WTA Birmingham, 11:00 – Zahlavova Strycova fought hard for Shark Tips subscribers yesterday but it’s hard to see her troubling Safarova if she plays like she did in the opening set. She was also visited by the trainer after that set though I don’t think it was anything too serious.
As this is Safarova’s first match of the grass season she could take a few games to adjust. With a little luck we may get a better entry price on her than her SP of 1.31 .
ATP Queens Club, 12:30 – Hewitt has beaten Lopez in all 4 of their previous meetings. Lopez has never taken a set from him. Only one of those matches was recent. That was in Brisbane this season.
Lopez leads the service holds but everything else favours the Aussie. The wind affected Lopez’ serve in the first round. He has been below his best in the last few weeks but that could be down to not fully recovering from the illness he suffered in April. he did reach the quarter finals in Madrid but except for that tournament he hasn’t been past a second round since March.
Hewitt loves playing on grass and his game is perfect for it. I don’t think Lopez’ sliced backhand will be effective against him. Maybe Lopez will grab a set today, probably in a tie break but I will be looking for a price near evens to back Hewitt.
WTA Birmingham, 13:00 – Razzano beat Pliskova in straight sets in the 1st round. The last time she played Koukalova she also won in straight sets but it was in the US Open in 2010.
The 3 month stats all favour Razzano and Koukalova has lost her last 6 matches. Razzano hasn’t won a second round match all season although she has met a big name almost every time.
Koukalova’s divorce (her married name was Zakopalova) seemed to give her form a short term boost but she has struggled more recently. She has reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon for the last 3 seasons and the 4th round in 2010. She doesn’t usually play a tournament this week but is capable of playing well on this surface.
Razzano can occasionally put in a performance of a higher level than her average and given her opponent’s lack of confidence right now I can see her making a real match of this.I will lay whichever player takes an early break lead. I expect a lot of breaks.
It is Koukalova’s to win or lose but my gut feeling is that Razzano will take it in 3 sets.
ATP Queens Club, 16:30 – Wawrinka has won all his 5 matches against Baghdatis. Baggy usually makes a strong start to the season and then fades after the US Open. He seems to be doing things differently this year and is only now starting to produce the sort of tennis we know he is capable of. He won the Challenger in Nottingham on grass last week.
Wawrinka has had some unexpected losses since he won the Australian Open in January. He did win another title in Monte Carlo. He hasn’t had much success on the grass and his best Wimbledon runs were to the 4th round in 2008 and 2009. Last season he won the title in s-Hertogenbosch.
As this is his first match on grass this season we have a price of 1.60 on Wawrinka. I think we will see a slow start from him and I will be backing him if he goes a break behind early.
Baghdatis needed 3 sets to win yesterday so unless Wawrinka has a shocker it should be the Swiss number 1 who progresses.