Great results for my match betting/trading advice on Wednesday as Thompson (1.30), Zverev (1.14) and Tsonga (1.40) all lost their respective matches against Fabbiano, Coric and Shapovalov as predicted. Looking ahead to tonight’s matches and Britain’s Kyle Edmunds faces qualifier and eighth seed Tsonga’s conqueror Shapovalov for the third time and this has the potential to be the match of the night in terms of entertainment and excitement as both players are so evenly matched.
The same can’t be said for fifth seed Dimitrov (advised 20/1) who was woeful losing against NextGen star Rublev last night in straight sets. The win was made more frustrating and annoying by the fact the Bulgarian was 5-2 up in the first set and 4-1 up in the second set, but proceeded to lose both of them, and he showed no desire or emotion in the process, whereas Rublev showed plenty of positive emotions and definitely deserved the win as he never gave in and kept fighting the whole way through the match.
Tenth seed Isner (advised 100/1) faces fellow veteran and 23rd seed Mischa Zverev for the fifth time tonight and the head-to-head stands at 2-2. They’ve met twice on outdoor hard courts and they won one each and Zverev won the most recent encounter at this year’s Australian Open when he came from two sets down to win an epic five setter. As I’ve advised Isner in the outright marker he will hopefully turn the tables on this occasion and be able to close the match out if he takes a commanding lead again.
Other players of note who play tonight for a place in the fourth round are fifth seed Cilic who faces 29th seed Schwartzman for the second time and the Croat should follow up his Istanbul win with another comfortable win tonight. Carreno-Busta seeded 12 faces veteran and qualifier Mahut for the first time tonight and the Spaniard should progress if he continues playing at his current level although he will likely have to do it in four or five sets as Mahut is on a five-match winning run and ousted 20th seed Ramos-Vinolas last time out.
Querrey Seeded 17 faces qualifier Albot for the first time and the American should progress without too much trouble as should 28th seed Anderson against Coric as the South African leads the head-to-head 2-0 and both wins came on hard courts in straight sets.
As 2014 champion and fifth seed this year Cilic (7/1) had not played since Wimbledon I was concerned about his chances of winning due to lack of competitive preparation. However, he has looked like he’s not been away from the ATP Tour in his opening two matches winning them both for the loss of only one set.
The fact he resides in the bottom half of the draw is a major bonus as he is the only player remaining in the draw who has reached a Grand Slam final (Wimbledon 2017) and actually won a Grand Slam (US Open 2014) and he avoids the main dangers in my view Querrey, Isner or Anderson until the semi-finals. With this in mind he has to be taken seriously as a major contender now and is definitely worth backing to win for a second time.
The women’s tournament features some of the game’s biggest stars and some potentially high quality encounters. First up third seed Muguruza (advised 7/1) faces the resurgent Rybnarikova who is seeded 31 and the head-to-head stands at 3-2 in favour of Muguruza, won both hard court encounters and their most recent one at Wimbledon this year 6-1 6-1, and I expect Muguruza to progress again on this occasion without too much trouble.
Kvitova seeded 13 and Garcia (2.4) seeded 18 face each other for the fifth time and Garcia won the last two both on hard courts at Cincinnati in 2015 and in the Davis Cup last year and I expect her to win this one as well as she can match Kvitova’s power, is more consistent and a better mover and more agile. Makarova and Suarez Navarro (2.50), who are both unseeded, face off for the ninth time tonight and surprisingly Makarova is favourite even though she trails the head-to-head 6-2. She has lost the last four matches in a row against Suarez Navarro, including two wins on hard courts in straights sets, and she has to be opposed as her game clearly does not match up well against the higher ranked Spaniard.
Ninth seed Venus Williams (1.14) plays again tonight and while she won in straight sets against Dodin it was a close match still ending 6-4 7-5 and I’m keen to oppose her again against another talented young and up and coming player, Sakkari from Greece. They’ve met once before at Wimbledon last year and Venus had to work hard to win that in three sets. Sakkari is clearly playing well enough this week having won both her matches in straight sets, including against world number 20 Bertens, and if she can improve further she has every chance of pushing Venus close tonight and causing the upset is not out of the question.
The remaining seeds in action tonight are 16th seed Sevastova against Vekic and 30th seed Georges against Krunic and on current form the two seeds look the most likely to progress as they also lead the head-to-head 1-0. The one other match is between two unseeded and in form players American Stephens and Barty who face each other for the first time.
Wild Card Maria Sharapova faces another Wild Card and one of many new and upcoming American youngsters Sofia Kenin, who reached the third round by defeating compatriots Davis and Vickery. Sharapova has had to work hard to reach the third round beating second seed Halep and unseeded Babos last time out, both in three sets, and on paper this looks like an easier encounter.
However, there is no pressure on the young American, apart from probably having to play on one of the big show courts, but she will get the support of home fans and Sharapova will know little or nothing about her style of play, so if she can come out and go for it and not let the occasion overwhelm her she may be able to make life difficult for the Russian veteran.