We have a few first round matches tonight in Sydney and Hobart. There are also qualifying matches although it doesn’t look like Hobart’s are covered by Betfair.
WTA Apia International Sydney, 03:00 – Safarova v Stosur
Safarova leads the head to heads 9-2 and has won their last 6 meetings. Their last 4 matches on a hard court were won by Safarova in straight sets.
Safarova usually starts the season well and she performed well in the Hopman Cup. Stosur really ought to start every season well as she is playing at home. Unfortunately she has a poor record in front of her home fans.
Safarova starts at 1.50 which is the lowest starting price we have seen on her in their hard court matches.
Safarova lost just 1 match in the Hopman Cup and that was a third set tie break loss to Serena. She beat Pennetta and Bouchard.
Stosur started well in her home town and took the opening set from Lepchenko. they ended up in a third set and Stosur threw away a 5-1 lead.
Safarova must come into this match with greater confidence but I will wait for a higher entry price. Hopefully Stosur can start the match well before she realises she is in Australia.
1.80 or better will get my interest.
WTA Apia International Sydney, 04:45 – Petkovic v Gajdosova
Petkovic leads the head to heads 4-1. Gajdosova won their first meeting back in 2005. they haven’t played since 2011.
Petkovic lost her first match of the season to Kanepi in 3 sets. Her biggest problem was her second serve and she won just 38% of points on it. She also won just 33% of points against Kanepi’s serve.
Gajdosova beat Shuai Zhang in her first match of 2015 before losing to Ivanovic. her second serve was punished by Ivanovic but she put up a good fight in the first set.
Petkovic starts at 1.48 . She made a terrible start to her first set with Kanepi and even allowing for it being her first set of the season it couldn’t have started much worse.
I don’t expect Petkovic to have an early ride in this one. Both players have strong serves and it will be the woman who settles into their service action the quickest who should come out on top.
I favour Petkovic but see her SP as no value at all. Lay her if she breaks early. Otherwise, backing her when an early break behind will be more realistic value.