It’s a tricky list of matches today. We should get a decent number of “swingy” markets.
Charleston, 15:00 – Svitolina v Stephens is potentially an interesting match up.
They have played once before which was at the Australian Open in January. Stephens won in two tight sets.
Their starting prices today are very different to what they were in January. Stephens was a 1.25 favourite that day but starts at 1.65 for this one.
Svitolina scraped through her first round match with Gajdosova in a third set tie break. She has had some excellent performances in the last 2 events with wins over Bouchard, Mattek Sands and she took Radwanska and Ivanovic to 3 sets.
Stephens reached the third round in Miami. She played Wozniacki and won just one game in the whole match with a truly awful performance. Her only decent recent win was over Ivanovic in Indian Wells.
I think we see 3 sets today and I am favouring Svitolina to get the win.
Update: A very poor start from Stephens and Svitolina always kept her nose in front.
Svitolina won 6-4, 6-4.
Charleston, 16:00 – Hantuchova was severely tested yesterday by Rogers. Rogers served for the opening set and served for the second set twice but was broken each time.
Hantuchova’s next opponent is Grace Min who gave up 19 break points to her opponent on Monday.
Hantuchova starts at 1.80 which does look like a generous price. She had bad losses in the first rounds of Indian Wells and Miami so I am a little wary of backing her. However based on their respective first round performances I feel she is worth part stake at the start with a view to adding to the position above evens as long as she starts reasonably well. She will get multiple chances to break the Min serve.
Update: Hantuchova won 6-2, 6-3.
Charleston 17:30 – Erakovic got the win for the Shark Tips subscribers yesterday but my God she made us sweat for it. Even as she served for the match in the third set she needed 5 match points. Or was it six? I had my eyes shut by that time.
She hasn’t had long to recover from that whereas Bencic has had an extra day to recover from her straight sets win over Kirilenko.
Apart from the fact that Erakovic had to play an extra set their stats for the first round were remarkably similar. Bencic won a higher percentage of points on return but Kirilenko’s serve wasn’t quite able to match Petrova’s.
As Erakovic is the slight underdog then value is with her. However I feel if this goes to a third set she will start to fade.
Bencic will need to serve better than she did on Monday. If she doesn’t then I think Erakovic takes this in 2 sets. If she can match Erakovic from the line then I reckon she will take it to 3 sets and will nick the win. Expect lots of price swings.
Update: Erakovic was clearly more fatigued than I expected!
Bencic won 6-2, 6-1.