23rd April 2014

ATP Barcelona, 10:00Dolgopolov has recent wins over Gulbis and Wawrinka. Not many players can say that. He starts at 1.46 against Montanes.

They haven’t played for almost 4 years so the 1-1 head to head doesn’t mean too much.

Which Dolgopolov will show up? We never know but he will have to be at his very best to win this one easily. Montanes is an excellent clay courter and if Dolgopolov has an off day the Spaniard is more than capable of taking the match.

I expect the first set to be close anyway so will be surprised if 1.46 is the highest price we see. A lay around 1.30 or lower should give us a good chance of taking profit.

 

ATP Bucharest, 13:00Hanescu won against Simon in their last clay court encounter. However it was in 2009 at the French Open.

Hanescu had a good tournament in Casablanca reaching the quarter final. He used to do well in Bucharest, his home tournament, and reached the final in 2007. He lost to Simon in that final. Since then before this week he has lost in the first round every year.

Simon also won the title in 2008 and 2012 and he reached the semi final last year. He clearly likes the venue.

Simon’s recent form has been poor and he is probably hoping to kick start his season at one of his favourite events.

Simon starts at 1.80 but can sometimes get nervous at the start of important matches. he needs to have a good week and will probably be nervous and edgy at the start against the home player.

I’ll back him when he is a break behind as he will usually break back but I can see this going to 3 sets and I hope to be out of my trade long before that stage.

 

ATP Barcelona, 16:00Melzer was a winner for the Shark Tips subscribers as underdog against Kukushkin yesterday. He was 0-3 down in the third set but rattled off the next 6 games.

His next opponent is out of form Janowicz.

Based on recent form Melzer is rightly the favourite but so often he will go a break behind in the opening set. He did that yesterday and wasted a lot of break points before finally leveling the set at 4-4 . Janowicz relies heavily on his serve which will be less effective on this surface so if he goes a break ahead I will be backing Melzer.

 

WTA Stuttgart, 17:30 – I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking at the Petkovic v Pennetta match.

Petkovic won the title in Charleston and beat Stosur in the Fed Cup.

Pennetta reached the quarter finals in Dubai and won the title in Indian Wells. A second round loss to Ivanovic in Miami wasn’t a huge shock but a first round loss to Date Krumm as a 1.15 in Monterrey wasn’t very impressive.

As long as Petkovic has recovered from the Fed Cup and the journey from Australia ( which she really should have done) I think she takes this one. I want a price above evens though.

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