The men’s draw at Wimbledon 2017 will enter the quarter-final stage on Thursday, and all four encounters look set to serve up some mouth-watering tennis.
There’s a home hero in Andy Murray, the wily old veteran in Roger Federer, a perennial favourite in Novak Djokovic and a pair of big-servers in Marin Cilic and Gilles Muller who couldn’t wish for a better opportunity to get into the last eight of a major.
So where is the smart betting money going?
Andy Murray vs Sam Querrey
The Brit/Scot has coasted through the draw so far, dropping one set on route to the quarter finals. Not bad considering his dodgy hip.
Murray’s opponent in the last eight will be Sam Querrey, against whom he holds a commanding 7-1 head to head lead. Murray has beaten the lanky American in both of their meetings on grass, and took him out in straight sets at the Australian Open at the start of the year.
Factor in that Querrey’s last two matches have both gone to five sets, and we gave to wonder whether he can go to the well yet again on centre court against the home favourite.
As such, the smart money is on a 3-0 Murray win at 5/6.
Gilles Muller vs Marin Cilic
Speaking of fatigue, how well will Gilles Muller recover from his outstanding five set win over Rafa Nadal on Monday?
The Luxembourg power-hitter eventually saw off the French Open champion 15-13 in the fifth, and while he has enjoyed a day off today there will surely still be some stiffness in the legs when he takes to the court against Marin Cilic.
The Croat by contrast has led a charmed life at SW19, winning all four of his matches in straight sets. He’s beaten some handy opponents too, including Philippe Kohlschreiber, Steve Johnson and Roberto Bautista-Agut, so confidence will be high in Cilic’s camp.
He beat Muller as recently as Queens, albeit in a three-set match, and has to be favoured given the gas left in his tank. Muller will focus all his energies on his service games, and simply chuck his racket at Cilic’s serve, so expect plenty of games in this one.
Whether Muller has another five-set epic in him is anybody’s guess, but Over 38.5 Games at 8/13 looks worthy of investment.
Milos Raonic vs Roger Federer
Talk about the beauty and the beast. Roger Federer’s sublime groundstrokes have been in impeccable working order so far, and the 35-year-old has advanced to the quarters without dropping a set. Exactly what old legs need, really.
Milos Raonic is more about his service game, and then feeding off the scraps of his opponent. The Canadian butchers his first serve, and if that part of his game is working well he can beat anybody.
Raonic actually beat Federer in last year’s Wimbledon semi-finals, but the Swiss ace is playing better tennis now than he has in years. He has seen big servers like Raonic come and go over the years, and there are no surprises from the Canadian.
So Federer to win in straightforward fashion is the play, and a -4.5 game handicap at 4/5 is more than fair.
Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Berdych
For Djokovic fans there was real concern on Centre Court on Tuesday. He may have beaten Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, but on three separate occasions he had the doctor on court to aid a shoulder injury.
The Serb was jovial enough in interview after the game, but clearly it is an issue that will impact on his ability to win another Wimbledon crown.
So of all the opponents he could handpick for this stage of the tournament, Djokovic probably would have opted for Tomas Berdych. The pair have met on 27 occasions….with Djokovic winning 25 of them!
Each of the last six have gone the Serb’s way in straight sets, so assuming he is fit there is no reason why he can’t make short work of the Czech.
But the shoulder injury is a concern, and Djokovic will look to end as many points as early as possible. That could lead to some exhilarating tennis but also some unforced errors, so we are going to go with a 3-1 Djokovic win at 11/4.