Anyone for tennis? Summer 2018 sports discussion thread

We’re happy to host discussion on any betting-related events for which our commenters have an appetite. Here’s a thread for your tips, thoughts and chat about the remainder of the French Open, the World Cup, Wimbledon and any other sporting event that takes your fancy.

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109 comments to Anyone for tennis? Summer 2018 sports discussion thread

  • Stoney

    France to win the world cup. That’s the bet to be involved in.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Hi Andrew

    Thanks for the thread.

    Sorry. I’ve been intending to write something for this for a couple of days but I’m starting a new job on Monday and I’ve just not got it done.

    I had pictures picked out and everything and I’m just watching Serena Williams to make sure it’s not out of date minutes after it’s posted.

    Perhaps if I get it done you can pop it in later.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I was intending to write a piece to open this thread but time has got the better of me. I start a new job on Monday. I’ve spent the last few days running around closing things down. I’ve now got medical questionnaires and background check forms to fill in and there’s Star Wars laser drone battles in the garden. I don’t have time to polish my prose or go deep into my thinking so I’ll summarise. I’ll be happy to discuss further though if anyone is interested. I enjoy talking about tennis.

    As far as the men go it’s hard to see beyond the obvious favourites – Rafa in Paris and Flushing Meadow and Roger at Wimbledon. Rafa has been imperious and barring injury there’s no reason to see that changing. Last year Roger was so dominant in the Wimbledon final that Maran Cilic started crying on court. I expect Roger to be even better this year. Novak is the most likely turd in the punchbowl – not at Roland Garros but possibly at Wimbledon and even more possibly at Flushing Meadow. A lot depends on his elbow but his fitness is improving and he knows how to win matches even when he is struggling.

    As far as the women go, I think it’s going to be Serena, Serena and Serena. I thought that the physical demands of clay would be too much for her and it would be more a warm up for Wimbledon than a serious title challenge. Having seen her last night I can’t see anyone to beat her except, possibly, Petra Kvitova. The thing that tips it in Serena’s favour for me is her mentality. This is one tough competitor.

    In 2007 she came back after nearly two years mooching around trying to make it as an actress. She announced she intended to go back to being #1 in the world and win more Grand Slams. Pat Cash famously called her “deluded”. Boy was he wrong.

    I watched the Australian Open final that year. Maria Sharapova was the pundits’ favourite, the commentators’ favourite, the bookies’ favourite and the punters’ favourite. She won 3 games. Serena destroyed her in just over an hour.

    The day afterwards The New York Times said:

    It has been two weeks of turning back the clock for Serena Williams, and under a closed roof during the Australian Open women’s final Saturday, she completed her astoundingly quick trip back to dominance against the top-seeded Maria Sharapova.

    Under the lights, she was the relentless Williams of yore: crushing returns and first serves, casting ominous glances across the net and showing not the slightest hint of vulnerability as she raced to a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

    The rout, which required just one hour and three minutes, capped one of the most remarkable comebacks in tennis history…

    I think they’ll be saying pretty much the same thing after Saturday’s final.

    • Jessica Hamby

      *next Saturday’s final

      *blush*

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Do you think Serena playing doubles with Venus this French Open is proving a help to her single’s quest?

      • Jessica Hamby

        The doubles is a good thing imo. I don’t think it will do any harm. Venus is out of the singles so she can do the running and Serena can stay at the net. I haven’t watched them but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how they’re playing it.

        It’ll be interesting to see what she does if she finds herself in two semi-finals or having to play two matches in the same day. I suspect she’ll just go for it. She should know her body and what it’s capable of by now.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Yeah, I read it the same way: helpful in accumulating match sharpness and court time, now; but potentially taxing and difficult to negotiate, later.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Match practice is the thing, isnt it. For all that she looks a bit undercooked – like she’s carrying too much extra weight – she’s moving very well and she’s clearly very fit. It’s getting back the competitive mindset and the concentration that’s important.

            She’s going to get a workout later today. Goerges is one of the most improved players on the tour this year. Her serve is great too. It’s another step up.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Would love to watch Williams vs Sharapova!

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            The big fight, Serena vs Sharapova, is indeed on tomorrow. Can’t help thinking that Sharapova’s ugly comments about Serena in her bravely titled book / PR exercise will rise up and bite her on her derrière tomorrow.

            Sharapova might have been better served waiting until she’d finished her playing career, before publishing? Wonder if she’s cost herself the chance of this Slam?

            I know who the crowd on Philippe-Chatrier will be rooting for and cheering on tomorrow.

            https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/serena-williams-vs-maria-sharapova-12643185

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Gosh! Disappointing as anything that Serena had to withdraw (pre-match). Sharapova must be gutted now that she didn’t get the chance to break that impossible 14 year hold that Serena has over her.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      (As usual) It is difficult to see past Nadal at this French Open. On the basis that he suffered with injuries this year, I backed (pre-tourney) against Nadal in the form of Goffin, who has just survived a war of 5 set war attrition (and 4 match points!) against Monfils. He’s through to the 4th round but as all the big guns are still in play, Goffin is still a biggish outsider. Darn shame they couldn’t finish the match last night, with at that point Monfils questionable fitness looking to be failing him. Goffin desperately needs to benefit from an opponent retiring.

      Interesting looking at the bottom half of the draw, specifically the bottom quarter. I hadn’t realised that only one of Thiem, Nishikori, Khachanov and (A.) Zverev can make into to the semi final. In the bottom half, there’s a chance of a player or two prospering from playing an exhausted Goffin and / or Zverev? (I’m short on hope up for Goffin.)

      On that potential basis, Thiem and Djokovic might be the most likely to prosper? But as they are virtual single figure prices, I’ve instead had a very, very small EW punt on the veteran Verdasco at 250s.

      Personally, I think Fed at a best price of 7/4 to win Wimbledon is too short. For example: Djokovic has beaten Fed in consecutive finals there.

      • Jessica Hamby

        A few years ago Djoko at his best would beat Fed at his best. Right now Djoko is not at his best and his confidence is fragile. He’s certainly not the man who won 4 slams on the spin. Meanwhile Fed’s confidence is very high and he’s playing some of the best tennis of his life. He’s moved his game on to keep up with the latest tactics, techniques and ideas and he’s beating players 15 years younger than he is.

        It’ll be interesting if they meet at Wimbledon – no doubt about that. I’ll add that I think Nadal is better than either of them but he’s gone out early at Wimbledon these past few years. Maybe that’s the effect of his utter commitment to the clay.

        It’ll be interesting to see them all at the US Open, hopefully all back to their best.

        I don’t follow the men enough to have an informed opinion on anyone else. Love to watch Monfils though, so from a viewers point of view I thought it was a shame he went out.

        The other one I always take an interest in is Juan Martine de Potro. I’d like him to reach another GS final or two before he retires. He’s so committed and he uses his racquet like a club. Fabulous to watch.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Zverev seems to be making very hard work of this tournament. It seems likely to me that his luck will run out before the sem-final.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Svitolina’s out early again, as we predicted. Hard to believe that people backed her up to favourite.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I was going to mention you’re already right about her!

      • Jessica Hamby

        I wish I’d had something on the outcome. If it wasn’t this round then it would have happened next round.

        I’m going to keep an eye out for her at Wimbledon. I hope she does well in the warm-up tournaments.

  • Jessica Hamby

    You can read the Pat Cash article I referred to in my 6:54 pm post here. It’s worth reading just to see how completely wrong he was. He ladles it on pretty thick.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    “Nicole Vaidisova”?

    Who are they?

    Exactly!

    Pat Cash’s version of a Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush song would be “Do Give Up.”

    He’s just a jealous guy.

    The thing with Serena is she doesn’t have (relatively) that many miles on the clock. Similar to Ronnie O’Sullivan.

    Has he penned any similar predictive articles about Federer or Ennis or Woods?

  • Jessica Hamby

    Tennis bet of the day: Gasquet to beat Nadal and Petkovic to beat Halep.

    It’s not very likely (hence the odds) but in a two horse race anything can happen, Halep might implode (plus Petkovic is former top 10 and playing well at the moment) and Nadal might twist an ankle!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Giorgi takes the first set off Sloane. Kontaveit takes the first set off Petra. Things are not going according to plan at the moment. Neither is over yet though.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Goerges looks beaten already. Serena is tournament leader for aces even though to all intents and purposes she’s played on game less than almost everyone else.

    I almost feel sorry for Maria Sharapova.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Goffin and Verdasco both bit the dust. Djoko is looking stronger with every match. Imo he’ll beat Zverev if they meet in a semi-final.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Yes, I suspected Goffin would be toast after that war of attrition ‘gainst Monfils. Should have backed the immediate big outsider against him.

      I did however have a medium to largish bet on Sloane to win today. Remarkably, she was the 11/10 outsider to beat Kontaveit today (who was a general 8/11).

      I was amazed to be backing Sloane again because, as I’ve previously mentioned (on another thread) at the tourney outset, I have silly amounts of money running onto her for this French Open.

      https://sofabet.com/2018/05/27/bgt-2018-live-shows-discussion-thread/#comment-90753

      She is seeded 10, Kontaveit was seeded 25, and it is Sloane who is the 2017 US Open champion and 2018 Miami Open winner. Is odd that an American Grand Slam winner, with an instagram followers total at over a quarter of a million, and who is a Sports Illustrated Swimwear model is always available at very backable odds.

      She’s into 12s now (I have her at up to 80s) and next up is a beast of a match against either Wozniacki or Nadal-inspired Kasatkina.

      Am praying that Sloane can win at least another 2 more matches. (3 more wins would be a dream.) Literally praying.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      There’s an argument that Djokovic is the true (men’s) GOAT.

      He mastered Fed at Wimbledon, and mastered Nadal at Roland Garros. And had two of the most stellar calendar years of all time.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Well he beat Rafa in 2015 but he lost in the final to Stan Wawrinka. Hard to go against Roger on titles won but personally I think Rafa is the most complete player of all of them. Whatever happens this year is shaping up to be a doozy. Djoko looked great today. A final between him and Rafa would be great.

        After you talked about Sloane I got her at 50/1. It’s for the win but you never know. She’s playing well at the moment. She defends like Wozniacki or Kerber but she’s got better attack than Wozniacki and more variety than Kerber. She could certainly reach the final in that half of the draw and no-one in the top half will scare her.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Yes, Sloane’s game reminds me of Kerber. Great defence yet with the power to suddenly turn defence into counter attack. With her powerful and athletic frame she could be Serena’s younger sister but her game is Kerber-like.

          Wozniacki and Kasatkina locked in a heck of an evenly matched struggle. Play suspended. Probably certain to be finished tomorrow now. .

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Djokovic crushed Nadal that time. It probably inspired Nadal to take his clay game to new heights. Would be awesome to see a fully match-fit Djoko vs Nadal.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Next up for Sloane: Nadal-inspired Kasatkina, a player I happened to back last year (but not this year) for the French.

            No predictions, no chat. Just need Sloane to win.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Well. Sloane won and is into the Semi Final.

    There was a titanic struggle in the 8th game of the first set, when Kasatkina didn’t hold that service game. As soon as Sloane took that 1st set I suspected she would win the 2nd set as well – which she did (6-1). The basis of this thought came from information Kasatkina provided in an interview subsequent to her win over Wozniacki, wherein she mentioned her relief that play was suspended halfway through the 2nd set (the day previous) as at that point she was “very tired.” Kasatkina, I suspect, was finding the emotion of the occasion draining her.

    In the betting markets, Sloane was initially 2nd favourite last night for this match (though her price did contract as the money came for her).

    Next up, Sloane plays her good friend Madison Keys.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Reasons I didn’t back Kasatkina for this year’s French (although backed her for last year’s) were that a) her odds this year have, imo, always been very short and b) it became evident that, despite great results, her serve needs work.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Been busy with the new job so haven’t been able to watch or post. Great results for us so far though. Looking forward to the semis tomorrow.

    Kasatkina’s got a lot of skill but lacks power. She needs a growth spurt or to put some hours in at the gym.

    C’mon Sloane!!!!!

  • Stoney

    Djokovic knocked out by an unneeded player. Think that makes Fed a banker for yet another Wimbledon title. Although wont be long til someone like Thiem or Zherov wins it.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Djoko should have won that tie break. He missed a couple of easy shots. To me he looks like he’s still not match sharp. The weird press conference was because he was upset. I wouldn’t count him out for Wimbledon. If anything he’s going to be more dangerous because of this.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Looking at the current odds on the outright for the ladies, Sloane is third favourite (of a field of four) in the 14/5 to 7/2 range and looks slightly underpriced. There’s an argument that could be made for Keys being overpriced at 7s, but what’s most noticeable is that the market clearly expects the winner of the tournament to come from the semi between Muguruza and Halep, with them as the general, joint 7/4 outright favourites.

    As the tournament pyramid narrows to its apex it becomes more difficult to pick out any value in the small and congested betting market.

    Instead of analysing that coin-toss thicket, I will be refocusing on the footy World Cup, deciding on which of the myriad of (mainly) double and treble figure odds feel worth a tickle, nibble and flutter.

    Meanwhile, as Jessica says: c’mon Sloane!

  • Jessica Hamby

    I think they’re underestimating Sloane. She didn’t do much after winning the US because, as she put it in her victory speech, “Did you see the size of the cheque they just gave me?”

    I posted elsewhere that her coach was trying to get her to play at her best level outside of the US. Looks like it’s working.

    The clash of styles should make for a great match and I don’t think Sloane will be making loads of unforced errors like Angie Kerber.

    C’mon Sloane.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    And breathe … !

    Thank you, Sloane. Not that she’s doing what she’s doing for the benefit of a punter … haha! … but, by gum, she’s sort of come to the rescue of me.

    She’s … incidentally … landed me some ridiculous EW singles, doubles and a treble. If she wins on Saturday she’ll land me approximately 75% to 80% more. Come to think of it, I’ve had some silly returns from tennis betting, but this tops the lot. And there’s still Saturday to come. I’ve landed an 80/1 winner before at tennis: Elena Vesnina, when she won the Eastbourne tourney about six years ago, as I recall. I’m rooting for Sloane to be another. It’s all proving therapeutic in helping me over my shambolic mismanagement and profit minimization of my recent 140/1 golf winner. Ha!

    As a punter, I find it calming to understand that I’m not actually doing any of the work, and am adding nothing. The wins aren’t as ego boosting; the losses aren’t as sickening.

    I’ve long been a fan of Sloane’s, and perhaps my 2nd favourite female player is Simona Halep. I suppose a small (micro!) part of me will be wishing Halep well come Saturday. I thought she was magnificent over the course of her Australian Open campaign (even though she lost in the final).

    Might have a very small dabble on the Set Exacta, on the Thiem semi.

  • Stoney

    Ive just noticed England are 16/1 to win the world cup. This has to be one of the worst value bets I’ve ever seen. Should be 50s

    • Jessica Hamby

      Agreed.

      I pulled Costa Rica in the office sweepstake and despite the friendly result I still expect them to go further than England.

      • Stoney

        More than likely. The likelyhood is that our first choice team that didnt play against Costa Rica will bottle it as usual and be lucky to get out of the group.

        • Alan

          As rubbish as we usually are we’ve only got to be better than Tunisia and Panama to get out of the group. If we don’t do that I’m never watching England ever again.

          We don’t face anyone good in the last 16 either – Senegal, Japan, Poland or Columbia.

          I’m predicting a return to our usual tournament performances of beating the dross and losing to the first half decent side we face.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      As woeful as that 16/1 for England is, I’d rather be on that than the 33s for Russia that I’ve seen. Argentina at 17/2 doesn’t look right, either!

      • Jessica Hamby

        Home advantage can count for a lot. Russia might magic their way to the semis even thought it’s unlikely that they reach the final. Most host teams seem to reach the quarter finals and from there it’s just a game away…..

        • Stoney

          I’ve got Russia down to win their group. As Jess said home advantage means a lot in these tournaments.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            I was going to say that that’s a bold call, but then I checked Russia’s price to win their group – am shocked to see that Hills have them at 6/4.

            If, as you say, England should really be 50/1 to win the World Cup (albeit, as I said on the other thread, I think Southgate is exactly the right manager for England), then Russia, I would say, should be 150/1.

          • Jessica Hamby

            WH have them at 8/1 to reach the semi-final.

          • Stoney

            Russia look nailed on to win the group now.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I happened to focus on Group A, when looking at the Top Goalscorer market, figuring Cavani has potential to fill his shooting boots, against a couple of weak-looking sides, which, in my opinion, are Saudi and Russia.

        Have traded out now on Cavani (amongst others, for a profit), when I noticed, from recent Uruguay matches, that it’s Suarez who takes the penalties. I figured it would be better to back Uruguay to win the World Cup rather than pick one striker over the other, or rather than do both.

        I’ve come to the conclusion that the top goalscorer market is just too hard! And so traded out on all my bets on that market, save my two largest odds selections.

        In that Group A, I think it must be to Uruguay’s advantage that they play Egypt first, bearing in mind Salah’s fight for fitness from injury, since Ramos’s curious challenge.

        In trying to find a way to boost Uruguay’s 10/11 quote to win their Group, I settled on the 6/1 straight forecast for Uruguay to finish ahead of Egypt.

        Bearing in mind Liverpool’s Champion’s League scoring record this season, it’s possible to make an argument for backing one or all of Neymar, Jesus and Coutinho EW for top goalscorer, if you fancy Brazil to do very well. But, as I say, I’m mostly out of that market, as it’s a flipping bet magnet of a market.

        Cashed out on Coutinho for top Brazilian goalscorer, as it’s become clear that Neymar has been targeting a big World Cup, rather than rush back to help what was PSG’s domestic cakewalk.

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          One of my top goalscorers I’m letting ride is Aleksander Mitrovich, who I have at uo to @320, but is currently @130 (Serbia recently walloped a terrible Bolivian side, in a match where it seemed just one man and his dog were watching).

          Although I’m in two minds whether to trade out as I don’t see where the goals to be had in Group E are: against Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica.

          Compare that with Lukaku’s task in Group G: being fed by the likes of Hazard and De Bruyne and facing Panama, Tunisia and an attack-minded (midfield set-up) England. Perhaps there’s a grain of truth in the perception of Lukaku as a flat track bully, or superior Heskey, and if so, that might not be a negative here? Just makes me think that Mitrovich @130 is far, far too low. Serbia (@180) would have to make the Semis of Final for him to be a contender? But I don’t find Lukaku’s odds @19 to be particularly attractive. I don’t suppose it was likely that the main striker for Manchester United would be trading at anything other than tight-looking odds?

          • Alan

            I don’t really rate Lukaku as a top class striker. Goes missing too often for my liking and I’d question how many important goals he scores. Havent looked at the market yet.

            Have just lumped on Jordan Spieth at 24s in the US Open. Ridiculously over-priced.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Watched extended highlights of the Belgium vs Costa Rica match. Hazard was excellent, running the show, making so many chances. Lukaku can often look / be a clumsy player, making a bit of a mess of several chances.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            I love watching Jordan Spieth (particularly at The Masters.) It’s refreshing to watch a modern, highest tier golfer who relies on skills that don’t include wielding the bomber driver to overpower a course. I hope he learns to speed up his play before the shot-clock becomes a regular feature.

            I’m on Paddy, Xander Unpronounceable and Gazza.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Looks like I was completely wrong about the Russian team at the World Cup. However atrocious Saudi Arabia are, Russia have just put 5 goals past them.

            Over at the US Open venue, it’s carnage. The opening day’s play is far from over and there’s already a dozen players at +10 or more, including one poor sod who shot +22!

            I might have backed the wrong Paddy as Patrick Rodgers is a shot better off than my guy Patrick Reed. Xander has (currently) started fairly well (though he’s just bogeyed his 9th hole (the 18th). Gary Woodland is leaking bogeys and dropping like a stone. I’ve another couple of runners who are doing ok: one (Luke List) better than the other. Should be a clearer picture at the halfway stage. Patrick and Xander are by far my main bets so I’m particularly rooting for them.

          • Guido Horn Forever

            US Open: last round tomorrow.

            Patrick is T7, and Xander and Gary are T16. Am v surprised they are still in with any kinds of chance. I’d lost hope in them. It’s the leaders’ scores being +3 which has brought my trio’s scores into some kind of reckoning, rather than their surging up the leaderboard, etc.

            Don’t know what to expect. Many players are reporting the conditions (and the pin positions) as unplayable. There could be a surprise winner on the cards? The style of play required will be set by the USGA and the weather. I note there’s a bevy of elite power hitters at the tippy top of the leaderboard. Hopefully, conditions and the style of play required tomorrow won’t suit them.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Patrick Reed went on a storming run and was at one point tied for the flipping lead! I partially traded against, and locked in a medium sized profit overall.

            He subsequently went on a bogey run, but possibly might be currently rallying, somewhat. Hope he does as a) I would have the kudos of picking an @65 winner and b) it would be worth a lot of money to me!

            Round of the day, and possibly the winning round of the day, is Tommy Fleetwood’s.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Patrick is one behind the clubhouse leader, and 2nd place on the leaderboard, Tommy Fleetwood. He needs a birdie (and a par) on his last two holes to tie Tommy, and then would be hoping that Kopeka, in particular, has a bogey or two on his last few holes.

            Xander is currently tied for 8th (which counts as a place for me – bugger off, Justin Rose!). Again, following on from my betting adventures with Sloane Stephens EW multi sports bets, I have EW doubles on both Patrick and Xander combined with a tennis player who will be competing in a few weeks!

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Well, Koepka defended his title, and led in driving distance over the week.

            Patrick finished 4th and Xander finished in a four way tie for 6th (meaning slightly reduced terms on that EW double – place terms ran to the top 8).

            Btw, I’ll say it now that my EW doubles, (notwithstanding another bet) are running onto Kevin for Wimbledon. I think I took 45s or 50s for Patrick, 100s for Xander and 50s for Kevin. So, off the doubles I have a good 3 figure sum in place money running onto Kevin at 25s (to reach the final).

            Whereas a fit Rafa looked unbeatable at the French, I question if Roger is a value bet at a general 6/4 to win Wimbledon, a tournament during which he will be less than a month shy of his 37th birthday. I think there’s a bunch of players (Kevin is just one of them) who can realistically run Roger very close.

          • Guildo Horn Forever

            Pleased to see Lukaku has scored a couple of goals against a minnow. I backed him on a couple of the “free bet token every time he scores” top goalscorer market specials. (Without that incentive I wouldn’t have done him.)

            I’m not a particularly a big fan of his, or of Belgium, but Group G has always had the look of an ideal hunting ground for him.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Some interesting stats on the final (although of course pre-match stats do not guarantee the outcome)

    Halep may be the sentimental favorite in the final, but Stephens has looked ruthless through the second week in Paris. The 25-year-old American has won 69% of her 1st serve points (Halep: 64%) while serving at 74% first serves in (Halep: 62%). She is also winning 67% of her second serve points (Halep: 55%). Stephens has been broken just 7 times all tournament (Halep: 14), facing just 12 break points over the fortnight (Halep: 33).

    And a podcast

    http://www.wtatennis.com/news/insider-podcast-personalities-clash-halep-vs-stephens-roland-garros-final

  • Jessica Hamby

    Just done a double on Sloane and Novak for Wimbledon. Thought it best to get in now.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Is it me or does anyone else think the tv commentators are biased in favour of Halep? It seems like they want her to win and even think that she deserves to win and they’re calling the game from that perspective.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Ouch. Feeling for you Guildo. Hope it’s not too disappointing.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      It’s all good, Jess. Her semi-win was a majority win for me; more than I’ve ever previously won. A feeling of delight and relief has stayed with me.

      So I can feel magnanimous towards Simona Halep, another of my fave tennis players, despite her victory today costing me a stonking heap of extra money. I felt her seven match tournament performance in the Aussie Open merited a win – this win today for her was due, deserved and earned. Just wish it had been at a different slam…!

      • Jessica Hamby

        I was on Sloane for the win at 50/1. I’m a bit disappointed. At one set and two love up I thought it was in the bag.

        Oh well…..

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Hi Jessica,

          Even if you don’t use betfair, you can still lock in profit, or cover your total stakes, by backing against your main selection or selections, in a competition’s latter stages. Halep would have been good odds when Sloane went up a set.

          I know from personal experience on this site that if you write a preview piece that doesn’t predict the event as you foresaw, then you can feel reluctant about reposting about subsequent events.

          Hope it’s just that you’re busy with your new job, as it feels a bit odd just me posting about the tennis here, as I can tell that you follow the sport more closely than I do. I liked reading your perspective.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    I’m guessing this will help attacking sides? And / or attacks featuring super-pacy forwards, such as France?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44459554

  • Chris Bellis

    I think you are right. Any thoughts on tomorrow? I’m thinking a draw. Tunisia has the whole of the Arab world behind it.

  • Stoney

    Spain will win the world cup.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Some thoughts on the current tennis tourneys:

    Underpriced: Novak as the favourite to win Queens; as low as 9/4 (!) with PP.

    Underpriced: Again at ATP Queens, Murray at 13/8 to beat Kyrgios. That’s a poor price, imo. Which is suggestive of Kyrgios to win in straight sets at 6/5 being a touch of value, perhaps.

    There’s an overpriced outright winner somewhere at Queens, I feel, but there’s too many live contenders to like. Think Anderson may take the bottom half. Possibly, Kyrgios the tougher looking upper half.

    Overpriced: At ATP Halle, Khachanov at 28/1 EW, at a half the odds a place. I’ve just been bet boosted up to 33s. Which is my only tennis bet this week. He has a tricky opener, but the odds compensate for that.

  • Chris Bellis

    Guildo FIFA ranked Russia below Saudi Arabia, so if anything it’s they who got it wrong. See how Russia’s odds have dropped now.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Thanks Chris, but I did get it wrong too! Russia’s ranking dive was inevitable as they hadn’t been playing any competitive matches in which to accumulate ranking points.

      The Russian team situation reminded me of problems consistent with the English team situ. For example, name Russian players who play outside of their own league? That’s a very tough question, isn’t it? (It wouldn’t have been once, but is now.)

      But Russia scored 5 goals! And Uruguay should have stuffed Egypt, with Suarez missing umpteen chances, so unless Saviour Salah has an immense comeback game (which is possible), Russia look good to beat Egypt and thus progress – putting paid to my Uruguay-Egypt straight fc bet.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Am not too surprised that England looked pretty good today. I’ve mentioned a couple of times about how promoting the person coaching the youth and “unders” teams can lead to success. Southgate is likely the right man for the job.

    https://sofabet.com/2018/05/27/bgt-2018-live-shows-discussion-thread/#comment-90828

    Group G has long looked ripe for big beast strikers to fill their boots. Lukaku and Kang both scored a brace today. I very nearly took 2s on Kane as the 1st goalscorer on the BetFred special (double delight etc) but resisted when I watched an interview with Kane where he was unnecessarily comparing himself to Ronaldo and bigging up England’s chances.

    I saw bits and pieces of the England match and apparently England have issues in defence?

    Looking pre tournament at the outrights my developed impressions were that the underpriced teams were: France, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, England and Russia. There’s different issues and concerns with all of those sides.

    I liked Brazil and Spain as favourites, but have backed neither. Spain look magnificent but I can’t shake the feeling / hunch that they will go out in the knock-out stages, due to a series of self-inflicted mistakes and un-Spain-like howlers. Unforced errors, if you will.

    I backed four teams on the outright:
    Uruguay – looking at Argentina’s odds influenced me.
    Colombia – looking at Argentina’s odds influenced me!
    (Plus both teams are seasoned, savvy and street-wise, and packed with top-notch players.)
    Serbia – they looked the best value East European-y side (excuse my geography!), with some very interesting players.
    Senegal – they looked “solid” with a bit of stardust in the form of Sadio Mane up front (while the majority of unhelpful media attention is on the impending return of another Liverpool forward, to an African side…).

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Had the opportunity to cash out for a tiny loss on my Group A sf. My silly mistake not to. Russia have now scored 8 goals after 2 games. Stoney was right.

    Colombia lost, but there is always the risk of a “streetwise” team from South American qualifying running into trouble at a VAR World Cup. Senegal winning was a bit of a boost.

    Kyrgios scraped a moody, sulky, attention-seeking victory over Murray. Delighted I skipped having any bets on Queens this week. Sorry to see Anderson out in the 1st round – which is concerning.

    My focus and hopes are on Halle and with Khachinov and, so far, things are working out v well – though it’s early days.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      As mentioned, the other day I took the boosted EW 33s for Khachinov, who subsequently drifted out to 40s (so took that EW as well), took EW 20s as well after he defeated Mischa in the first round. He was 2nd favourite to beat Nishikori today (which surprised me), but, regrettably, I didn’t back him to win that match.

      Remarkably he’s now into 15/2 2nd favourite, but it’s still early days in Halle.

      Had a look at the match stats for Anderson at Queens – which assuaged my concerns about his form.

      The player most able to beat Federer at Wimbledon this year – in my opinion is Cilic. He’s my idea of the 2nd favourite. He’s underestimated.

      Got Costa at 5/2 for small stakes on 1st goalscorer on a PP promotion – but I have to say that never mind my hunch about Spain going out unexpectedly early in the knockout stages, wildly improbable and wildly mathematically improbable as it seems with 4 points already, might they not progress from the group stage?

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    That’s such a mixed feeling. Turned on the footy to see John Stones scored the first goal for England – which I backed EW (which PP have already paid me out on), and backed in a EW double with Cilic for Wimbledon. What’s annoying me is that I kept the stakes small, and worse, didn’t back him with Betfred, as Stones has scored again, which will have triggered the double delight bonus. Hatrick Heaven activation would make me cry. Grrrr! Stones for first goalscorer was a big priced easy pick, I have to say. He was the virtual first goalscorer against Tunisia.

    Khachinov was beaten in the quarters at Halle. Annoying as a) Khachinov’s victor subsequently retired v early in his semi final and b) before any of that Federer had survived 2 match points against Benot Paire. If he hadn’t, then Khachinov would have gone tourney favourite, bringing lovely trading and cash out opportunities. Federer has struggled all week and been complaining of tiredness all week, too.

    When Mitrovich scored the first goal for Serbia (which I didn’t back) against Switzerland the other day, I was delighted and hopeful he would bag a couple more, and progress Serbia. That didn’t happen. But I found it v frustrating to read the match report and view the pictures of Mitrovich being literally wrestled to the ground in the penalty box. I expected a VAR World Cup would be to the detriment of physical sides such as the Swiss? Then again, I expected a VAR World Cup would hep nullify home advantage for the Russian team!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5875839/It-mugging-Rio-Ferdinand-says-Swiss-lucky-not-concede-penalty-against-Serbia.html

    I don’t see why Morocco can’t beat Spain. The Spanish squad must still be suffering internal eruptions beneath the surface, and David De Gea seems to be bothered by something and is not playing to his high Man Utd standards. Morocco were the dominant side against both Iran and Portugal and they are a team who don’t concede many goals at all. Iran, if they’re recovered from their exhortations against Spain, could squeeze a tight match against Portugal. Portugal will play for the draw, and it could backfire.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Gutted.

      Morocco, my 12/1 shots to beat Spain, led twice, including in the 81st minute, when they went 2-1 up. An injury time equaliser denied me a very tasty win. I was in a meeting and unable to cash out.

      I noticed that my analysis above of the Spain team, was proved correct as early as the 14th minute of the match when a mix up between the ex Barcelona captain, Iniesta, and the Real Madrid and Spain captain, Ramos, let the Moroccon goalscorer in, who put the ball through De Gea’s legs, who at that point hadn’t registered a single save in the tournament.

      I had Morocco for the win, and in cross doubles with Iran to beat Portugal, and to draw with Portugal (which they did). But nothing involving Morocco to draw. It couldn’t get worse or more frustrating.

      Colombia were stunning yesterday, which was delightful to see. And John Stones is a top bloke :-D.

      The day had started very well, with Uruguay cruising past Russia, and so topping Group A. Russia were 2 goals down, even before they had a player sent off. And having a player sent off won’t help them in their next match. The benefit of either playing against Spain or against Portugal in the knockout phase will become evident after the matches have been played – predictions of what is a favourable or unfavourable draw are often far off the mark. I mean: who was predicting a Morocco win against Spain today!

      A good couple of a days for me, overall, I suppose. Close to being wonderful.

      Group H contains 2 of my outright selections: Columbia and Senegal. They play each other on Thursday. I only see a win for my Colombia, which means Poland would have to beat Japan, in the other match, to give my Senegal any chance of progressing out the group.

      • Stoney

        It appears I may have been overestimating Spains chances of winning the world cup. Amazingly they are now the favourites. I would expect them to beat Russia but then may have to pull the plug and hope France kick into some sort of life.

        • Stoney

          Hoping to see Spain step it up a bit against Russia and dont see them having many problems today. I will assess todays game before deciding whether i pull some Spain stakes off and get some more on the French who impressed me yesterday and seem to be growing into the competition now.

          • Stoney

            Cashing out. Spain have no hope. Deserve to go out now. 74% possession and cant even score a goal or pressure the keeper more than once.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Glad you got away from Spain in time, Stoney. I’ve seen their shock early exit coming from pre-tournament. Never understood their 2nd favouritism on the outright. I further predict the internal ruptions in the camp, which inevitably played out on the pitch, will soon start leaking in the media, as the recriminations outpour.

        The group matches have been close to fantastic for me. with Uruguay knocking out Portugal; and 2nd favourite Spain being knocked out. The icing on the cake would have been Denmark knocking out Croatia. So close! I rated them equal – but was on Denmark as they were 10 times the odds of Croatia.

        I’d fancy Uruguay to beat France (am thinking Real Madrid versus Liverpool) but am very, very concerned about Cavani’s injury. I traded out at largish odds on Columbia post their Senegal match on the basis of conflicting injury news re the absolutely sublime James Rodriguez. Otherwise, I would be sweet on Columbia to take England. I still believe Falcao will score a goal in that match. Difficult to call, as England have goals in them. I find it difficult to factor in the injuries to key players, when assessing.

        My World Cup interest is now reduced to Uruguay, Sweden and Switzerland all on the outright, and Coutinho for the Golden Ball. It’s been Brazil who look to me like they have extra gears They look worthy favourites to me, but I haven’t backed them.

        • Stoney

          Good call with Spain Guildo.
          Im now riding on France who were impressive in seeing off the Argies. They seem to be finding some form now when it matters. Cavani is unlikely to play against them on Friday. The winner of that game really should be favourites for the world cup.
          I managed to get some of the 8/1 on England last week. I still have big doubts on how strong we are but everything is opening up perfectly for us and I’m starting to believe once again.

          • Stoney

            Just need England to get through tomorrow night and I’m guaranteed a nice profit from the final.
            France look the winners now though. We would need a lot of luck to see them off in the final as would Croatia.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Federer has just been beaten in the Halle final. That was a predictable loss, as a host of players have come close to beating him this week.

    Coric has just beaten him. I expect there will be a slew of bets on Coric fow Wimbledon now – which in my opinion will be misguided.

    Coric knocked out A.Zverev in his first round match, Bautista-Agut in his semi, and has just beaten Federer. But that’s not as impressive as it seems.

    A.Zverev paid the price for soldiering on, injured, against Thiem in the French Open Semi the other week. Bautista-Agut retired. And Federer has been there for the taking all week, while regularly complaining of tiredness.

    Since my Sloane win, I’ve been overbetting, and took the decision last night to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, this was the night before Stones scored the first goal for England and Federer was beaten in the Halle final.

    • Stoney

      Have to admit im eyeing up the 33/1 for Coric to win Wimbledon. 7/4 for Federer winning another title is too short even though no one would be surprised if the great one won another title.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    The weakness / brittleness of the otherwise esteemed opposition Coric beat this week could be disguising how well he’s actually playing. Personally, I’m not that impressed, but for the above reason I could easily be wrong.

    I’ve got all sorts of monies running onto Cilic and to Anderson for Wimbledon. That was a mega win for Cilic today. Jessica identified or hinted that Djokovic was struggling for confidence during his French Open defeat to Cecchinato. Jessica also hinted that that defeat might have a galvanising effect on Djokovic. I think she was spot on with both calls. Djokovic, arguably a potential GOAT, above Federer and Nadal, looked to be approaching top form of old today. But he’s obviously struggling for confidence at clutch moments. I’m reminded of Tiger Woods this PGA season, at moments when he was in final round contention. Cilic lost his first 14 matches against Djokovic! He’s now won the last 2. It was vital he beat Djokovic today, because Novak will improve for the pressure he re-experienced today, so if Cilic couldn’t win today then I wouldn’t have been hopeful for him in a Wimbledon rematch! Another player against whom Cilic has a dire head to head record is Del Potro (who has won their last 8 meetings!) Del Potro looks overpriced to me for Wimbledon, considering he has had a run of sensational results this year, and more importantly has been healthy enough to be very consistent and build his stamina, including winning 16 hard court matches on the trot, which encompassed 2 tourneys! I always find it difficult to back Del Potro because of his chronic tendonitis affected and adapted backhand, but I still remember that incredible and gallant effort against Djokovic in that Wimbledon semi from 4 or 5 years ago.

    There’s more potential for an upset at Ladies Wimbledon. Kvitova is always of interest and Muguruza catches the eye, particularly as her mighty obliteration of Sharapova at the French lives strong in the memory, and the ear. But they are 2 of the top 3 in the betting.

    There’s are 4 or 5 outsiders that catch the eye, so I might just back the biggest couple of priced of that selection, although one of those has annoyingly decided to start playing poorly of late.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Just popped a raft of free bets on Kvitova to win Eastbourne, on the basis that the offered price must be value – as it’s virtually the same odds as she is to win Wimbledon.

    Also, Murray as the favourite to win ATP Eastbourne this week makes absolutely no sense to me. Will be facing Wawrinka in his opening match, followed by Edmund in his next match (if he reaches that point). Odder is Murray to win the tourney without dropping a set at 8s.

  • Stoney

    Portugal got what they deserved tonight. Clearly knew a draw was going to put Spain out. Now they must face Uruguay in the last 16.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    This is meant to be a discussion thread but there’s not a lot of discussion happening! Could be that the more I analyse the less others discuss?

    I’ll mention a few selections I reckon are overpriced and leave the thread clear for others for a time.

    World Cup winners: Colombia
    Alternates: Uruguay, Mexico, Portugal

    This week’s PGA tourney: Watney

    Ladies Wimbledon: Ostapenko
    Alternate: Madison Keys (among others)

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Traded away from Colombia. Partially traded away from Uruguay. Moved onto Sweden, Switzerland and a bit of Denmark.

      My guess at the final: Brazil or Uruguay versus Sweden or Switzerland.

      Watney disappointed. Putnam sort of more so, after a great start.

      Ladies Wimbledon is tricky.

  • Stoney

    Unbelievable the day im going to Wimbledon is the day of our last 16 match with Columbia. Bit of a pain in the arse that. Hopefully they will show the game on Murray Mount.
    Really disappointed in the decision to settle for second place in the group. Columbia is going to be a tough game to get through.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Colomba, Rodriguez or not, are overpriced at 16/5 to beat England. I’m regretting trading away my @50 on Colombia on the outright. Colombia still worry me defensively. I’ve done central defender first goalscorers.

    Delighted to see Sweden through, as though I also liked Switzerland, I have Sweden at up to @340.

    Still unsure what to do about my Uruguay bets as, even without Cavani, they look slightly overpriced to beat France. With Cavani, I would have been v happy to stick with them.

    Sloane and Kvitova are both out of Wimbledon already. Both were too short in the odds.

    • Stoney

      Think your underestimating England Guildo. Its coming home mate 😉
      Had a cracking day at wimbledon yesterday before leaving early to watch football but did get to watch Kyle Edmund go through with ease.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        England did play well, Pickford was exceptional and they finally have that penalty shoot-out monkey off their back. They genuinely have momentum. Their current odds look reasonable, I must say, Stoney.

        Cavani is definitely out for Uruguay. And Sweden are the type of side who would struggle to come back from going a goal down. But I still like both team’s collective approach. And will probably stick with them both for another match, and see if they are still standing.

        At Ladies Wimbledon I’m on Ostapenko, Williams (Venus), and Wozniacki. My favourite bet on any of the three was Williams at a bet boosted 60/1 EW.

        Was a bit miffed at the men’s draw when I saw my Anderson and Cilic are in the same half of the draw as Federer!

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Traded out from Wozniacki on the outright, at 1 set all in her Makarova match. The match is on Makarova’s racket.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Just added Giorgi at 125s.

  • Stoney

    Had a nibble at the 80s for Edmund ew. As with Andy Murray in the early days it isnt a case of it this guy will win wimbledon but when. Be nice if I can catch him do it at juicy odds. Probably a few years too early at the moment though.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    http://www.skysports.com/football/news/13957/11429002/sweden-team-evacuate-hotel-following-false-fire-alarm

    That’s bad prep for the outsiders.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_FIFA_World_Cup_Final

    Team preparations

    During the tournament, the Hungarian team took residence in a hotel in the town center of Solothurn.[15] This had several repercussions. As Hungary’s semi-final against Uruguay was decided only after extra time, the team missed the return bus from Lausanne, and had to organize private cars that arrived only late at night. The evening before the final, a village fair took place in front of the hotel that lasted until the early morning hours and disrupted the players’ sleep. Further, Herberger’s assistant Albert Sing checked into the hotel, from where he reported about the Hungarian team preparations.[16]

    By contrast, the German team resided in the tranquil lake town of Spiez, where it was unaffected from such disturbances. The Spirit of Spiez became proverbial in Germany for describing the team’s morale and comradeship.[17]

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hatton for the Open, I reckon.

    Zach of big interest, though shame about his tee times.

    Lots of interesting huge price players (too many to mention) for the golf, but do like that 50s for Hatton.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      End of 2nd round, 2 rounds to go.

      Hatton nowhere. Zach (I took 85s) joint leader.

      Some early starters absolutely tearing it up today, including Chris Wood and Patrick Reed. They’re both still miles behind but the currently rain softened course is allowing for birdie charges.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Zach was about 6.8 pre today’s play. Cashed out after he landed in a ditch, at 14.5, before which he went eagle-birdie, and into about 5.5! Currently Zach’s about 24.

    I’m abso sure I’ve something on Xander (again) at 100s with a trad bookie. Must hunt around for that!

    Xander is a shot behind Spieth, who’s been a beast today, and is leading at -9 and on the 18th.

    Finally, the promised strong winds are picking up.

    Thought Molinari was v impressive today.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Xander Unpronounceable now joint leader with Speith at -9.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Hi all.

    Been away for quite a while. Haven’t had a chance to look through the thread and catch up.

    Bit disappointed after Roland Garros but hey! them’s the breaks. I think Simona’s superior fitness was what beat Sloane in the end, as was the case in Montreal.

    On that basis (and given my penchant for the outsiders) I’m not touching Simona Halep for the US Open.

    Simona has always been a superb athlete. She’s got the physique of a cartoon superhero. One of her tactics is to simply exhaust an opponent.

    The bad news for her is that for other players that is one of the easiest things to fix. They just have to get fitter, and that’s what all of them will have been doing since Montreal.

    The bottom half of the draw looks a bit easier than the top half. Wozniacki is second seed but hasn’t been playing with much authority since Wimbledon. She also painted a target on her back with her remark about Makarova after her loss. The form players in the bottom half are Kvitova, Bertens and Sabalenka. I’m going for a couple of doubles – Bertens and Djokovic and Sabalenka and Djokovic for the titles.

    Good luck to anyone else taking part. I won’t be looking in much. I was spending far too much time on the internet and my quality of life has improved significantly since I’ve cut back. I do love a bit of tennis betting chat though, so I hope some of youse are also in.

    • Jessica Hamby

      That’s not to say that Simona isn’t a worthy #1 and a worthy favourite by the way. Of course she is, and she reached the semi-finals a few years ago too.

      It’s just that I’m not interested in backing favourites. I don’t bet enough to make it worthwhile. I bet for fun, not profit.

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