My betting interest in the French Open is over. The player who I strongly fancied to win the women’s tournament is still going strong, but thanks to a bit of old-fashioned greed, she will not earn me any money if she does lift the title.
Instead of backing Svetlana Kuznetsova in a straight bet in her own right, I paired her with Rafael Nadal in the winning double. I figured that this was an opportunity to simply lengthen Kuznetsova’s winning odds. Nadal couldn’t possibly lose, could he?
A stunning performance by Robin Soderling proved that he could and although few can have backed the four-time reigning champion to crash out in the fourth round, I should have reminded myself that there are no guarantees in sport.
The sound logic I used in selecting Kuznetsova – she has an excellent Roland Garros record and appeared likely to beat the major seed in her quarter, Serena Williams, who had not won a clay court match all season going into the event – should have been enough.
She is on the verge of reaching the final, which would have been a decent bet at the outset, but instead chose to pinch some odds by blindly back Nadal as well. I chose to ignore the warning sign of his Madrid Open defeat by Roger Federer and believed he was infallible on clay when it really matters.
My other Roland Garros bet was for Victoria Azarenka to win her quarter. This was quite a brave bet considering it also included the in-form top seed Dinara Safina and reigning champion Ana Ivanovic, but after Azarenka’s fourth round win over the latter and her 6-1 opening set win in the quarters against Safina, my prospects looked good.
I should really have laid my bet at this point, but such was Azarenka’s dominance that I elected to try and maximise my earnings rather than securing a guaranteed pay-out by following Safina at a set down. The inevitable comeback gave me another lesson about the need to let commonsense rather than greed rule my betting.
1 day ago