23rd May 2014

ATP Dusseldorf, 11:00Kohlschreiber and Delic resume their match from yesterday. Kohlschreiber took a tight first set 7-5. Delic was a break up in the second set but Kohlschreiber broke back just before the match was suspended. If Kohlschreiber takes the next 2 games then it won’t have much effect on his performance in the next match later today against Istomin but if Delic can take it into a third set the winner will be at an obvious disadvantage in their second match of the day.

 

WTA Nurnberg, 13:00Pliskova and Svitolina start very evenly priced although at the time of writing this Svitolina is a slight favourite.

Pliskova won their only previous meeting but that was 3 years ago. She has the bigger serve of the two players but Svitolina hasn’t been giving too much away on her own serve this week.

Neither player has lost a set so far this week so something has to give.  I am favouring Pliskova to get the win but she will need her serve to remain solid. Sometimes she can have “brain fart” service games for no apparent reason. Not unusual at all in WTA of course but the serve is a vital part of her game. The rest of her game will fall apart if her serve fails too often.

 

WTA Strasbourg, 13:00McHale prefers hard courts but is enjoying some success on the clay this season. She took Sharapova to 3 sets in Madrid and reached the third round last week in Rome. She has continued to play well again this week although she had a few problems on serve in the second round against Dellacqua. She has faced 19 break points this week but saved 15 of them.

Soler Espinosa has had to fight hard to get this far.  Her last 2 matches went to 3 sets beating Peng and Giorgi.

She has served surprisingly well this week and I think she will be able to take this one close.

All the stats favour a McHale win but her starting price of 1.37 is much too low. I would say 1.55 to 1.60 is a more realistic starting price. I will wait for a higher entry on McHale.

 

ATP Dusseldorf, 13:00 – Who are you and what have you done with Karlovic? In the last 12 months Karlovic has won just 4 matches on clay. Three of them were this week and the 4th was last week in Rome. Yesterday he beat Monaco in 3 sets.

Vesely hasn’t dropped a set this week and knocked out Melzer in the quarter final. Based on how Melzer had played up until that match you have to suspect that he threw the match to get some rest for Roland Garros. Losing 6-1, 6-1 just doesn’t fit in with his form earlier in the week.

Both are big servers ad I don’t expect many breaks. For that reason I have to say value is on Karlovic at 3.10.

 

ATP Nice, 13:30Gulbis leads the head to heads 4-1 over Montanes and won their only recent match in Barcelona this year. That was also on clay and was won in straight sets.

Both players needed 3 sets in their last 3 matches with Gulbis scraping through in a third set tie break against Tursunov and Montanes coming from a set down to take the third 6-4 over Leo Mayer.

Mayer struggled to cope with the Montanes serve for most of their match yesterday but I would expect Gulbis to fare a lot better.

I don’t like the Gulbis starting price of 1.37 though and I will be surprised if we don’t see that trading a fair bit higher. It’s always a little risky backing the top players so close to a Grand Slam but I will be backing Gulbis if he goes a break down in the first set. I won’t be using full stakes though.

 

Keys v Puig in Strasbourg is covered for the Shark Tips service.

 

Nurnberg, 15:00Karin Knapp has finally found some form this week. She had an excellent win over Garcia in the quarter final. Her serve has looked a lot better. Prior to this week she had lost in the first round of her last 7 tournaments.

Bouchard still isn’t comfortable on clay. She is trying to play her hard court game on the slower surface.  In her last 3 tournaments as soon as she faced a seasoned clay court player she couldn’t cope.

Bouchard’s price of 1.30 seems almost crazy and as long as Knapp doesn’t decide she is happy with her progress this week and keeps fighting I think she can keep this close.

A lay of Bouchard below 1.20 seems a good option as I think we will see her trading a lot higher.

 

ATP Nice, 15:30Simon v Delbonis is a tricky one to predict. Simon reached the 4th round at the French Open last season where he lost in 5 sets to Federer. He lost at the quarter final stage in Nice last year so will he bust a gut to come back if he loses the first set?

Delbonis knocked out top see John Isner in the quarter finals. It ended in a third set tie break. It is impossible to know what players are thinking but I would imagine reaching the final this week will mean a lot more to him than it will to Simon.

I just have a sneaky feeling that Delbonis takes this. I will hope for a lower price on Simon to lay the Frenchman. His SP is 1.69 so anything lower than 1.50 will start my lays going in.

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