Andy Murray takes on Jeremy Chardy in tonight's Australian Open quarter final clash and Sean Calvert is backing the Scot to come through, but not without the odd scare..
"I fancy Chardy to take a set, but Murray should be too strong in all areas and I’m happy to take a chance on 3-1 at a price of around [4.2].."
It was one winner from my two recommended bets on Monday night at the Australian Open.
Ekaterina Makarova was not at her best and unable to cover the 6.5 game handicap mark against Maria Sharapova, but there was little to concern Novak Djokovic backers on the same handicap as he eased into the semi finals.
Tonight sees the turn of Andy Murray to try and reach his fourth straight Australian Open semi final or better and he faces the enigmatic Jeremy Chardy, who is contesting his first Grand Slam quarter final.
And much will depend on which Chardy turns up - the one that can be so entertaining to watch, hitting winners for fun or the one crippled by a growing unforced error count and shaky confidence.
The Frenchman's career was hampered for a long time by a row with an ex-coach that ended in a legal battle, but now under the tutelage of Patrick Mouratoglou, Chardy has been able to play with the freedom that makes him so good to watch sometimes.
He is still very erratic and hadn't won a match in 2013 before coming to Melbourne, but wins over Juan Martin Del Potro, Andreas Seppi and Marcel Granollers have seen him reach the last eight.
Melbourne hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Chardy in the past and before this tournament he had only ever won one match here, back in 2009.
But Murray won't be complacent, as he was beaten in straight sets by the Frenchman on hard courts in Cincy last year and the Scot will need to be on the front foot from the word go and not revert to the passive Murray of the recent past.
The Scot has enjoyed a fairly routine journey through to the last eight without really hitting the heights and a test here might do him some good ahead of a likely semi final with Roger Federer.
Chardy is the leading man still left in the tournament in terms of aces and if he serves well again tonight he can worry the world number three in conditions that are likely to be fast in terms of the ball moving through the air.
I fancy Chardy to take a set, but Murray should be too strong in all areas and I'm happy to take a chance on 3-1 at a price of around [4.2]. Handicap betting is always guesswork with Chardy for me, as he's so inconsistent that it's impossible to gauge accurately how he'll perform.
Before all of that it's the women's quarter finals and Vika Azarenka is first up in what could possibly be a tricky encounter against an in-form but still inconsistent Sveta Kuznetsova.
The Russian showed vintage form to overpower Caro Wozniacki in her most recent match here and this tournament has been a welcome return to major contention for Sveta, who is in her first hard court Slam quarter final since here back in 2009.
Azarenka has had the better of their recent meetings, but I like Sveta's chances of at least making a match of this and she does have the game to test Vika tonight.
Her tendency to mentally go AWOL is a concern in terms of backing her +6.5 games on the handicap, but she should have enough to push this match over the 19.5 total games mark at [2.04].