Technically two of the main draws start in the early hours of tomorrow. We have first round matches in Brisbane and also in Shenzhen.
The first couple of weeks were tough to predict last season but once we reached the Australian Open things became much more predictable. We have no way of knowing how the players’ preparation has gone or who has picked up an injury in training.
We also have some Hopman Cup matches tonight but I have never been very interested in trading exhibition events.
Keep an eye on liquidity. There is very little money in the markets as I write this.
WTA Brisbane, 03:00 – Tomljanovic v Jankovic
Jankovic reached the semi finals last season where she lost in 3 sets to Azarenka.
This is wild card Tomljanovic’s first trip to Brisbane. She played Shenzhen last season and lost in the first round to Anika Beck.
They have played just once before which was on the clay in Charleston last season and Jankovic won in straight sets.
Understandable then that Jankovic is favourite but 1.23 is a little low. I will be waiting for 1.40 on Jankovic before entering.
Update: Tomljanovic won 7-6, 6-0 . This week isn’t going to be easy if this match is anything to go by!
WTA Brisbane, 05:30 – Stosur v Lepchenko
They have played 4 times and Stosur won the last 3. All her wins came on hard courts with Lepchenko taking the other match on a clay court.
Australia’s top player actually has a losing record in her last 50 matches on home soil. She started last season by losing all 3 of her matches in the Hopman Cup but then reached the semi finals in Hobart. She lost there to Koukalova in straight sets which was a little unexpected. She then made the third round in Melbourne.
Lepchenko’s season ended with a couple of quarter finals although she lost both as pre-match favourite. She lost in the first round in Brisbane to Svitolina. The following week she got to the second round in Sydney as a qualifier but only survived the qualification rounds due to her Lucky Loser status.
Lepchenko hasn’t managed to take a set from Stosur on a hard court and the Aussie comes into the new season fired up and determined to make a fast start in her home tournament.
Stosur starts at 1.45 which is a fair price. It will be interesting to see what difference new coach Simon Rae makes to her game. I expect her to take this one but don’t be surprised to see her trade a fair bit higher.
Update: Lepchenko won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. I backed Stosur when she went a break down in the first set. Fortunately for me I had to leave the match after the first set. Stosur choked away a 5-1 lead in the third set!
WTA Shenzhen, 07:30 – Schmiedlova v Koukalova
Koukalova lost in the second round last season but in 2013 she reached the final where she lost out to Li Na in 3 sets.
She ended last season very badly but illness didn’t help cause. After Shenzhen last season she reached the final in Hobart so is capable of finding her form early in the campaign.
Schmiedlova achieved very little away from the ITF tournaments last season although her third round at the French Open came out of nowhere.
Koukalova starts around 1.70 which doesn’t look a bad price but she is the type of player you don’t really want to back below evens.
Back Koukalova if she goes an early break behind. There should be a few breaks of serve in this one.
Update: Another choker! Schmiedlova won 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.
Great match for trading with lots of breaks. Koukalova came back from 1-3 down in the third set and had a 5-2 lead in the tie break but threw it away.