Gael Monfils v Grigor Dimitrov
His supporters will no doubt be thinking that Grigor Dimitrov is ready to get his 2016 season going after his win over Andy Murray in the Third Round. However there have been some false dawns in his performances already this season as the Bulgarian tries to forget the last twelve months which have been difficult to say the least.
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I think he would have hoped for a better match up than facing Gael Monfils who has won the three previous matches between the two. Monfils looks more focused than at any time in his professional career and that has resulted in more consistent results.
Whether it is the athleticism or the superior defensive skills, Monfils has enjoyed playing Dimitrov. His serve is also underrated which gives the Frenchman some easier points and I think he may surprise Dimitrov coming off a big win.
I say surprise but the layers have got things spot on for me in making Monfils a fairly strong favourite. I believed they might go with the bigger ‘name’ but I agree with the layers that Monfils is the favourite to progress and I will back him to do while covering this number.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Gael Monfils -1.5 Games @ 1.77 with UNIBET
Kei Nishikori v Roberto Bautista Agut
I really didn’t expect Roberto Bautista Agut to come through and beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. That belief would have been less so when he dropped the first set 62, but goes to show the confidence the Spaniard has off the back of a couple of title wins in 2016.
However he is going to have to dig mighty deep again if he is going to beat Kei Nishikori who has won all three previous matches. All three might have been tight in terms of sets played, but Nishikori has worn down Bautista Agut each time.
It is hard to see this one going much differently- Bautista Agut is surprising no one with what he brings to the court. Unfortunately this looks a match where everything he does is bettered by Nishikori and so it is hard to see how he wins the match.
Both players have a weakness when it comes to the serve, but Nishikori is more consistent, a better defender and has more of an ability to turn defence into attack. Those factors should make the difference and I expect Nishikori to continue his dominance of this head to head and come through 63, 76.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Kei Nishikori -3.5 Games @ 1.67 with 888 Sports
Prices correct at time of writing.