24th Feb 2014

Most of today’s matches are this evening. Weeks like this are great for par time traders as there are plenty of matches available for after work.


Dubai, 10:00Tursunov has never played Lacko. He reached the semi final in Sydney but hasn’t achieved much else so far this season.

Lacko has been a little unfortunate with who he has drawn so far in 2014. Apart from Djokovic in the Australian Open his matches were winnable if he had a good day but the only 2 sets he has won came in his win over Struff.

If Tursunov is fit he should take this but 1.50 is no price to back him at.  If we see over 1.75 in the early games then that is more like it.


Brazil, 13:30 – A title in Hobart and a 4th round in Melbourne made people sit up and notice Muguruza. This is her first match since she lost to Krumm at the Pattaya Open. That loss was as much due to fatigue as anything else after 2 long tournament runs.

Vania King can trouble most players if she has a good day, she just hasn’t had one for a while.

All stats point to a Muguruza win and her big ground strokes should be too much for King. However we don’t know how Muguruza will start the match so her SP of 1.31 is just too low. Hopefully after 3 weeks away from competitive matches it will take her 2 or 3 games to settle back into her stride and she will go an early break behind.


Brazil, 15:30Schiavone is still without a win in 2014. She has lost her last 9 matches and in fact hasn’t won a singles match since October.

Surely the Italian has a chance of that first win today as she faces Zahlavova Strycova who has lost her last 4 matches.

They have played just once before which was at Wimbledon in 2011. Schiavone won in straight sets as a 1.26 favourite. Today they start around evens.

With the exception of her loss last week to Dominguez Lino which surprised me greatly Schiavone has performed well for decent portions of the matches she lost. She wasn’t lucky with the players she was drawn against including Cibulkova, Pavlyuchenkova, Safarova and Jankovic.

That loss to Lino is a concern but I am siding with Schiavone in this one. Part stake at the start and I will add the rest if she goes a break down in the early games.


Brazil, 19:30Leo Mayer had been having a pretty good season but in his last match against Ramos he was diabolical.

Pella ended last season with a quarter final in the Lima Challenger on clay. This season he already has a semi final in Brazil in the Sao Paulo Challenger on hard courts so he is happy on any surface.

They have played twice before but only one of them was recent. That was on a hard court last season and Pella won in two tie breaks.

The 3 month stats favour Pella on serve but Mayer on return. Overall Mayer looks stronger on paper. However after his last match I’m not sure he should be a 1.5 favourite in this one. I expect him to trade higher and a lay below 1.35 to 1.40 is a decent place to start.

The sets will be close and will be decided by just a few points. Value is with Pella.


Mexico, 22:00 – McHale looked like she was going to have a decent season when she made the second round in Sydney as a qualifier losing to Kvitova and took Wozniacki to 3 sets in Melbourne. Not much has happened for her since except she lost a Fed Cup match with Karin Knapp in 3 sets.

Mladenovic has been doing well in the doubles but her singles form has been shaky. She did beat  Halep  in Paris in 2 tight sets but lost out to Petkovic in the next round. That was highlight of her singles season so far.

McHale has the bigger game if things are going her way. She should be stronger from the service line with a significantly higher predicted hold. As usual I’d prefer a higher entry than her 1.69 SP and I’d like her to face a break point to give a better price on her.



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