ATP Barcelona, 10:00 – Gimeno Traver hasn’t had the best season so far despite the occasional decent performance. The switch to clay really should help him but a straight sets loss to Michael Russell in Houston won’t have done much for his confidence. Then In Monta Carlo he didn’t make it through the first round of qualifying losing to out of form Kubut as a 1.50 favourite. He lost in the first round last season to Berlocq.
Carballes Baena had possibly the best main tour tournament of his career in Casablanca. The only match he started as favourite was the first round of qualifying yet he reached the semi final before losing in 3 tight sets to evenual champion Garcia Lopez.
They start around evens today with Gimeno Traver slightly favoured. He will need to find some form to get the win today and it looks a decent price on Carballes Baena to me.
Update: Carballes had his chances in the early games but when he couldn’t take them he faded in the first set. Started the second set well but it was Gimeno Traver who won 6-3, 7-5.
WTA Marrakech, 13:00 – Peer beat Martic in straight sets just a couple of weeks ago. That was on a hard court.
Martic has played just one recent match on clay. That was last month in an ITF event. She lost to Glushkoas a 1.38 favourite.
We have to go back to July last year to find Peer’s last match on the dirt. She lost it but the week before she reached the quarter finals in Budapest.
I am favouring Peer who has been playing reasonable tennis lately but I don’t like her SP of 1.61 . If we can get nearer evens I will be backing her.
Update: Peer won 6-2, 6-3.
ATP Barcelona, 14:00 – Stepanek and Thiem have never played before.
Thiem is starting to produce some of the results that his potential has been promising us for a year or two. He reached third round as a qualifier in Indian Wells and the second round, also as a qualifier in Miami. A first round loss in Monte Carlo was a disappointment but he has come through the qualifying rounds in Barcelona without dropping a set.
Stepanek has quite a quirky style of play but it doesn’t work as well on the clay as it does on hard courts. On the faster courts I would be on Stepanek but I think on this surface it can go either way and in fact I am slightly leaning towards the young Austrian.
If they go to a tie break Thiem looks favourite to take it as Stepanek has lost all 6 of his breakers in the last 12 months although Thiem has only won 3 of his 7.
I think this match will give a good indication of how far Thiem has progressed. He will fight all the way. Stepanek starts at 1.70 and I will look to lay him at or below 1.40 .
Update: Thiem won 6-4, 6-4.
WTA Stuttgart, 19:00 – I didn’t think there were any main draw matches being played in Germany today but this one has popped up. Wozniacki plays Kanepi.
Wozniacki reached the final in 2011 where she lost to Goerges. Since then she has only won one match and that was when Jankovic retired in the second set of their first round match in 2012. She lost to Suarez Navarro in the first round last season.
Wozniacki leads the head to heads 4-2 but Kanepi won their only clay court match which was at the French Open in 2012.
Wozniacki isn’t too comfortable on the clay. She has won just 1 of the 6 matches she has played in the last 12 months. Kanepi has a winning record on the surface.
Wozniacki starts at 1.45 and has been in respectable form on the hard courts with a third round in Indian Wells being her worst finish in the 4 tournaments since she crashed out in the first round in Doha.
I think this one should be close and I will be laying Wozniacki. Her price looks too low considering her record on clay.
Update: Wozniacki withdrew before the match started. Konta took her place and Kanepi won in straight sets.