25th Feb 2014

The early matches weren’t very inspiring to say the least.


Dubai, 12:00Dodig hasn’t been as sharp as he was in the latter half of 2014. However he has still managed to reach the quarter finals in Zagreb and Marseille.

Stakhovsky has had a steady start to the year. With a couple of exceptions he has won the matches that he should win. He reached the semi final in Sydney having won through the qualifying rounds first.

Dodig starts at 1.50 and if he serves near his best then that is probably a fair SP.  He doesn’t often manage more than 1 break in s et himself though and if Stakhovsky has the sort of day where he serves well and comes to the net often he could at least take this to 3 sets.

It is more likely that Dodig wins 6-4, 6-4.

Update: Stakhovsky served too well and Dodig couldn’t find a way through.

Stakhovsky won 7-6, 6-7, 6-2.


Brazil, 13:00Kiki Bertens reached 41st in the world last season. Things haven’t gone so well for her since and she is now at 125. Her more recent form has shown more promise although her last match was not a classic. She lost in 2 tight sets to Ormaechea but led in both sets and should have won that one.

Today’s opponent Karatantcheva has won both their previous matches. Both were in 2012.

Bertens has better recent form and should be stronger from the service line. In the last 3 months Karatantcheva has held serve less than 50% of the time. That’s poor even by WTA standards.

1.54 on Bertens is too low and I will be looking for at least 1.70 .

Update: Very scrappy match. Bertens won 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.


Brazil, 15:00Zakopalova reached the final last week in Rio. She has a terrible record in finals and must now be thinking she is cursed. That was her best chance for a long time to take a title and she got sick. Nara beat her in 3 sets.

Vekic has promised so much yet hasn’t delivered. She is once again outside the top 100.

Zak’s energy levels are likely to be low. Not only playing a long week of tennis but fighting off bronchitis has to take it out of you.

If Zakopalova is feeling worn out and perhaps still feeling ill then Vekic has a chance. Vekic has talked about winning the title. Maybe it’s HER who has the fever!

1.57 is worth a part stake lay at the start until we see how Zak is playing. If she looks sluggish and has a face like a slapped teenager then Vekic has a shot.

Update: Very poor from Vekic. Zak could have been on her death bed and still beaten her. Zakopalova won 6-3, 6-3.


Dubai, 15:30 – Surely Davydenko will be too strong for Golubev? Davydenko played well last week while Golubev was winning a Challenger title in Astana. He played 5 matches last week.

As it’s Davydenko I won’t be using huge stakes but a price of around 1.70 will be tempting. He starts around 1.50 .

Update: Both had problems on serve especially in the opening set.

Davydenko won 7-6, 6-4.


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