Bernard Tomic v Kevin Anderson
You never know what side of bed Bernard Tomic is going to get out of on any given day and that makes him a difficult player to back to win any match. However I tend to find Tomic is much harder to trust as a big favourite when he is as inconsistent as he is, but this is a number he should be able to control against Kevin Anderson.
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It is Bernard Tomic who has won the majority of matches when facing Kevin Anderson and he has won four in a row agains the South African including in Queens last month.
The hard courts do suit both players, but Anderson has struggled for consistency coming off an injury and that has seen him suffer some disappointing losses. A win over Victor Troicki and Dominic Thiem’s retirement does not prove Anderson is back to his best and the next few weeks will be tough for his World Ranking due to the huge amount of points he needs to defend.
Anderson’s serve is still a big weapon and he is pretty effective from the back of the court too. However I think Tomic will thrive in trying to take Anderson into the long rallies with his variation and the Australian will have the edge if he is serving as well as he can. As much as I do say he is difficult to trust at times, this is a match up Tomic has enjoyed and he has pulled out of the Olympic Games in a bid to improve his World Ranking so motivation should be high enough to see him come through 46, 63, 75.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Bernard Tomic -1.5 Games @ 2.09 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Broker
Kei Nishikori v Rajeev Ram
One of the reasons that I struggle to see Kei Nishikori win a Grand Slam is the physical issues he has had throughout his career. This week he is returning to the court after pulling out of his Wimbledon Fourth Round match against Marin Cilic, but he played well enough in the Second Round win over Dennis Novikov.
Another problem for Nishikori is the vulnerable serve he possesses which puts additional pressure on him to make sure he is returning serve to the best of his ability. There are times when Nishikori can run through service games, but many times he is being forced to win the points in long rallies which can lead to mistakes and offering up break point chances for his opponents.
Nishikori was broken three times in his win over Novikov, but he is facing a limited returner in Rajeev Ram in the Third Round. The American is a threat having come through two Rounds as the underdog, but Ram doesn’t have the strongest record on the hard courts and his serve can be attacked by someone as strong in the return department as Nishikori.
Over the last twelve months, Nishikori has been favoured by this price or lower five times on the hard courts and he has covered this number four times in those matches. His inability to hold serve consistently is a concern, but I think Nishikori will fashion enough break point chances to come through with a 64, 63 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Kei Nishikori -4.5 Games @ 1.65 with Unibet
Tomas Berdych v Ryan Harrison
It has already been a strong week for Ryan Harrison having won four matches in Toronto to reach the Third Round and these Ranking points will be really important for him. The American is trying to get back inside the top 100 in the World Rankings so a decent run at Masters level can be a huge help, although his win over John Isner could have been reversed if his opponent had taken the break points that came his way.
Now Harrison will be facing an opponent in Tomas Berdych that can match the Isner firepower, but is also a much more effective returner and more consistent when it comes to maintaining rallies. Berdych was an impressive Second Round winner over Borna Coric having dropped the first set and he will be confident in winning this match up.
As well as Harrison has played this week, he will give chances up to break his serve as he perhaps pushes a little too much off the ground. Where Isner failed to take advantage I think Berdych will have more success and the latter is capable of producing at least a couple of breaks of serve in this one.
The hard courts clearly suit the Berdych game and he is a player that has been successful covering this number on this surface when favoured by this price or lower. Berdych is capable of throwing in a stinker from time to time, but that is usually in his first match in a tournament rather than after putting at least one win on the board and I think he will break down Harrison in a 75, 63 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Tomas Berdych -4.5 Games @ 2.0 with Bet365
Prices correct at time of writing.