Tennis specialist Craig Vickers (@craigvickers_) previews day 5 of the men's Wimbledon Championships and provides us with his best bets.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +17.2pts
2019 French Open Day 5 Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 1-14 July
- Venue: The All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
- Channel: BBC and BBC Red Button
Third round action at The All-England Club commences on Friday and so does our daily outright betting tips.
In the absence of previews during the first two rounds, both our quarter outrights, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Karen Khachanov, remain in contention and the latter faces Roberto Bautista-Agut today for a place in a second successive Grand Slam fourth round.
Tsonga has coasted into the third round without dropping a set – profiting from a subdued 58-minute performance from Bernard Tomic in the first round – and our prospects of nailing a 16/1 winner hinges on whether he can shock Rafael Nadal on Saturday.
Nevertheless, the early rounds have certainly not been starved of shock results with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic among the early casualties.
Novak Djokovic is in action on Friday and the Serbian is heavily favoured against Hubert Hurkacz – appearing in his first third round match at a major – and instead value lies elsewhere in the top half of the men’s draw.
Jiri Vesely tends to reserve his best form for this time of the season and his confidence is soaring after wins over Zverev and Pablo Cuevas in the previous two rounds.
His lefty slider serve is a devastating weapon against any opponent as he demonstrated against Zverev in the first round and as a result he remains a tough nut to crack on grass.
That will worry his opponent Benoit Paire, who often struggles to return serve effectively. However, the Frenchman boasts a menacing serve of his own, with the stroke appearing so effortless.
Paire appears to have turned a corner mentally in the last few months after he was jeered off the court by his own fans in Marseille earlier this year, reaching the fourth round of the French Open last month.
And he will be grateful for the added rest and recovery time after Miomir Kecmanovic retired while two sets down to the Frenchman on Wednesday. That victory contained an opening set tie-break in which Paire edged 7-5 and over 12.5 games in set one between the Frenchman and Vesely is nice value at 9/4.
The Czech was a set and a break down to Cuevas on Wednesday, but when he broke back immediately in the second set he was virtually faultless on serve and the hope is that he carries his terrific serving display into the contest with Paire.
With both players traditionally strong on serve, over 12.5 games in set one is the bet.
Meanwhile, Thomas Fabbiano has been stretched to five sets in his previous two matches at Wimbledon and the suspected cumulative fatigue looks to have factored into his price against Fernando Verdasco.
Verdasco was almightily comfortable in his round one victory over Kamil Majchrzak while Fabbiano stretched every sinew in his career-best win over Tsitsipas, but the Spaniard was forced the distance against Kyle Edmund in round two.
Verdasco was staring down the barrel when the Brit when two sets up before he mounted a comeback and the match ran a good half an hour longer than Fabbiano’s five-setter with Ivo Karlovic.
In truth, the Italian ought to have put the match to bed in straight sets, but a lapse in concentration at the tail-end of the second set tie-break cost him dearly and that leaked into a similar fourth set tie-break which went Karlovic’s way.
Fabbiano’s smaller frame makes him dangerous on grass – and it is by far his best surface – and he will trouble Verdasco much in the same way Edmund was able to.
The Spaniard once reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon (2013) but since that run he has never progressed beyond the third round and he has more recently lost in the first round to the likes of Bernard Tomic and Marinko Matosevic.
The Italian’s flat-hitting style should trouble Verdasco and at 13/10 for the Italian to reach the fourth round is great value.