Rogers Cup Betting: Consistency the Kei

Nishikori is a fine counter-puncher

In-form Sean Calvert tells us why the big-serving Sam Querrey is worth opposing against Kei Nishikori this afternoon over in Toronto.

"Both of these players have been coached by Brad Gilbert so they’ll know what to expect today and I favour Kei because his counter punching style should be very effective on these slow hard courts against a player who relies on a big serve and forehand to win his points."

It was another successful day at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday, with my one recommended bet eventually proving a winner.

Tommy Haas should have been heading for the locker room after two sets against David Nalbandian, but he blew match points in a second set tie break that he eventually lost 13-11 and the German did well to refocus and take the decider.

Wednesday in Toronto is the day where what's left of the top stars play their opening matches and Andy Murray begins his campaign against little Flavio Cipolla at around 8pm UK time on Stadium Court.

I'm not sure how much of an appearance we're likely to get from Andy in this tournament, given his exertions at Wimbledon last week, but he couldn't ask for a more comfortable-looking opening match than this one.

Cipolla wins his matches with his opponent's errors and a crafty game of slices and patience, which won't beat someone like Murray.

If I was betting on this, I'd be tempted by Murray -5.5 games on the handicap at around 2.1011/10.

The bet I do like today is for Kei Nishikori to shock Sam Querrey at a very backable 2.285/4.

Kei played surprisingly well on the grass at the Olympics last week and a return to hard courts will suit him even more.

Querrey is favourite, as he is in good form and more attuned to hard courts having won in Los Angeles and reached the semis in Washington, but he's played a lot of tennis lately and this match-up might be tough for Big Sam.

Both of these players have been coached by Brad Gilbert so they'll know what to expect today and I favour Kei because his counter punching style should be very effective on these slow hard courts against a player who relies on a big serve and forehand to win his points.

That style failed against Alex Dolgopolov in Washington and it could well do again with the usually consistent, more reliable, ground strokes of the world number 17.

It could well be a close affair and their current head-to-head reads 1-1, with Querrey winning on grass, as you would expect in their last meeting, while Nishikori took the honours on a hard court back in 2008.

We've seen so far that the man who makes fewer errors has come through most of the time on these Toronto courts and I would expect that to be Nishikori today, unless Sam has a day where he serves exceptionally well and hits the lines.

Recommended Bet

Back Nishikori to beat Querrey at 2.285/4

Follow Sean on Twitter @seancalvert1

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