I’ll be glad to see the back of this week as far as predictions go. The predictabel unpredictability of the WTA has been great for the trading but when it came down to predicting eventual winners it wasn’t so easy!
Thank God we have another Masters event in Monte Carlo. There are 4 first round matches today but I’ll just post some thoughts on today’s finals before I watch the Liverpool v Man City match.
Katowicz, 13:45 – This should be an interesting one. Cornet had a great win over Radwanska yesterday. Her last 3 matches have gone to 3 sets and in the last two rounds the set she lost was a bagel. It could also be the case that she suffers a slight let down after beating Radwanska.
Giorgi has been very solid from the service line and hasn’t even come close to being bageled. She has lost just 1 set this week which was to defending champion Vinci in a tie break. Suarez Navarro really tested her in the semi final with an excellent serving display of her own but it wasn’t quite good enough.
Putting everything together I am favouring Giorgi who starts around 1.90 . Her serve should stand up to the Cornet pressure and if she continues to be as aggressive as she has been she should put pressure on the French woman’s serve.
This is Giorgi’s first main tour final so there’s a chance we see some nerves but her self confidence is sky high and I don’t expect that to be a major issue for her. Cornet has lost her last 3 finals when she started as underdog.
Casablanca, 14:25 – Granollers has played some great tennis this week but has had a helping hand from his opponents who didn’t take their chances. Garcia Lopez has reached the quarter finals on his last 3 visits to this event so will have good memories of previous years.
They have played twice before but not recently. Their last match was actually at this event in 2010. Garcia Lopez won in straight sets. Their other match was way back in 2003 and again Garcia Lopez won in two.
Granollers starts at 1.59 which is too low for me however I think it just feels like his tournament and things have been going his way. I will try to get on him at a higher price in the early games.
Bogota, 17:00 – Jankovic is defending champion. She hasn’t lost a set but there have been some close ones. Scheepers pushed her hard in the second set in the semi final although I’d have prferred her best set to have been in the first!
Garcia has only lost 1 set herself although her draw up until the semi final wasn’t the toughest we have ever seen. I though Vania King would give her more trouble in that semi final but Garcia came through fairly comfortably in straight sets.
They have played twice before and each time Garcia took it to a deciding set. Last season in Charleston she took the opening set and lost the second in a tie break. She had chances to win that second set but choked right at the end. Even in their other match in 2012 Jankovic won both her sets in tie breaks and the second set went to Garcia 6-4. Garcia had match points in that third set too.
The fact that it’s s a final is obviously favouring Jankovic but Garcia has nothing to lose. She has pushed Jankovic close each time they met and she has more experience under her belt now. If she can get into a winning position this time I think she will take it. However I don’t think she will be able to get as close this time. Having said that, I d expect a higher price on Jankovic at some stage, the sooner the better.
Houston, 19:00 – Almagro takes on Verdasco in our last final of the day.
Almagro starts as favourite at 1.61. Neither player has a great record in their most recent finals. Almagro lost his last 4 and Verdasco lost his last 7!
Verdasco leads the head to heads 6-3 and has won 3 of their last 4 meetings. Their only match in the last 12 months was last season in Bastad. That was on clay and Verdasco won 7-5 in the third set.
I think Verdasco has a great chance in this one. He is part of the “old guard” of Spanish players and despite being just a couple of years older than Almagro the younger player usually seem quieter against these players. He can be a very loud aggressive character but he shows them a lot of respect and tones it down when playing the older Spaniards. It inhibits his game against Verdasco.
Three sets are likely. I will look to lay whoever takes an early break lead and will also look to lay the first set winner.