20 in the world in 2008 Korolev took him to five sets at Wimbledon and I think Berdych will need to dig deep to beat the Russian.
Facing Berdych in the last 32 could be Fernando Gonzalez, the hard hitting Chilean should make little work beating off Rochus and veteran Grosjean without too much hassle. But the game against Berdych is going to be a good fight, the head to head is 4-3 to Gonzalez with the last meeting at the US Open going to Gonzalez on a hard court.
However, 2 weeks before that game Berdych was a set up also on Hard before Gonzalez withdrew and Berdych also won the previous two hard court games prior to that meeting so picking a winner is tough. Gonzalez I make the favourite, simply because Berdych has a tough game the round before and recently lost to world 78 Luczak in Sydney, he did get to the semis in Brisbane the week before but I think a fresher Gonzalez will just take this.
The potential Gonzalez – Roddick last 16 game should be a good one but I make the American an odds on favourite. Roddick has won 8 of their 11 encounters, winning 6 of the last 7 with every hard court encounter since 2004 going to the American. I also give Roddick the edge because most of Roddick’s games are over quite quickly, there are not many rallies simply because his serve is soo good, whilst the Gonzalez – Berdych game the round before is sure to go to 4 or 5 sets with lots of gruelling points. I think Roddick’s legs and much easier points on serve will see him go 9 from 12 against the Chilean to book a spot in the quarter finals.
The third quarter sees Wawrinka and Cilic as the big favourites to meet in the last 32 and it looks like banker material that they do. Cilic faces veteran Santoro and then Tomic, two guys who are no where near in the same league as Cilic and he’ll blow them away. Wawrinka faces Garcia-Lopez and then Acasuso/Kunitsyn both of which are poor players and the Swiss number two should take care of either without too much fuss. Before last week I’d of said Wawrinka was a big favourite to win this match he held a 4-0 h2h with Cilic, but in Chennai Cilic beat the world number 21 on two tie breaks to take the title. Also looking at the previous games, Wawrinka has been the world number 10, 50, 44 and 69 (the times he beat Cilic) whilst the Croatian was 53, 121, 188 and 209! So we can ignore these games, Cilic loves the hard courts and his serve if it’s in sync will be hard to break. Given that Cilic also made the final in Beijing beating Nadal and Davydenko on the way he is the favourite here.
The final quarter includes the current US Open champion Martin Del Potro
, James Blake, Vicor Troicki and Aukland runner up Clement. Troicki is a best of the rest kind of player, when he faces a top 20 player he often loses but can go far in tournaments, he faces a nice level of opposition for him up until the last 32. He should beat Lapentti and then Mayer without too much trouble but then he could face Del Potro.
For the right to face Del Potro in the second round, Blake squares off against Clement. Normally we pick Blake hands down but I don’t like backing Blake outside of America, also the Frenchman recently rolled back the years to reach the final in Aukland losing a tiebreak to Isner in the final.
Given Clement’s age and lack of “legs” I don’t know how much he has left in the tank to now start playing 5 setters. Also given the 7-0 h2h to Blake over Clement I just favour Blake. Blake should go on to face Del Potro which should be relatively straight forward for the Argentinean, Blake has 1 win in the last 7 against top 10 players and that was because Roddick retired!
JMDP will go on and face Troicki who like Blake has an awful record v a top 10 player, Troicki has 1 win in the last 10 and won’t be able to hold off the Juggernaut that is Del Potro on a Hard court.
Cilic – Del Potro is a tough one, Cilic has the game to beat Del Potro so long as he serves well but given that Del Potro is 2-0 v Cilic with both wins in the last year and both on hard (one this time last year in Australia and one in the US Open) we must favour the Argentinean. Both encounters saw Cilic win the first but lose the next 3 sets, we must respect the stats and stick with Juan Martin.
Quarter 3- Quarter Final Pick
It will be Roddick v Del Potro
for me in this quarter final.
I was shocked to see that Del Potro is 3-0 v Roddick with two of those wins coming last August, one was two weeks before the US Open the next a week before the US Open. Both encounters went all the way but it was the least experienced guy who came through despite playing Roddick in North America.
Del Potro went onto win the US Open as we know and he is a beast of a player, I like Roddick he’s a fighter and has impressed me following his comeback win in Brisbane but Del Potro is only getting better and even if he needs 5 sets he’s my pick.
FIXED ODDS BETTING :
Most likely to win quarter : Del Potro 2.25 at VC Bet
Next best : Roddick 3.50 at Betfred