27th Feb 2014 – Value is thin on the ground today

Many of the later matches have very little money in them yet. Those that do on the whole offer very little pre match value. As we saw from the Murray and Federer matches that doesn’t mean we won’t get exceptional value in play 😉


Brazil, 15:30Monaco and Ramos start at evens.

They have played 3 times before, once in each of the last 3 seasons, and Ramos won them all. Monaco retired in their first meeting but the two matches that were completed both went to three sets.

They played last week in Buenos Aires.

Since he retired with stomach ache during the US Open in August Monaco has won just 1 of his last 9 matches. If and when he finds his form he will be too strong for Ramos. Despite the fact that I seem to have an uncanny knack at the moment of opposing players with awful recent form just as they turn it around and start playing like Nadal I will be favouring Ramos in this one. I would prefer to lay Monaco below 1.70 .

Update: Very tight match. Monaco won 7-6, 2-6, 7-5.


Dubai, 17:00 – So Federer lost a set to Stepanek. Anything can happen. He starts at 1.08 against Rosol. He  will probably win easily in straight sets but it has to be a lay just in case!  Rosol isn’t likely to break the Federer serve but tie breaks can be a great leveller.

Update: Federer won 6-2, 6-2.


Brazil, 20:00Zakopalova hasn’t played Dulgheru since 2011. They played twice that year and shared to wins.

Usually when Zakopalova has a good week she won’t win more than a game or two the next week. There was an exception to this last season when she reached consecutive semi finals in Palermo and Bastad. This time we have the added effect of her illness. Surely we will see a lot of errors from her today. She has had 2 easy opponents in Vekic and Lim but today she will have to produce more than just basic tennis.

Dulgheru has played opponents of higher calibre. She won through two qualifying rounds before taking her first and second round matches in straight sets.

Zakopalova starts at 1.40 and I think we will see a price well above that. If she goes behind early it might be too much effort for her to fight back.

Update: Dulgheru went 2 breaks up at the start of the match. Zak fought back but was helped by Dulgheru being injured. She retired in the second set.

Zakopalova won 6-3, 5-2.


Mexico, 23:30Kanepi has had to work hard to reach the quarter final. She needed 3 sets to beat Cepelova in the first round and yesterday only a third set tie break separated her and Julia Goerges.

McHale has also had potentially tricky opponents in Mladenovic and Date Krumm however both under performed and the American breezed past them in straight sets. Players need tough matches in the early rounds to fine tune their game and McHale is likely to be a little flat in this one.

Kanepi starts at 1.50 . She has won 15 in a row when priced 1.20 to 1.50 . Hpefully we get a higher entry in the opening few games. She didn’t start well against Goerges so if she goes a break behind that would be perfect.

Update: Another poor start from Kanepi saw her win  just 1 game in the opening set. She came back to take the second but it was McHale who won 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.


Mexico, 03:00 – What a pity Gulbis and Dimitrov are on in the early hours. They played recently in Rotterdam and Gulbis won in 2 close sets.

Dimitrov wasn’t great in their previous match and will be out for revenge. He should have a great chance. Gulbis scraped past Goffin in a third set tie break in the last round. It could be he is ready for a few days off after a semi final and a title in the last 2 weeks. His serve wasn’t as effective in the Goffin match as it was last week and I think he will struggle today.

Gulbis starts as slight favourite but I think Dimitrov takes this one.

Update: I only caught the end of the third set this morning. It looked like a very close serve dominated match.

Dimitrov won 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.



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