THINGS didn't go as planned at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Thursday on what was in all truth a really poor day all told.
Gilles Simon didn't turn up at all in his match with Roger Federer and was beaten as early as about game four of the match as the Swiss dominated proceedings against a strangely lacklustre Simon.
To add to that both of my outright wagers were taken down by outsiders, with Juan Martin Del Potro losing in straight sets to Benoit Paire in the shock of the day, while Richard Gasquet blew a set lead against shirt-ripping Pole Jerzy Janowicz.
There was at least a treat of a match between Ernests Gulbis and Rafa Nadal that went all the way and featured some stunning hitting from Gulbis and some awesome defensive skills and mental strength from the Spaniard.
The forecast rain only briefly affected proceedings and hopefully it will stay away again on Friday as it's quarter-finals day at the Foro Italico.
Perhaps the most intriguing of the last-eight clashes is Janowicz taking on Federer and after rashly as it transpired taking on the Swiss yesterday I won't be doing so again against the big Pole.
It will be their first meeting on the tour and early on it will be all about how Janowicz serves and how Federer is able to get it back in play effectively.
I don't rate Federer as highly as some on the return of serve and he's down at No.24 in the list of points won returning first serve in 2013, behind the likes of Paire and Lukas Rosol.
The Swiss has had his struggles on clay against the likes of John Isner and Milos Raonic and if Janowicz serves somewhere near his best he can cause Fed some problems when this one begins at 8pm UK time.
In the rallies Federer was superb against Simon and before that against Potito Starace and he is fresh and will be gunning for the Rome title that has eluded him so far in his career so I doubt he'll let Janowicz stand in his way tonight.
My worry with Fed these days is he doesn't produce as consistently as he once did and he can have days when he's shanking the ball to all parts but if he is able to get enough balls back in play I can't see Jerzy's drop shot routine fooling the speedy Swiss who moves as well as ever.
For me the best bet in this is for the first set to go past the 9.5 total games mark at around 1.9 while Federer figures out the unorthodox game he's confronted with.
Before all of that there's Nadal v David Ferrer, with Ferrer still reeling from choking from a winning position against his nemesis in Madrid and the mental scars must run pretty deep after numerous similar failings against Rafa.
I think Nadal might be close to running out of gas but I'm not sure Ferrer is the man to take him out of the tournament today. He will be fresh after a bye yesterday, while Rafa had a battle with Gulbis, so the over 20.5 games could be an option worth considering at around 1.95.
Back over 9.5 games in set one of Federer/Janowicz at 1.9