12th May 2014 – Rome Masters

Make a list of the players who you would be totally happy to back heavily at short odds. Unless you’re betting/trading in blissful ignorance I guarantee it will be a short list.

The courts have changed, the balls have changed and it all seems to be taking its toll on the players’ already fragile minds. I don’t have stats to back this up but we seem to see a lot more deuce games than ever before as the “playing field” has been leveled somewhat.

If their performances on the court are anything to go by I wouldn’t be surprised if there are now “rocking areas” in the locker rooms where the players can sit under a table gently rocking back and forth while they try to figure out what the hell’s going on.

Of course the increased predictable unpredictablity can only help our trading 😉


WTA Rome, 10:00Vesnina reached the semi final in Portugal. Then last week she lost in 3 sets to Schiavone.

Svitolina has had some decent tournaments on the hard courts and also reached the 3rd round in Charleston on that surface that the Americans like to call clay but behaves like a slow hard court. Her last 2 tournaments on more traditional red clay saw her exit in the first round although she met Jankovic last week.

Vesnina is in the better recent form and is a more seasoned clay courter. Svitolina can give her some trouble if she plays at her best level but I have to go with the Smiling Russian.

Vesnina starts at 1.65 and as she rarely does things the easy way I will wait for a price nearer evens before backing her.


WTA Rome, 14:00Sloane Stephens certainly isn’t among my favourite players. Her body language on court is usually similar to that of a slug and she thinks she is already a superstar.  She hasn’t had much success on the clay and has a losing record on this surface over the last 12 months. However there were signs last week in Madrid that she was making improvements as she reached the third round and took the opening set from Li Na 6-2.

Jovanovski isn’t having the best of seasons and her inconsistency has been her downfall. She hasn’t had back to back wins since January.

Stephens starts at 1.48 and whilst I expect her to win I won’t be backing her at that price. I will look to back her if she goes a break behind in the early games.


ATP Rome, 16:00Simon has won all 3 of his previous matches with Volandri. You would expect that to be the case but Volandri took a set each time.

Simon would be a prime candidate for a place in the rocking area and he probably has his own table with his name plate on it.  This season isn’t going so well for him. He plays a decent set and you think he is coming back to form and then he falls apart again.

Volandri can be a frustrating opponent for many players and he hasn’t won too many matches this season. However last week he reached the semi final of the Rome Challenger event.

This would be Simon’s worst defeat of the season as if he can’t break Volandri’s girly serve on several occasions he should consider retiring. I am hopeful of seeing a higher price on him though and a break for Volandri in the early part of the first set would be perfect.




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