ATP Paris Masters, 12:00 – Verdasco v Simon
Simon tanked his match last week against Dolgopolov to concentrate on producing a decent run in Paris. Last year he lost to Ferrer in the second round so will fancy his chances of gaining some ranking points.
Verdasco has already equaled his second round finish from last year by beating Donald Young in the first round. he has never made it past the second round in Paris.
Their head to heads are 2-2 but they haven’t played for four years. Simon starts as a 1.56 favourite which is about where the price should be but perhaps a few ticks short.
Verdasco started well against Young but couldn’t get the break. That cost him as he ended up losing the set despite being the stronger player. He took control of the match after that.
The first set should be tight and I expect to see Simon trade higher. Whether Verdasco can get the break is another matter but I think as initial lay of Simon below 1.40 has a good chance for profit. Only one of their 4 matches was not settled in straight sets but a three setter today would not surprise me at all.
I am going with Simon for the win.
WTA Tournament of Champions, 16:00 – Cibulkova v Pironkova
Cibulkova leads the head to heads 6-1 but has had real problems this season with injuries. Pironkova won their only match that wasn’t on a hard court. That was at the London Olympics in 2012.
Cibulkova is still far from 100% fit. She will be looking to finish the match in straight sets but if her foot injury slows her down Pironkova and the home crowd can put her under pressure.
Cibulkova starts at 2.00 which is tempting at least for a trade. That price has been drifting slightly during the morning though so it is risky.
I will take a part stake back on Cibulkova from the start. If she begins the match looking good then that price will drop quickly. If she does take the opening set I will lay her as she may have pushed her foot as far as it will go during set 1.