Cincinnati starts today. Actually the main draw started yesterday with just two first round ATP matches being played along with the remaining qualifying games.
ATP Cincinnati, 16:00 – Chardy v Kohlschreiber
They have played twice before with Chardy winning both times. The most recent was in 2011 though so they don’t have a huge relevance to today’s meeting.
Kohlschreiber’s last 6 defeats were all as the pre match favourite. His last 3 hard court tournaments were all in North America this year. He lost his opening match each time. He was favourite each time.
Chardy has been doing a little better. He lost to Tsonga in the second round last week. He has only lost in the first round in a hard court event once this season which was in Washington last month. He lost to Smyczek in 3 sets as a 1.57 favourite. His other losses on hard courts this season have been to Djokovic, Haas, Dolgopolov, Ferrer and Federer.
Kohlschreiber’s stats on all surfaces for the last 3 months are stronger but they are very even on hard courts over the last 6 months.
Despite his poor form I feel Kohlschreiber is due a decent run and think he will at least trade a lot lower than his 1.97 SP. Whether he can hold on for the win remains to be seen but he usually finds a way to choke away a lead.
I will go with a part stake back on him but as long as Chardy remains competitive I will look to lay Kohlschreiber below 1.40 .
WTA Cincinnati, 22:00 – Pavlyuchenkova v Cibulkova
Both players can often start matches badly so this may be a race to see who can make the most errors in the early part of the first set.
Cibulkova starts as the market favourite at 1.68 . She leads the head to heads 2-1 but they haven’t played on a hard court since 2010.
Cibulkova enjoyed huge success in the hard court tournaments in the first half of the season. She reached the final of the Australian Open and followed that up with the title in Acapulco. A quarter final in Indian Wells, semi final in Miami and another final in Kuala Lumpur moved her inside the top 10 for the first time in her career.
Pavlyuchenkova also started the year well with a third round in Melbourne and the title on the indoor courts in Paris. Things haven’t gone so well for her since then though. The clay and grass seasons were very disappointing. When the tour moved back to the hard courts she found a little of her old form and made the quarter finals in Washington. Last week she started poorly against Venus Williams but fought back well to take it into a third set.
Both players can be poor or excellent from the service line. The trouble is we have no idea which it will be before the match starts.
Stats for the last month show Pavlyuchenkova stronger on serve. I will be looking to lay Cibulkova around 1.35 or better.