22 Sep 2013 – Tokyo starts and it’s 3am kick off!

There are some matches that I like the look of so I decided to stay up and trade them. I can sleep when they’re done.

 

First up is Goerges against Cirstea.

Cirstea hit an amazing vein of form on the American swing of the tour. A  semi final in Stanford was followed by quarter final in Washington. Then in Toronto she reached the final beating Wozniacki, Jankovic, Kvitova and Li Na before losing to Serena. Since then she has struggled. She retired from her next match and was terrible in the first round last week against Jovanovski.

Goerges has had an awful time this season but has looked like she is finding some of her timing. There haven’t been many wins and in fact she has won just 2 of her last 10 but the performances have been better.  That is until her last match when she was back to bad Goerges and she was bageled by Begu.

I doubt either of them is feeling particularly confident for this match. The receiving stats favour Cirstea in the last 3 months but the serving stats are pretty even.

If Cirstea doesn’t have a nightmare like she did against Jovanovski  then she should take this one. Goerges’ serve can keep her in a match but it is unlikely to function effectively for the whole match.

I need to see that Cirstea isn’t as bad as that last match and if she is performing better in the opening games then I will wait for a higher price to back her, ideally after a break from Goerges.

Update: It wasn’t a high quality match. Cirstea won 6-4, 6-4.

 

My first thoughts were that Safarova would be too strong for Hercog  but the Slovenian has come through the qualifying rounds so will be well adjusted to the conditions and the court speed. Her serving stats for her last match were excellent. That means Safarova will have to work hard if she is to get the win. Hercog played well in Quebec but faded towards the end against McHale.

Safarova has had a weeks rest since winning that event in Quebec and will start full of confidence. How long that lasts depends on how well Hercog serves.

I won’t be surprised to see 3 sets but I do expect Safarova to go through. Laying either player a break ahead isn’t a bad place to start. There should be a few swings.

Update: Safarova won 6-4, 6-7, 7-6.

 

Venus Williams starts as slight favourite against Barthel. Over the last month their serving numbers are almost the same but return of serve is stronger for Williams.

Barthel hasn’t been playing badly but she has come up against so tough opposition. She will need her serve to be near its best for this one as Venus will punish any weak second serves. I am slightly favouring the American but I want to lay Barthel below 1.65 to 1.70 .

Update: Barthel broke serve at the start of the match and we got our lay. Williams was on top from that point on.

Williams won 6-3, 6-1.

 

Since winning the title in Stanford and the quarter final in Toronto Cibulkova has lost all 3 of her first round matches.

She still starts as a 1.50 favourite against Urszula Radwanska. Cibulkova leads the head to heads 3-2 and they have beaten each other alternatively. It is Radwanska’s turn today if that pattern means anything (which of course it doesn’t).

Radwanska has lost 5 of her last 6 matches.

I need to see who is serving and holding better in the early games. Cibulkova is often a slow starter so I will look for a lay below 1.30 to 1.35.  Having said that, if we look at the previous matches Cibulkova has won the opening set in 4 of their 5 matches. Her wins have always been in straight sets but both Radwanska’s wins were in 3 sets.

Update: Cibulkova broke  early but was broken back and took a few games to get on top.

Cibulkova won 6-3, 6-3.

 

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