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US Open 2014 – week 2, day 1


WTA, 20:30 – Makarova v Bouchard

They have played just once before which was in Washington last July. Makarova won comfortably in straight sets. That day Bouchard was ranked 58th. Today she is 8th.

Makarova has been very solid on serve in her three matches. She doesn’t have a great recent record against top 10 players.

Bouchard has reached the semi finals of the other three slams this season and of course reached the Wimbledon final. her form fell away badly after than final but that was partly due to injury. Her last two matches were tricky ones and had identical score lines. 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.

Makarova reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon this year and also at the US Open.

Tough match to call but I am backing Bouchard to show that she is over her Wimbledon final loss. She has the game and the attitude for the big matches.



ATP, 22:30 – Wawrinka v Robredo

Robredo leads the head to heads 6-2. Their only meetings after 2008 came in the last 2 seasons. Robredo won both matches in 2013 and Wawrinka won at this season’s Australian Open.

Wawrinka had to work hard in his first round against Vesely. He won in straight sets but the second and third sets went to tie breaks. Bellucci took him to 4 sets and Kavcic withdrew before their third round match.

Robredo started with an easy win over Roger Vasselin but in the second round he found himself 2 sets down to Bolelli. He is no stranger from coming back from 2-0 in slams. He also lost the first set in the last round to Kyrgios but recovered well.

Wawrinka starts at 1.49 which is understandable but too low. He should be well rested although Robredo’s game will have been fine tuned with the pressure he has had to deal with.

1.70 on Wawrinka would be a nice entry so patience is the key to value.




US Open 2014 – week 1, day 7


ATP, 18:00 – Cilic v Anderson

Cilic leads the head to heads and is 3-0 on hard courts. The last time they met was in February in the final of Delray Beach. That went to 3 sets with the first two sets being decided in tie breaks. None of Cilic’s wins on hard courts were straight sets victories.

Anderson is more than a little fortunate to still be in the competition. He was taken to 5 sets by Cuevas in the first round and was serious danger of being knocked out. He scraped through in a 5th set tie break. In the last round he went a double break behind in the first set. He pulled back to a tie break which Janowicz won but the Pole’s unravelling was under way. I am not convinced Janowicz’s woeful performance was down to fatigue from last week.

Cilic is one of the few players who hasn’t been involved in any real drama in the first week.  He was in control of his first round match when Baghdatis retired in set 2.  Marchenko kept the opening set close in the second round but never really troubled Cilic.

Cilic starts at 1.46 which is a fair price but as the sets will be close and decided by just a few points I would prefer a slightly higher entry. We can’t take anything for granted in this tournament but I expect Cilic to take this in 4 sets.



ATP, 23:00 – Monfils v Gasquet

Their last 3 meetings were on hard courts although 2 of them were indoors in Montpellier. These three matches took place in the last 2 seasons. Monfils won the last 2 encounters.

Neither player leads all stats categories over the last 3 months Although comparing performances against the same players puts Gasquet out in front.

I am really looking forward to watching this one. They know each other’s game really well and I can’t see it being over in 3 sets. Monfils is understandably the favourite. He reached the 3rd round in Cincinnati where he lost to Federer in 3 sets. He hasn’t really been tested so far this week.

Gasquet has struggled with injury this season. He reached the semi final in Washington but having got to the third round in Toronto he withdrew before his match with Andy Murray. The abdominal injury would force him to withdraw from Cincinnati. He says he has been pain free this week but his body will be severely tested today.

Monfils starts at 1.74 which is a little low but is not far from being a fair price.

Part stake on Monfils at the start and I will add the rest above evens.



WTA, midnight – Bencic v Jankovic

So Sharapova’s out. Do we have another upset here? Wozniacki is a better quality underdog than Bencic. The Swiss player has already knocked out an in form Nara and also 6th seed Kerber who was beaten in straight sets.

Jankovic has been a sub 1.20 favourite in each of her 3 matches. Only Pironkova gave her a match.

Jankovic has a very consistent record at the US Open. Last year she reached the 4th round which was her best finish since she reached the final in 2008 .

In a way this is a similar situation to the Errani/Lucic Baroni match. Bencic is more likely to suffer a let down in this match and also Jankovic will be better able to handle the occasion.

Bencic will fight but when it comes down to the big points in the big games she will produce errors more often than winners.

Jankovic even has a similar SP to Errani at 1.42 and I am sure we will see a higher price.

Jankovic in 3.


US Open 2014 – week 1, day 5


WTA, 16:00 – Vinci v Peng

They have played twice before. Their last meeting was in Cincinnati in 2012. Peng won in straight sets. Vinci won on clay in 2007.

Peng beat Radwanska in the last round. Rad didn’t play that badly but Peng played a very controlled match and her ground strokes gave Rad no time.

Vinci started badly against Begu but eventually got her act together after the first set and was comfortable after that.

Vinci has reached the quarter finals for the past two seasons. This is the first time Peng has been past the second round since 2011.

Peng starts at 1.55 and despite her win over Radwanska that is a little low. It is likely to be a tight match but if Peng plays like she did in the last round she should come through. I will wait a little for a price of 1.70 or better.



WTA, 19:30 – Kerber v Bencic

Bencic hasn’t been playing her best tennis recently but things fell into place for her against Nara. Both players were hitting the ball extremely well especially in the first set. Bencic was able to hold her game together in the third set set better than Nara.

Kerber had some problems in her first match which saw her taken to three sets by Pervak. Her second round match was more routine.

Bencic has an aggressive style that when it works can cause problems to most players.

Kerber has reached the 4th round in the last 2 seasons and the semi final in 2011. I have to favour her to get the win today but not before she trades well above her SP of 1.29 . If she drops below 1.20 early I will be laying her but I will be looking to switch to Kerber above 1.60 .



ATP, 23:00 – Fognini v Mannarino

Fognini seemed focused in his match with Golubev. In a best of 5 set match 1.43 doesn’t look a bad price on the Italian.

Mannarino has had some recent success on the Challenger hard courts but since the main ATP tour moved to America he has won matches where he was the pre match favourite and lost those that he was under dog in.

Mannarino has the ability to push Fognini in the opening set and I won’t be at all surprised if Mannarino takes an early lead.

I will have part stake on Fognini at the start and will add to it if Mannarino takes an early break lead.


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