24th March 2014

Once again we have a high percentage of matches with low priced favourites. Are any worth a lay?

Radwanska could easily have some problems with Svitolina. I think Sharapova’s match with Safarova will have played her into some improved form so Flipkens is unlikely to give her a scare.

 

The Kerber v Makarova, Bautista Agut v Fognini and Ivanovic v Kvitova matches are all covered for the Shark Tips service.

 

16:30Bedene starts as slight favourite against Becker. I am usually wary of going against Becker as he can easily have a day of huge serves on hard courts. He doesn’t seem to be able to do it consistently though. Harrison helped him out a great deal in the last round and if Bedene can keep playing the way he has done until now he looks the more consistent player.

Back him nearer evens. He starts at 1.75.

 

19:00Wawrinka struggled a little with Gimeno Traver needing 3 sets. He starts today at 1.22 against Roger-Vasselin who beat Cilic in straight sets in the last round.

Whilst I expect Stan to get the win that has to be a lay price. If DGT can take a set, Roger-Vasselin might also get a few chances.

 

23:30Isner and Almagro have had some tight matches in the past. They have never played on a hard court though. The surface rally should favour Isner and with the home crowd behind him he is rightly the slight favourite at 1.78.

Almagro hasn’t played on hard courts this season having withdrawn from Melbourne with a shoulder injury  and has concentrated on clay events since then. He served well to beat Querrey in straight sets in the last round.

Isner seems to be over his foot injury and has found some form since the tour moved to his home country. Semi finals in Delray Beach and Indian Wells saw him playing the sort of tennis we know he is capable of.

Of these two players Almagro has the better return of serve and as long as he can get the return in play he will be favourite in rallies. The key to this match will be the Almagro serve. If he can maintain the high level from the last match he has a great chance.

Almagro needs to try to find a way to break though as Isner will be happy to win in 2 tie breaks and has a superb record on hard courts in breakers.

Personally I expect a couple of tie breaks so am going with Isner to get the win.

 

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