Raonic rolled and play was wiped out on my Monfils/Thiem bet when Monfils pulled out (I hope for the sake of society and race relations that he really is hurt and this withdrawl wasn’t the result of whatever Svitolina and Gael experience in their hotel, that sounds brutal/sad).
Two great matches today and they’re both before supper. The kind of afternoon where you tell the boss you need boardroom #3 for a “conference call” starting at 2pm and you may be awhile… and that boardroom has an Apple tv connection.
Nothing has changed from yesterday. I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to make money on a 300/1 shot.
OK. What to do. I think I am all-in on Federer. This is obviously uncharted territory for Hurkacz. I think the kid is great, and he has Challenger titles to his name, including in 2019. But, he has never been in this spot before. He has never been this deep into an ATP event, he has never played one of the Big Four (three?). The best opponent he has ever played is Marin CIlic. He stole a tiebreak from Cilic at Roland Garros but when they met at the US Open last year he managed to win two total games over thee sets. Hurkacz is improving fast and to be honest there isn’t a whole lot of data to go on but, when he has lost at ATP events they’ve usually been pretty one-sided: Shanghai 1-6 final set to Chung, Tokyo 2 and 2 to Uchiyama, Cilic at the US Open, 2 and 4 to Taifoe in Washington, straight setted by Tomic at Wimbledon, Tsitsipas at the NextGen tourney, Marseille and Dubai (really struggles with Tsitty apparently). The tight losses he does have are to guys far down in the rankings - Sonego #159 at Budapest, DeMinaur #68 in Atlanta (very much his own age too), PHH #80 at Toronto, Karlo #100 at the Aussie and Gulbis #83 in Montpellier.
Federer has rolled through this tournament, covering the -4.5 line in all three matches (and doing so easily in two of them). I stated last week, at the outset, that he is on a mission. And the fact that Djokovic is out of the way just must zero him in on that target even greater. Conversely to Hurkacz, he doesn’t have trouble dominating late in ATP events - in fact, at Indian Wells specifically Federer has made the quarter-finals twelve times and only lost once (to Rafa). in his eleven wins he has benefitted from two withdrawls and covered the -4.5 spread eight times. The only time he won and didn’t cover -4.5 was against Verdasco and he missed by the hook. He has dummied some good names in covering the -4.5 those eight times - Delpo, Stan, Kevin Anderson, Chung, Berdych, and Ljubicic. Only Chung wasn’t a top 10 talent. I’m going on Fed three ways; under 20.5, on the handicap for 2 units and straight sets for a bundle. Fed’s only been broken once, by Gojo and I don’t see how Hurkacz gets to him.
Rafa has put down Khachanov five times. The first three were trucks, the last two have been pretty close. Their US Open match last year was a classic, four tight sets. The one in Canada was tight as well, ending 64,76. There is no statistical argument to be made for KK and the betting lines reflect that. Khachanov had horrible form coming into Indian Wells and much has been made of his racquet choices. All I can really do here is sit on the sidelines and hope Khachanov can out-play his numbers, is somehow back to the Paris version of himself that beat Djokovic (and won me a whole pile of money) and can upset Rafa. It’s hard to make anything of Rafa. Much like the Aussie Open he has looked super dominant, breaking people almost at will. But, much like the Aussie Open, has he really played anyone? We saw him roll through Melbourne, playing a recovering Duckworth, an Ebden who is more comfortable on grass, a tired ADM, an overmatched Berdych (as he often is against the elite), and a tired Tsitsipas. The only person who really gave Rafa a close match was Tiafoe and none of those sets got past ten games. Rafa then got literally destroyed when he played Djokovic in the final. I hope this is a repeat of that and either Khachanov challenges him or Fed proves a huge step up on Saturday and Rafa goes down. I’ll be passing on this match.
Fed/Hurkacz u20.5, -138 x1 ($100 to win $72)
Federer -4.5, -150 x3 ($300 to win $200)
Federer 2-0, -400 x4 ($400 to win $100)