Australian Open Men's Betting: Chardy to turn up the heat on Ferrer

Will Chardy be celebrating a big upset on Friday?
Will Chardy be celebrating a big upset on Friday?

Friday in Melbourne is set to be another baking day and Sean Calvert is back with two underdogs who could make it through to the men's fourth round...

"Chardy is defending ranking points from his run to the quarter finals 12 months ago when he took down Del Potro and when he's in a confident mood, as he is right now, he can be very dangerous."

Back Chardy to beat Ferrer at 3.55

Week one of the 2014 Australian Open will be remembered for the crazy playing conditions and it became even more extreme on Thursday at Melbourne Park.

The controversial and unfathomable extreme heat policy, which in reality is nothing more than a nonsensical equation that only the tournament director can understand, finally kicked in - but only on some of the courts. The remainder were made to play on and rest assured they were mighty peeved about it.

Then there was thunder, lightning, and finally rain, which led to a very late finish for the players and exhausted and bedraggled sports writers, who are also suffering in these conditions.

Juan Martin Del Potro and his backers also incurred pain when the big man went out early in Melbourne yet again. Delpo was backed to the tune of £1.7 million at 1.11/10 and below, while victorious Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut was matched at a high of 36.035/1.

I wasn't on Delpo, but my own painful pair were Yen Hsun Lu, who was beaten by Grigor Dimitrov in a match where Lu had his chances and Victor Hanescu, who had his opportunities against Milos Raonic, but also didn't take them.

The heat is set to continue in the same vein on Friday, when the third round begins, but many of the men's matches are scheduled for the cooler evening, including Novak Djokovic, who faces Denis Istomin at around 9pm local time (10am UK).

Istomin did test Nole in their last meeting in Montreal on hard last autumn and it's not totally out of the question that he could give the defending champion a match again. He is playing well and has a sniff of grabbing a set, but no more.

But I prefer backing a different underdog in Jeremy Chardy tonight in his meeting with David Ferrer.

Since splitting with coach and mentor Javier Piles Ferrer has looked shaky and I've seen nothing from him this season that would worry me if I were Patrick Mouratoglou in the Chardy camp.

Ferrer has dropped sets to Donald Young, Adrian Mannarino, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Alex Dolgopolov and he's been beaten by Daniel Brands and Lu already this campaign and Chardy is in good form and plays well here in Australia.

The Frenchman is defending ranking points from his run to the quarter finals 12 months ago when he took down Del Potro and when he's in a confident mood, as he is right now, he can be very dangerous. The 3.55 should prove a good back-to-lay price at least.

Another player who could prove a touch of value is Grand Slam legend Tommy Robredo, who isn't afraid of a bit of hard work and loves nothing more than a nice long grind in the heat, as he's shown on numerous occasions in majors.

Tommy's season started here after an early season arm injury and his nine sets here so far will have tuned him up well for a fifth career meeting with the Gasman in a series that's tied 2-2 currently.

Gasquet has also been struggling with injury and didn't look overly comfortable in beating the poor 2014 version of Nikolay Davydenko last time out and Dickie's tendency to play from miles behind the baseline might hurt him in this match-up.

Robredo will be content to rally and Gasquet is not the best at coping in the heat. Fortunately this match is an evening one, but it'll still be tough going and Gasquet has never been beyond the fourth round here - partly due to the oppressive conditions.

Tommy has a shot here at 2.89/5 and he definitely has the game to cope with Gasquet after taking down Roger Federer in three in New York in his previous Grand Slam.

Recommended Bets (both back-to-lay)
Back Chardy to beat Ferrer at 3.55
Back Robredo to beat Gasquet at 2.89/5

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