20th Feb 2014 – How many tennis players does it take to change a lightbulb?

ALL of them. They knew how to do it yesterday but just don’t seem to remember how to do it today.

If ever a match screamed out to be safe to let the bet run it was Kvitova’s against Suarez Navarro. Kvitova’s dominance in the opening set was pretty humiliating for Carla. The power in the passing shots was incredible. The crowd were feeling so bad they only clapped when the Spaniard won a point. There wasn’t much crowd noise in that 6-1 set.  The second set was more even but it was no surprise when Kvitova got a break. During that set she traded at 1.01 . I had backed at the start and was getting bored (and hungry) in the second set so I traded out at 1.04 . I was telling myself off as I did it. Why leave money on the table??

Suarez Navarro won 1-6, 6-4, 7-6!

 

Anyway, onto today’s matches. I didn’t get around to adding more matches yesterday. I had had enough of watching Flipkens screw up one of my tips after she had done the same the previous day by beating Pliskova. Ormaechea was winding me up too but finally came through 7-5, 7-5. As for Ivanovic. Don’t get me started.

 

Dubai, 10am Venus Williams starts as favourite against Pennetta who became the latest player to beat Radwanska yesterday.

Annabel Croft in her commentary managed to convince me yesterday that Venus was injured. I won’t be listening to her again.

Pennetta actually leads the head to heads 4-3 over Williams although their last match was in 2009.

Their recent records are quite similar. Williams is having more success from the service line but Pennetta is a little more solid on return.

Both have had wins over attacking players this week. Pennetta had to fight against Kanepi in 2 very close sets.  She then had a surprisingly straight forward win over Radwanska who seems clueless right now.

Williams has had two easy wins over Ivanovic and Vesnina but does she have the energy levels left to win this one? She has said she is managing her schedule on the tour better than she was a year ago but I expect Pennetta to make her work for every point today.

Pennetta always looks vulnerable on serve against big hitters and will have to work very hard for her holds. If Williams serves well as she has been doing then Pennetta has her work cut out for her. I will be backing Venus today.

Not at 1.64 though! I am looking for near evens before I enter this market.

Update: Williams won 6-3, 7-5.

 

Dubai, 12:00Wozniacki and Cirstea played each other twice last season. They won a  match each with Cirstea taking the most recent one in August.

Wozniacki has had to fight in both her matches this week. She almost allowed Beck back into the match yesterday when she had looked in control.

Cirstea has wins over the doubles queens Vinci and Errani.

The balls seem to be flying a little in Dubai and I’d say that favours Cirstea as she is having a week (so far) where her big ground strokes are finding their targets.

I think we will see a very tight match and possibly 3 sets but I feel value is with Cirstea.

Update: Very poor from Cirstea. Wozniacki won 6-1, 6-2.

 

Rio, 2pm – Dominguez Lino’s season hasn’t really got off the ground yet but all the events have been on hard courts. Her first clay court match of 2014 saw her beat 2010 French Open winner Schiavone in straight sets.

Scheepers hasn’t been beyond the first round since the US Open last year. She is more at home on hard courts and I think her consistency will let her down today.

Lino’s weakness is her serve but her hold percentage rises on clay. I just think she will have too much awareness of what’s needed on clay. Her poor start to the year gives a very healthy 1.82 on her.

Update: Horrible match! Lino somehow won 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 saving a match point in the second set.

 

The other matches that I am interested in have been covered for the Shark Tips service.

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