It’s men’s semi-final day at Wimbledon and first up on centre-court the clash between Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet is priced up like a foregone conclusion.
Returning champion Djokovic is 9/100 for victory, with Gasquet in the next parish of the match betting at 9/1 to reach his first ever Grand Slam final.
Such a disparity in the reckoning is hard to argue with given the Serb has won 13 of his previous 14 meetings with his opponent and 15 of the 19 big-four semi-finals he has contested since 2010.
That’s why it could worth looking elsewhere among the plethora of markets bwin offer on the matchup for punting sustenance…
Instead Gasquet should be backed to win at least one set at 23/20.
Despite Djokovic’s exceptional record in Grand Slams across recent years he has routinely encountered stern resistance at the penultimate hurdle.
Since his victory over David Ferrer at the 2013 Australian Open the Serb has dropped a set in all eight such last-four encounters he has contested, giving up two in six of those.
The relative stature of the names among those to take Djokovic beyond the minimum allocation during that period should give Gasquet further hope, with Kei Nishikori, Ernests Gulbis and Grigor Dimitrov all drawing blood.
True the Frenchman’s past record against his opponent won’t have backers of our suggested ploy puffing their chests out like a courting pigeon pre-match, but recent face-offs suggest he is closing the gap.
Gasquet has taken at least a set off Djokovic in five of their 14 throw downs, but, more importantly he has now done so in each of their last three.
The most recent of those meetings was all the more significant in that it was their first ever clash on grass.
Coming just a week before Wimbledon at the Boodles Invitational and requiring the reigning champion to win ten games in the decider, it can only reflect well upon Gasquet’s chances of going down swinging at the All England Club.