24th October 2014

ATP Basel, 15:00 – Becker v Karlovic

Karlovic leads the head to heads 6-1 although Becker won their last match which was in August this season.

There won’t be many breaks in this one and a tie break is almost guaranteed.  Becker had shared two tie breaks with Kukushkin in the last round before Kukushkin retired in the third.

Karlovic beat Rosol which included a tie break in the first set. He lost the first set of his last match in a tie break to De Schepper but found a break in the next 2 sets.

Karlovic starts at 1.66 which is low given how tight the sets will be though I do expect him to come through.

We could do with 0-30 on the Karlovic serve to give us 1.80 or better.

 

 

 

ATP Valencia Open, 16:00 – Chardy v Carreno Busta

Chardy reached the quarter finals last season so has equaled that and avoids losing points. Carreno Busta lost in the first round after winning through the qualifying rounds.

Their only previous match came this year on clay and Chardy won in straight sets. Carreno Busta has the home advantage in this one.

Chardy came close to going out in the last round to Dolgopolov. Both players choked away leads but it was Chardy to found a way to win the 2nd and third sets 7-6, 7-5.

Carreno Busta has beaten two Spaniards the reach this stage. Granollers retired and Lopez was beaten 6-4, 6-4 in the last round.

Chardy starts at 1.60 and after the way he played against Dolgopolov I think Carreno Busta is a little more reliable right now. I think he takes this in 3 sets.

 

 

 

ATP Basel, 19:00 – Federer v Dimitrov

Surprisingly they have only played once before and that was at this tournament last season. Federer won in straight sets. At this time last year Federer wasn’t playing his best tennis. He has improved a great deal since then.

Dimitrov has not been playing great tennis this week but you would expect him to lift his game against Federer.

Federer himself struggled against Istomin and needed 3 sets after losing set one. Perhaps he started the match too relaxed but he will be on his toes from the first point in today’s match.

Federer starts at 1.28 but I think we will see a better price on him and it is worth waiting to see if he starts slowly and if Dimitrov comes out all guns blazing he can nick an early break of serve.

Federer won’t be rolling over in his own back yard and i think he will win but not before a struggle.

 

 

 

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23rd October 2014

ATP Valencia Open, 12:00 – Lajovic v Andujar

Two clay courters playing each other on a hard court. Andujar stats at 1.53 and I think that price has been pushed lower than normal due to his win over Berdych. However Berdych really wasn’t interested in this tournament but as it is a mandatory event he had to attend. It isn’t mandatory to play well.

Lajovic is no pushover on hard courts. He beat Sousa in the last round and pushed Seppi close in Moscow. He has a better hard court record than Andujar if we include qualifying rounds but for only main draw matches Andujar edges it. They both have a losing record though.

I am going with Andujar but I want a price nearer 1.80 before I am interested.

 

 

 

ATP  Valencia Open, 13:00 – Dolgopolov v Chardy

Dolgopolov reached the final in 2012 but didn’t play in Valencia last season. His form recently has been well below his best as he has been struggling with injury. He was fortunate in the last round to meet a disinterested Simon who was saving himself for next week in Paris.

Today he meets another Frenchman but this time one with points to defend. Chardy made the quarter finals in 2013. he lost in the first round in Paris last year so has more to gain from working hard this week.

Chardy leads the head to heads 4-3 and has won 2 of their 3 meetings this season.  Dolgopolov won their most recent match which was in February.

I am siding with Chardy for this one. Dolgopolov will have gained some confidence from his win over Simon but if Chardy can get his nose in front that confidence can soon disappear.

Dolgopolov starts at 1.76 but I would prefer a price below 1.50 to lay him.

 

 

 

ATP Swiss Indoors Basel, 19:00 – Pospisil v Dimitrov

They have only played once before. That was 2 years ago and Dimitrov won in 3 sets. Both players have improved their rankings significantly since then.

Dimitrov starts at 1.73 which seems a little strange. Pospisil didn’t play a good match against Nieminen and there was nothing in that match to push Dimitrov’s price to that level.

Dimitrov started very badly against Zverev in the last round losing the set 6-2.

Dimitrov has reached the quarter finals for the last 2 years so any “news” about him must relate to his health.

I will put part stake on him at the start and manage it from there. If he really wants to at least equal his quarter final from last year he will fight.

 

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22nd October 2014

WTA Finals, 09:00 – Williams v Halep

We had 2 unexpected results in the other group yesterday. Let’s hope today is just as entertaining.

Williams was very motivated in her first match against Ivanovic but the Serb player kept it very close.

In their three previous meetings Halep has managed to win just one set against Williams. That was back in 2011  at Wimbledon. In their more recent matches, both in 2013, Halep was handed a bagel in each match.

Halep was a little nervous at the start of her match with Bouchard. That was understandable as both players were playing at their first year end finals. Halep soon got over her jitters which was made easier by the fact that Bouchard didn’t handle the occasion at all well.

Williams starts at 1.22 and even though it is hard to see her losing the market price should be pushed higher by Halep. Ivanovic had a break point in Williams’ first service game and that proved to be the highest point on the Williams graph. Halep has the game to trouble Williams but she somehow needs to avoid another nervous start. her opponent’s nerves on this occasion will not last long.

I will wait for a higher price and hopefully we get a break this time.

 

 

 

WTA Finals – 12:30 – Bouchard v Ivanovic

Bouchard has won both their previous meetings. Their most recent was at the Australian Open in January and it went to 3 sets.

As both players lost their opening match they have to win this one to have any chance of progressing beyond the round robin stage.

Bouchard is the higher ranked player but nerves will play a huge part in this match. Ivanovic has been world number 1 and whilst she didn’t handle the pressure of being at the top of the game too well she has learned from it and has matured as a person and as a player.

Bouchard has shown that she can handle the big matches and already has a slam final appearance as well as semi finals at the Australian and French Opens. Does she feel she belongs among the sport’s elite? Her opening match suggests she is still working that one out plus she wasn’t able to handle the Wimbledon final. That isn’t a criticism. I think the final came too soon in her career. She has the game to compete with the very best and also has the personality and level head to stay at the highest level. She has barely finished her apprenticeship yet.

Ivanovic starts at 1.41 which suggests people expect another nervy performance from the Canadian. In normal tournaments if you have a nervous first match and play poorly you go home. Round Robins give you one more chance and whilst of course Bouchard will be nervous i think we will see her perform more as we expect from her. I don’t think it will be enough against Ivanovic but i expect to see a higher price on Ana and maybe even a 3 set match.

 

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