Will Gasquet orchestrate a stunning upset when he takes on Djokovic in the Wimbledon semis? According to the odds makers, the answer is a resounding no. Do they have it right? Here's our take on this improbable matchup, complete with tennis picks.
Richard Gasquet Living On A Prayer
According to the tennis odds, Richard Gasquet is living on a prayer in his second-ever semi-final appearance at the Wimbledon Championships since 2007. Gasquet enters the match as the whopping +800 underdog to win outright. In layman terms: a freaking long shot tennis pick.
When the draw emerged, all the attention was focused on where Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal fell in the draw, and to some extent where Wawrinka was as well. The idea being that this quartet/quintet was going to play a large part in deciding how this tournament unfolds.
For the most part, that assessment wasn't entirely wrong seeing that three of these high profile players did reach the final four. Save for the one guy that is the odd one out: Gasquet (no pun intended).
Few tennis bettors had Gasquet reaching this far in the tournament. Certainly, not at the expense of some of the players he's had to face along the way, including French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in a come-from-behind, five-set marathon win.
For much of his career, Monsieur Gasquet has carried the stigma of an underachiever. When at 9 years old he featured on a magazine cover as a tennis prodigy with a bright future ahead of him. In the early days of his ATP career, he was known as 'Baby Federer,' a moniker that Grigor Dimitrov wrestled off of him when he burst onto the scene. Ironically, Gasquet dispatched Dimitrov in straight sets in the third round. The original 'Baby Fed' is back. Exclamation point.
The rejuvenated Gasquet underscored his credentials as a legitimate contender when he beat Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. However, this is exactly the round of a major where he has disappointed before, one of which was the Wimbledon Championships in 2007 that he lost to Federer in straight sets.
Djokovic Huge Fave
For a second straight time at the All England Club, Gasquet takes on a World No.1 player and the Wimbledon defending champion combined. Then it was Roger Federer. Now it's Novak Djokovic, who is riding the wave of sensational form this season and comes into the tournament as the odds-on-favourite to lift the title. Is it any wonder the tennis odds are stacked against Frenchy?
Not only is Djokovic the defending champ, he's also an 8-time Grand Slam champion taking on a player who's yet to reach a final of a major at 29 years of age. He leads the head-to-head with Gasquet 11-1, with the lone loss to Gasquet coming in early in his career, in 2007 at the Tennis Masters Cup in China. Aside from that lone loss, almost all their encounters were lopsided, tipping decisively towards the Serbian. In other words, this is a matchup he's totally dialled into and has dominated over the last eight years and nine straight meetings.
Time and time again, Djokovic has proven why he's the World No.1 and why bookies continue to fawn over him. Case-and-point: reaching the Wimbledon semis despite having no warm-up events on grass and coming off a heartbreaking loss at the French Open. More likely than not, Djokovic will win this match. Gasquet will have to throw the kitchen sink at Djokovic to pull off the biggest upset in the men's game in the current game. Problem is, he's clocked in a lot of court time over the last two rounds with a four-setter against Kyrgios and five-set marathon against Wawrinka that ended 11-9 in the fifth set.
Tennis Betting Verdict
Inasmuch as Gasquet appears to have revived his game and has played above his head to reach the semis, he's still a long shot pick against Djokovic. Based on their previous meetings, he's not even close to scratching Djokovic's consistency, level, intensity and sheer determination to win on a regular basis and no matter what. This doesn't mean that Gasquet can't pull off the feat. Anything can happen on any given day, and his +800 tennis odds are really tempting. But there's no reason to go against Djokovic is there in this match. So we're sticking with the bookies on this one and taking Djokovic. However, the value tennis pick is Djokovic to win in straight sets at -225 or four sets at +275.
Tennis Picks: Djokovic in three at -225 or four sets at +275 at Bet365