The line up for the last 16 of both Wimbledon singles draws will be completed on Saturday and while much of the London sporting attention will be on a certain event in Russia, those inside SW19 and watching around the world should get some excellent tennis to enjoy.
This tournament is fast becoming the tournament of the upset and the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep and Juan Martin del Potro will be out to avoid falling foul of the latest one on a really good looking day of action.
Day 5 Recap
There were comfortable wins on Friday for the likes of Roger Federer, Kevin Anderson, Serena Williams and John Isner with a number of other players making their way through the door with less in hand than they would have liked. Friday was not a day without an upset though with Madison Keys and Venus Williams both sent on their way in three set classics.
It was a day of frustration for us betting wise. Stefanos Tsitsipas brought in his handicap with an ocean to spare but despite being a set and a break up Mihaela Buzernescu couldn’t finish off Karolina Pliskova while Daniil Medvedev was a break up on Adrian Mannarino in the decider and lost so there is much to build on throughout Saturday.
Rafael Nadal is first up on the middle Saturday on Centre Court. If his match with Alex De Minaur is a lengthy one it will be interesting to see how many are watching it come the end. Former runner up Angelique Kerber then takes on Naomi Osaka and then hopefully from the organisers’ point of view after the football Kyle Edmund takes on Novak Djokovic to round off a good looking day on Centre.
It is the women’s world number one and French Open champion Simona Halep that gets things going on Court 1 on Saturday. She takes on Su-Wei Hsieh in what is actually potentially a tough encounter. They will be followed by Alexander Zverev who is in action for the third successive day when he plays Ernests Gulbis before the match of the entire day rounds off the show when Nick Kyrgios plays Kei Nishikori.
Juan Martin del Potro will be first onto what is known as the graveyard court. He takes on Benoit Paire who appears to be playing on one leg but doing it fairly well. Elise Mertens then meets the feisty Dominika Cibulkova who is still looking to prove her point about the seedings and then a doubles match involving Jamie Murray finishes things off.
Ashleigh Barty will begin things on Court 3 when she faces Daria Kasatkina in what should be a good match before Jelena Ostapenko faces Vitalia Diatchenko for a place in the last 16 of the tournament. The first men’s match out on Court 3 sees Jiri Vesely facing Fabio Fognini before a couple of doubles matches see the day draw to a conclusion.
Best of the Rest
There isn’t a huge amount of singles action around the courts on Saturday but those in action on the other courts include Carla Suarez Navarro, Belinda Bencic, Milos Raonic, Anett Kontaveit and Daria Gavrilova on what should be another good day to have a ground pass.
There is just the one bet for me over the course of Saturday in the men’s draw and it comes with Kyle Edmund who I think can stay within 5.5 games of Novak Djokovic. Everything has been a little hush hush regarding the Serbian in the lead up to this match. It is pretty much common knowledge that he missed his practice session on Friday so his knee is clearly not as good as he is letting on.
Even if Djokovic was fully fit I would like this bet because on these faster courts Edmund has the ability to protect his serve. He may well still cover this on the back of that even if Djokovic is fit and wins 3-0 but I’ve got to think that at best Djokovic will manage his way through this match and if Edmund gets an early lead in a set I wouldn’t be surprised if the former champion eases up and saves his energy for the periods he is on top or at parity at least. However its done I think Edmund keeps within 5.5 games.
Two women impressed me on Thursday and I’m backing them both on Saturday. Alison Van Uytvanck stole the show late on a couple of days ago when she came from a set down to power past Garbine Muguruza and I’m not convinced she is done yet either. She now takes on Anett Kontaveit who is going to have so much pressure on her first serve it is untrue because her second serve is terrible. The Belgian is playing great tennis right now and as long as she can deal with the comedown of playing on a lesser court I expect her to hold the aces here.
Dominika Cibulkova was near enough flawless on Thursday when she destroyed Jo Konta and if she plays to that form then Elise Mertens has her work cut out that is for sure. Mertens is a good player but she hasn’t really been tested this week yet. Cibulkova has this bee in her bonnet having not been seeded for the championship and she appears to be channelling that in the right way. Her level against Konta was insane and if she is at that level here I think she makes the second week once again.
Back K.Edmund (+5.5 games) to beat N.Djokovic for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with 888sport
WON – Back A.Van Uytvanck to beat A.Kontaveit for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with BetVictor
WON – Back D.Cibulkova to beat E.Mertens for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with William Hill