Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles - round 4 preview
Mark Swarbrick, Head of In Play Trading, previews the 4th round
Down to the last 16 in the Gentlemen's singles, and the top seed players have in the main come through with relative ease, We lost Rafael Nadal in the second round and Kei Nishikori through injury, but other than that those we expected to be there still are.
Novak Djokovic (1/25) heads the draw and meets big serving South African Kevin Anderson (10/1), the prices here tell the story, and whilst Anderson will push Djokovic it's hard to see what he has got extra in his game to really test the world number 1. I can see Anderson taking a set, probably in a tie break, so 3-1 Djokovic is the call here (3/1).
Another big server in Marin Cilic (1/6) takes on America's Denis Kudla (4/1). Both players have come through a couple of tough 5 set matches to reach this stage, but there is no doubt Cilic has the class advantage here. Kudla, ranked outside the world's top 100, has done exceptionally well to go this far and has some pedigree on Grass winning the Challenger Tour event in Ilkley, and filling the runners up spot in a similar event at Surbiton, however he didn't meet anyone of the class of Cilic in those tournaments. Cilic in straight sets the bet here (Evens).
Roland Garros winner Stan Wawrinka (2/9) takes on the Belgium player David Goffin (16/5). Wawrinka has a 2-0 H2H lead, and both players play a similar style of game, just that Wawrinka does it all slightly better. Although I don't see Wawrinka as a likely winner of the tournament he should be able to match his performance here of last year by progressing to the quarter final a suggested 3-0 victory (6/5).
Completing the top half of the draw we have on paper what looks the tightest match up of the 8 where Nick Krygios (4/5) takes on Frenchman Richard Gasquest (Evens). This has all the hallmarks of a really close battle with the experience of Gasquet being tested by the youth and power of the Australian. Gasquet has a couple of grass court titles early in his career, and is a former semi finalist here at Wimbledon albeit some 8 years ago, whilst Krygios, the showman is rapidly improving his game and looks set to break the top 10 in the next 18 months or so. It's a close call as the prices suggest, but if Gasquet can hold his nerve I can see his experience taking him through here in a close 4 sets (9/2).
Viktor Troicki (4/11) takes on Vasek Pospisil (9/4) in the opening match in the bottom half of the draw. Troicki has been playing well since his return to the tour after an enforced absence, a run to the semi-finals at Queens (beaten by Murray) shows his form on the grass and he much prefers the harder faster surfaces found here. Pospisil has yet to win a tournament on the ATP tour, and his record on grass isn't particularly great (won 6 from 18). The prices reflect the advantages Troicki has but I still reckon Pospisil will prove enough of a threat to take a set (3-1 Troicki is priced at 5/2).
Next up world number 3 Andy Murray (1/12) takes on the big serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic (13/2). Whilst as a spectacle it might not be a classic with, I expect plenty of short rallies, and no doubt a heavy dose of aces being served up, the match hinges on the Murray return of the Karlovic serve. If he can manufacture half a dozen break point chances he will win the match as I don't expect Murray to have too much trouble holding serve here. As always with Karlovic his best chance lies in the tie break, but I doubt he can with the 3 from 4 which it will probably take to win this. They met in 2012 here with Murray winning 7/5 6/7 6/2 7/6 and a similar score line wouldn't surprise anyone. (Murray 3-1 is 3/1).
Tomas Berdych (2/5) against Gilles Simon (2/1) is the match the seedings suggested at this stage of the draw. Simon holds a 6-4 H2H advantage although they have never before met on a grass court, and he won their only meeting in 2015. With these stats I'm happy to have Simon at the prices, and a potentially long 5 set match could well ensue - Simon 3-2 priced at 6/1.
The final match of the last 16 sees multiple Wimbledon winner Roger Federer (1/16) take on Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (8/1). Agut has been seen regularly in the world's top 20 this season, but he shouldn't cause Federer too many problems here. They have met twice on the main tour with Federer winning easily on both occasions without dropping a set, and another straight sets victory looks very much on the cards here which is priced at 4/9.
Enjoy all the action at William Hill with the In Play action starting at lunchtime on Monday.