WTA Rome, 10:00 – Bencic is slight market favourite over Pavlyuchenkova which is a little surprising. Clay isn’t Pav’s best surface but she has shown some decent form in recent weeks. She beat Jankovic and Torro Flor in Madrid.
Bencic had to play the qualifying rounds and beat Hercog in 3 sets. She also beat Urszula Radwanska.
It’s a tough one to call but I would have expected the starting prices to be the other way round. 3 sets seem likely and I will be laying the player who takes an early break lead.
WTA Rome, 10:00 – Giorgi reached the final in Katowicz. She lost in the qualifying rounds last week to Bencic but I expect her to give Cibulkova some problems today.
Cibulkova made a good start to her match with Stosur in Madrid taking a 3-0 lead. However she would go on to win just 1 more game in the match. She usually does ok in Rome with a third round and a quarter final to show for her last two visits. She also reached the quarter finals of the French Open in 2012.
Cibulkova starts at 1.60 and I will be looking to lay her when she is a break ahead in the early games. She will need to improve on last week’s performance if she is to progress to the next round.
WTA Rome, 14:00 – Puig is slight favourite against Hantuchova but I am favouring the underdog in this one.
Hantuchova reached the semi finals in Marrakech and the quarter finals in Charleston. Puig is yet to win a main draw match on clay this season. She has a decent year on the clay in 2013 but hasn’t shown that form yet. She has won through two qualifying matches in Rome.
I think the slower surface will give us a lot of breaks in this one as both players rely on their power ground strokes. Give players time to think and most of them fall apart.
Hantuchova in 3 sets.
ATP Rome, 16:30 – Bolelli is playing in front of his home crowd but I am still surprised to see Raonic at 1.38 . The big Canadian is a very good clay court player and is of course a top 10 player.
Bolelli needed 3 sets to beat Travaglia in the first round. He has won two consecutive clay title on the Challenger tour before this event. None of his opponents were in Raonic’s class.
0-15 or 0-30 on the Raonic serve will give us a very tempting entry price on him. Anything can happen these days but I expect Raonic to get the win.