Wimbledon: Three fancies for Thursday’s action at SW19

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WIMBLEDON continues on Thursday. Here tennis analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) shares his favourite fancies from Day 4 at SW19.

Wimbledon | Day 3 Recap

After a poor couple of days at the start of Wimbledon we finally returned to winning ways as Camila Giorgi landed our 13/8 winner when she took advantage of Madison Keys lack of match sharpness. The Italian took the scenic route to get there and as she spurned five match points in the second set and I was worried that our picks this week had become cursed.

This match followed Qiang Wang who took a set off Venus Williams but still somehow fell under the +4.5 games handicap. All she needed to do was to take two games in the final set but she was unable to do this – the handicap failing to cover was a low likelihood in the event of the player taking a set. This was a frustrating loss.

Piere-Hugues Herbert displayed the level of performance that we anticipated his grass-hating compatriot Benoit Paire to produce. The winner was unusually focussed and got the job done in three comfortable sets. Not many people saw the three-set scoreline, or the eventual winner correct on that one.

My bread and butter, the outrights, are looking in better nick. After the exit of Petra Kvitova yesterday from the 4th Quarter, our selection Simona Halep is now available at 11/4 to win that section having been tipped by our column at 8/1.

Kvitova’s loss is also significant as it firmed Karolina Pliskova as the outright favourite at 3/1, having been tipped before the tournament at 6/1.

We go again on the 4th Day of Wimbledon buoyed by our improved performance yesterday and hopeful of scouring some value winners.

Adrian Mannarino v Yuichi Sugita | Thursday 13:00 | BBC

The pair met on Saturday in the final of Antalya. Those who follow my outright articles will be aware that we had 16/1 on Adrian Mannarino winning that event, and will no doubt have been disappointed by the outcome.

Mannarino played a feeble match seemingly daunted by the occasion, and whilst Yuichi Sugita was barely much better, he at least kept his head cooler than the Frenchman. It wasn’t because of his tennis that Mannarino lost that match.

There is no question that Sugita has been impressive lately. He lifted the Challenger title at Surbiton, won his first main tour title and also won his first career main draw match against Brydan Klein on Tuesday.

That is a lot of achievements in such a short space of time and it might be expected that the wind drops from the Japanese player’s sails before much longer.

There is little to pick apart from the two but Mannarino did start as a 3/4 favourite in Saturday’s final and the pair are tightly-priced again.

Previewing their second round match Mannarino said, “He has made a lot of progress lately. We will see, the playing conditions are different here and then there is the format of the five sets … I hope I will disturb him more than in Turkey.

At odds-against (13/12 Marathon), the value is on Mannarino, who will have motivation to quickly reverse his Antalya disappointment.

Andrey Rublev v Albert Ramos-Vinolas | Thursday 15:00 | BBC

Nineteen-year-old Andrey Rublev is delivering upon the potential that many observers believe can take him near the top of the sport.

The Russian is starting to win matches regularly on the main tour with his aggressive, yet inconsistent, style of play. Rublev defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Halle a couple of weeks back in a close affair, where the Russians extra firepower proved decisive.

Ramos-Vinolas does not have the ability to dictate matches so freely but he scraps hard and really makes his opponent get the better of him. He wears down his opponents and tends to play a lot of long matches as a result.

Rublev has been winning matches lately but has dropped at least one set in seven of his last eight outings. I think Ramos would likely get the better of Rublev over five sets but either way it’s unlikely to be a straightforward victory for the winner.

Some books have the Over 38.5 Games line as low as 17/20 to win, and Marathon is the standout price at 19/20.

Frances Tiafoe v Alexander Zverev | Thursday 17:00 | BBC

This is a battle between two youngsters touted to have strong careers.

Alexander Zverev is nine months older than Frances Tiafoe and is already fulfilling his expectations. Tiafoe, on the other hand, has mostly been playing in Challengers but has shown glimpses of what he can do in the handful of main draw matches already under his belt.

Zverev is being treated by the markets as the finished article and with some books he starts as a 1/14 favourite. This is disrespectful to Tiafoe in what should be no walkover.

Tiafoe has very rarely been outclassed in his main draw outings to date. Tiafoe has this season taken a set from Richard Gasquet on grass, two from Fabio Fognini on clay and a set from Juan Martin del Potro on hard court as well as pushing Roger Federer very close in Miami.

Zverev still has much to prove in the game to justify his billing, and to be frank, his Grand Slam record at this point is mediocre. In his past four Slams he has lost twice when starting as 2/5 favourite or lower. His victory over Donskoy in the first round was only his fourth career straight-set victory in a Grand Slam.

Tiafoe will give Zverev a better match than the odds indicate. He can be backed at over evens to win a set – Tiafoe +2.5 Sets can be backed at 11/8 with Betway.

Best Bets

Adrian Mannarino v Yuichi Sugita – Adrian Mannarino to win (13/12 Marathon)

Andrey Rublev v Albert Ramos-Vinolas – Over 38.5 Games (19/20 Marathon)

Frances Tiafoe v Alexander Zverev – Frances Tiafoe +2.5 sets (13/8 Betway)

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