Tennis specialist Craig Vickers (@craigvickers_) previews the men’s Wimbledon semi-finals and provides us with his best bets.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +20.7pts
2019 Wimbledon Day 12 Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 1-14 July
- Venue: The All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
- Channel: BBC and BBC Red Button
It’s semi-final Friday on the men’s side of the Wimbledon draw with two uniquely interesting matches on offer.
Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, faces a player who has beaten him twice this season, Roberto Bautista-Agut, as he seeks a fifth Wimbledon crown.
There is also the small matter of a 40th meeting between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – their first at Wimbledon since that epic final in 2008 – both of whom we profited from on Wednesday.
Nadal very nearly squandered our no tie-breaks bet in his tussle with Sam Querrey when he was broken while serving for the first set, but he immediately regained the break advantage and it was a straightforward workout for the Spaniard in sets two and three.
Federer, meanwhile, started slowly against Kei Nishikori and it cost him the opening set. Likewise, he didn’t face too much trouble for the remainder of the match and our over 3.5 sets bet landed alongside it.
Nevertheless, Djokovic and Bautista-Agut commence play on Centre Court at 1PM GMT and it took an inspired effort from Guido Pella for the latter to drop his first set of the tournament.
Djokovic very nearly lost his second against David Goffin when the Belgian broke first in their quarter-final encounter, but it only served to awaken the Serbian who, after recovering to claim the opening set, dropped only two games.
It was a performance that bore similarities to his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 dismissal of Lucas Pouille in the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January. His well-repeated mantra of peaking at the right time at Grand Slams seems to be very much manifesting itself this season.
That should spell trouble in the Bautista-Agut camp, with Djokovic in a class of his own when he’s in the mood – as Nadal found to his detriment in Melbourne.
The Spaniard, as previously noted, boasts a 2-0 head-to-head record against the 15-time major winner this year, but they will prove of little value in a Grand Slam context with the Serbian possessing far more experience in the latter stages.
Indeed, tomorrow will be Bautista-Agut’s first taste of a major semi-final – he had never progressed beyond the fourth round before the Australian Open this year – and he was guilty of showing a touch of anxiety during the opening exchanges of his last eight match with Pella.
Djokovic will exploit the first glimmer of nerves from the other end of the court and it could be clean-kill for the Serbian. Under 29.5 games is available at 6/4.
Meanwhile, Nadal opens as favourite against the eight-time champion Federer in what looks an accurate reflection of the Spaniard’s grass court form currently.
The French Open champion has not dropped a set since Nick Kyrgios stood toe-to-toe with him for much of their second round encounter, and that battle looks to have inadvertently sharpened Nadal’s focus.
Nadal’s perennial state of fragility on grass after he captured his second Wimbledon crown in 2010 has meant these two have not clashed on the surface in eleven years.
That makes it difficult to assess each player’s state of mind heading into the contest, but it was very apparent that Nadal enjoyed the better grass court swing last year when he narrowly missed out on a trip to the final at SW19.
Federer hardly convinced in his opening two victories over Lloyd Harris and Jay Clarke, but he was far more aggressive against Matteo Berrettini and Nishikori.
A key factor will, of course, be the Swiss’ decision-making on break points and he was again distinctly average on the numerous opportunities the Japanese presented to him on Wednesday.
Value is sparse with the bookmakers favouring Nadal and 6/5 for the Spaniard to win the first set and win the match looks interesting value.