Play from 5pm, Thursday, June 2, 2016
RAIN has marred the French Open in recent days, forcing matches to be abandoned and played at later dates, but that hasn’t stopped the competition from edging closer to a winner.
The men’s and women’s quarter finals on Thursday night feature the two best tennis players on the planet in World Number ones Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.
We have run the rule over the Thursday evening games and come up with a multi to whet your whistle.
Suggested French Open multi:
Serena Williams to defeat Yulia Putintseva 2-0 ($1.25)
Novak Djokovic to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-0 ($1.57)
Dominic Thiem vs. David Goffin over 3.5 sets ($1.50)
Three leg multi pays $2.94 with sportsbet.com.au
Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych
Our tip: Novak Djokovic to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-0 ($1.57 with Sportsbet.com.au)
HEAVEN forbid, Novak Djokovic has dropped a set in the French Open.
The Serbian superstar made it through the first three rounds unscathed, rolling through each of his opponents in straight sets, before finally conceding a set against Spanish clay court specialist Roberto Bautista-Agut.
Call it a lapse, but Djokovic did drop the first set, 3-6, before rain halted play. He came back the next night and rolled through Bautista-Agut, 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 to book a date with number seven seed Czech Tomas Berdych.
“With my coaching team, we had some tough talks on over night,” Djokovic said.
“But I came back today with more intensity even though it was a tough mental and physical battle.”
In the process of winning, Djokovic became the first tennis player in history to claim US$100 million in prize money. A remarkable achievement from a man who, at 29, appears to have plenty more time at the top.
You would not say Berdych is accustomed to the slow courts, usually relying on a booming serve, but the Czech was irresistible against clay court stud David Ferrer, whacking him in straight sets, 6-3 7-5 6-3.
Berdych said the damp conditions helped his game.
“It being cold and very wet is to my advantage since the ball was not bouncing high,” Berdych said.
“I was able to play fast and through the court.
“I think it was a job well done today.”
He has only dropped two sets throughout this tournament, but he hasn’t played Djokovic, who has unfortunately won 23 of the 25 matches between the two men.
Berdych is a good player, but the Djoker is on another level and, with the French Open still the only grand slam to elude him, we can’t see him taking any chances.
On to the next round in straight sets.
Serena Williams vs. Yulia Putintseva
Our tip: Serena Williams to defeat Yulia Putintseva 2-0 ($1.25 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Aside from a tough second set in the third round against Kristina Mladenovic, Serena Williams has absolutely smoked her opponents off the park on her way to yet another grand slam quarter final appearance.
And it was no different against 18th seed Elina Svitolina, who managed to take just the two games, one in each set, in a typical 6-1, 6-1 slaughter.
It must be hard for her to stay humble, considering she has won 18 sets in a row at Roland Garros and accounted for her opponent in just 62 minutes, having waited nearly two days from when the match was originally scheduled.
She will now take on Kazakstan’s unseeded Yulia Putintseva, who knocked off Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in a slightly tougher straight set win over the 12th seed, 7-5, 7-5.
“She’s a tough player,” Williams said of Putintseva, whom she has beaten both times they have played.
“She’s really hungry.
“I feel like she gives 200 percent on every single point.
“You know, she’s a fighter.”
If Williams makes it all the way to the final, which she is expected to do, she will have to play four matches in four days.
Water off a duck’s back for the champ.
“Four in a row? When we play regular tournaments you play four, five matches in a row. It’s what happens,” Williams said.
“It’s something you just get used to.
“It’s totally fine I think for me and for everyone.”
Against the qualifier, we’ll be surprised if she even drops a game, let alone a set. $1.25 is better than bank interest.
Dominic Thiem vs. David Goffin
Our tip: over 3.5 sets ($1.50 with sportsbet.com.au)
In the good news story of the round, Dominic Thiem has made history by becoming the first ever Austrian male to make it through to a major quarter final, thanks to a four set win over Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-4.
He will now face off with the 12th ranked Belgian David Goffin, who knocked over Latvian Ernests Gulbis, also in four sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
We really like Goffin in this one and will be taking him straight out at the $2.51 quote with sportsbet.com.au
But, for multi purposes, this one is going to at least four sets and we think that is value at $1.50 for the over 3.5.
This one is probably a toss of the coin head to head, but we feel Goffin has faced the more accomplished clay court players on his way to the quarters and has fought his way through them to get here.
While it would be a fairy tale for Thiem to make it through for a date with Djokovic, we think Goffin will just get through as the underdog in a five set epic.
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