ATP Paris Masters, 13:30 – Querrey v Lopez
Lopez leads the head to heads 5-2 and has won both their matches in 2014.
Querrey pulled out of his doubles match giving an elbow injury as the problem. Querrey starts at 1.68 today.
Since he reached the semi finals in Shanghai Lopez hasn’t looked too interested in his matches. He has had a great season and is perhaps looking to the end of the season.
Querrey looks to be the more motivated and has come through two qualifying rounds before beating Janowicz in 3 sets in round one. Since he reached the third round at the US Open he hasn’t lost a match. He has won 3 consecutive Challenger titles.
I think Querrey’s withdrawal from the doubles was probably just precautionary step and as long as that is the case I’d expect him to win this one.
WTA Tournament of Champions, 15:45 – Petkovic v Pironkova
They have only played once before but that was 7 years ago. For the record Pironkova won in straight sets.
Petkovic started badly in her first match. She was handed a bagel by Suarez Navarro and was broken in the first game of set 2. She woke up a little after that and broke back. She kept the set close but couldn’t get the breakthrough.
Pironkova was up against Cibulkova in her first match. She was broken at the start of the match but fought back. She has break points to go a break ahead but when she failed to take them Cibulkova stepped up with 3 straight games to take the set. Pironkova broke serve at the start of the second set. Cibulkova broke straight back but was then broken yet again. Pironkova had a double break lead in the set but was unable to take it and Cibulkova won in a tie break.
We saw last week that players’ form can vary greatly from one match to the next in a Round Robin format but if these two play like they did yesterday we should see a lot of price swings.
I think Pironkova will get her nose in front but after that second set against Cibulkova I wouldn’t have much confidence in her ability to close the match out.
I am favouring Petkovic to stagger over the finish line in this one. Hopefully whatever her problem was in her first set yesterday it has been worked on and sorted. She is the stronger hard court player.
WTA Tournament of Champions, 19:45 – Cibulkova v Suarez Navarro
Both players had a win in their first matches yesterday and will put themselves in a very strong position to reach the semi finals with another win today.
Their only previous meeting came in January at the Australian Open. Cibulkova won 6-1, 6-0 but it is highly unlikely that we see a repeat of that scoreline this evening. Cibulkova has had injury problems in recent months whereas Suarez Navarro has been very consistent on the hard courts.
If Cibulkova has gained some confidence not only in her game but in her foot injury from yesterday’s win then she can make life very difficult for Carla who starts the match at 1.70 .
Pre match I have to favour Suarez Navarro. Her serve will be a lot more consistent that Pironkova’s was so Cibulkova will have to work a lot harder to get the break back if she falls behind. I would prefer to back Carla at a price nearer evens.