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30th July 2014

ATP Kitzbuhel Cup, 10:00Maximo Gonzalez had a superb win for the Shark Tips subscribers in the first round at 2.40 . Today he takes on Ramos and the market has reacted to his win. They start at evens.

Both players had to come through the qualifying rounds. Their main tour stats are very even but Gonzalez hasn’t played many main tour matches. If we include Challenger events we see he has won 69% of his matches in the last 12 months compared to 54% for Ramos.

They have played 3 times before with Gonzalez winning all of them including last month in the final of the Padova Challenger.

Ramos struggled in his first round match against 729th ranked Galovic and lost the opening set in a tie break.

I can see this one going to 3 sets. Value is on Gonzalez as slight underdog but it’s a tough one to call. As long as the player who loses the opening set has been able to put pressure on serve and at least had break points I will be laying the first set winner.

 

ATP Kitzbuhel Cup, 12:00Monaco has won both his previous matches with Nieminen and Nieminen won all 3 of their hard court matches ( 1 was on carpet ). So Monaco is rightly the favourite on the clay in Austria. He starts at 1.51 .

Monaco made a very strange start to his match yesterday losing the opening set 6-0 to Golubev. He came back to take the next 2 sets 6-2, 6-1.

Nieminen is certainly capable of pushing Monaco’s price higher. Another 6-0 set would be nice!

I am favouring Monaco here but won’t be backing at SP. I would love to back him above evens. He reached the final last season and won the  title in his previous visit although that was in 2007!

Have patience, we will get a much better back price on Monaco in the first set.

 

ATP Citi Open, 21:00Sam Querrey leads the head to heads with Nishikori and has won their last 3 meetings. The most recent was in 2012 when Querrey was a top 30 player.

Nishikori starts the match as a 1.45 favourite. This is his first match since Wimbledon.

Querrey played last week in Atlanta losing to Sela in the second round (what’s going on with Sela right now??). He beat Russell in the first round this week and served reasonably well with a first serve percentage of 60% and he hit 17 aces. He only gave Russell 2 break point chances and saved 1 of them.

Nishikori might take a few games to get going and I think we will see a better price on him in the first few games. I will wait for 1.70 or better. This won’t be an easy match against a big serving American with the crowd behind him but I think Nishikori’s class will show through.

 

WTA Citi Open 22:30Cirstea had some good results around this time last year. Her recent results have been poor with the exception of a third round at the French Open. She has been suffering with an injury which could explain that. She had what looked like a tricky first round match against Bertens but came through in 3 sets,

Jovanovski reached the final  last week in Baku. She started most of matches poorly and had to come from behind.  Her form in the first part of the season wasn’t good at all with just a quarter final in the second event in Hobart. However she started to get things together at Wimbledon reaching the third round.

Cirstea tanked her match in Baku so she could be fully fit and rested for the American hard court season. I would expect Jovanovski to have a degree of fatigue after her five matches last week. Three of those went to 3 sets. I am hoping Jovanovski can starts well for a change and that we get to lay her at around 1.60 .

Cirstea starts at 1.85

 

 

 

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29th July 2014

Today’s post will concentrate on this evening’s matches.

 

 

ATP Kitzbuhel Cup, 16:00Zverev has been given a wild card entry which is well deserved after his recent results.  His first match is against Schwartzman and is a winnable one if he can maintain the level he has been playing at. He starts as slight under dog.

Schwartzman has had a couple of quarter finals in Challenger clay events recently and won a title in May.  His more recent tournaments haven’t shown much to write home about although his losses were all close matches.

Zverev is likely to have the home support and friends and family haven’t had a huge journey from Germany.

I will wait to lay Schwartzman when he is a break up in the early games. I think Zverev can take a tight match but it could be a scrappy affair.

Update: Shwartzman won 6-1, 6-0. That was a short career for Zverev wasn’t it?

 

WTA Citi Open, 19:00Makarova starts as a strong (ish) favourite against Rybarikova at 1.50 .

Rybarikova has won both their previous meetings including at this tournament last year. That was a semi final so there are a lot of points at stake today. Rybarikova went on to take the title last year.

Rybarikova has lost her first match for the last 3 tournaments. Makarova’s last 2 tournaments were at Wimbledon and Eastbourne and she reached the quarter finals in both.

Being defending champion should give Rybarikova a boost and being back in Washington will bring back good memories. This is Makarova’s first match on hard courts for a while whereas Rybarikova has played a couple of matches.

We will see a higher price on Makarova but I expect her to get the win.

 

WTA Bank of the West Classic, 21:00Cibulkova won the title last season beating Radwanska in the final. If she is going to defend her title she is going to have to get through a tough first match against Muguruza.

Muguruza is having a great season and has got to the quarter final or better on hard courts, clay and grass. Wimbledon didn’t go so well as she lost in the first round to Vandeweghe in a tight 3rd set. That was her last match before this week.

Cibulkova started her year in almost the best possible way  by reaching the Australian Open final. She backed that up with the title on hard courts in Acapulco, a quarter final in Indian Wells, semi final in Miami and a final in Kuala Lumpur. Add to that 3rd rounds at the French Open and Wimbledon and she has already had a superb season.

They have played just once before which was on grass last season and Muguruza won in 2 tight sets.

Cibulkova starts at 1.66 which seems like a fair price. Muguruza has shown she can play great tennis but she will have to do it consistently before she is at the same level as her opponent. Today however it is just one on one and both are capable of taking the win.

I would like to see an early break for Muguruza so I can lay her as i think Cibulkova won’t give up her title without a fight.

 

WTA Bank of the West Classic, 23:00Lisicki and Ivanovic have played twice before. Not surprisingly Lisicki won on grass at Wimbledon in June. Ivanovic won their other meeting which was on clay and also this season.

Lisicki is consistently average on hard courts and second round finishes have been the norm for her in the last 12 months.

In her last hard court tournament Ivanovic won the title in Monterrey. A quarter final in Melbourne and third round in Miami give the impression that Ivanovic is rightly the favourite.

She starts at 1.33 but if Lisicki can serve well that will trade a fair bit higher. once again an early break for the underdog would be perfect to get a better entry on Ivanovic.

 

 

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28th July 2014

As we move into the American hard court season it is a great time for part time traders with a lot of matches in the evening.

 

ATP Kizbuhel Cup, 14:00Dustin Brown takes on Riba in Austria.

They have played just once before which was on clay last August. Riba won in 3 sets.

Riba is a clay court specialist and spends most of his time on the Challenger tour.  He has had a couple of injury problems since June though he has reached a couple of Challenger finals.

Brown is having a good season with the highlight being a win over Nadal on grass. He has also beaten Verdasco and narrowly lost out to Kohlschreiber in a third set tie break in their Hamburg quarter final. Playing more regularly against the top players is certainly helping his game.

They start around evens  and whilst I expect it to be fairly close I have to go with Brown as he has shown the better recent form against decent opposition.

Part stake on him at the start and the rest if he goes an early break behind.

 

WTA Bank of West Classic, 19:00Date Krumm can be an awkward opponent. She reached the quarter final in Birmingham and whilst she went out of Wimbledon in round 1 she narrowly lost to makarova 5-7 in the third set. She doesn’t have a great record on North American hard courts.

Pliskova’s game is well suited to the hard courts and she has enjoyed more success on them than her opponent. A final in January, quarter finals in Monterrey and Istanbul and a semi final in Kuala Lumpur demonstrate her ability.

They have played once before which was in 2012 on a hard court. Date Krumm won in 3 sets. Pliskova was ranked 115th that day. Today she is ranked 45th. Date Krumm was 121st and now 88th.

Pliskova starts at 1.51 and I would prefer 1.70 before backing her.ATP

 

ATP Citi Open, 21:00Paire has been having a lot of problems with his knee this year and has won just 2 of his last 10 matches.

Dancevic is more at home on the clay although he had a decent Wimbledon reaching the second round as a qualifier this year. He did have a respectable American hard court season last year that started with a title in Canada in a Challenger tournament.

If Paire was at his best then his SP of 1.60 would be generous but this is a match to stay away from in the early games. I think there is a decent chance of Paire trading above evens and i will be watching to try to gauge his form. if Dancevic can serve well he can hang on to a single break for the set. if the Canadian gets into a a winning position I would expect him to have a few choke moments. if there is no sign of Paire grabbing his knee or limping  then backing  him when a break down isn’t a bad plan. Go easy with the stakes though!

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