Hurkacz played even better than expected, ruined most of my hedge and still made me happy. A 300/1 shot into the quarter-finals, though; not too shabby. Wish it hadn’t been against Federer.
Nadal limped past Khachanov and now we’re all left with some question marks for Saturdays semi-final.
The daily picks still don’t look good, down 20 units. I’d like to set a goal to be back to even par by clay but that seems a little aggressive. The outrights are carrying the mail right now and I seem in good shape to add a few more dollars there. Federer has a, maybe, less than 100% Rafa in the semis and the prospect of Raonic or Thiem in the final, two guys he has had some success against in the last few years.
This is a pretty star-studded semi-final. The head to head in the first one is in Raonic’s favor. But both Raonic wins were on much faster surfaces at the ATP finals indoors and at Cincinnati. Raonic seems to be really comfortable in Indian Wells, making his fourth straight semi-final appearance. But if anything, the clay-like surface should benefit Thiem and even the playing field. Thiem hasn’t dropped a set this week and was only really challenged by Thompson in round two. Now, the question is how big a step up is Raonic?
Their hold/break stats the last two years on hard courts are very similar and while Thiem’s stats are depressed in 2019 they will surely bounce up when Indian Wells is done. Despite their history (Thiem hasn’t won a set off Raonic) I would lean to the over as Thiem should be more competitive here. Unfortunately, it is set at 23.5 instead of 22.5. Pass.
Fed certainly struggled with Nadal at one time (23-10 h2h) but recently has owned Rafa, winning the last five, including the last three pretty easily.
The last five matches that Fed has won have all been on hard courts too, including one demolition here in Indian Wells. The hold/break stats actually slightly favour Rafa but I think you can throw those out given these two’s extensive history.
Rafa hasn’t won a set in the last three meetings and while you could argue this absurdly slow court may help Rafa remember Federer beat Rafa at Miami in 2017, maybe the slowest hard courts on tour. On top of the recent history, Nadal did not appear super healthy in beating Khachanov. I’ll double down on Federer here and expect him to pul away from Nadal, especially if there is a third set.
Federer -2.5 games, -138