6th March 2014

Thirty two singles matches tonight so plenty to get our teeth into.

 

19:00Jack Sock was handed a Wild Card entry for this tournament. He starts as a slight favourite against fellow American Smyczek at 1.71.

They have played three times and Smyczek leads 2-1. Sock won the most recent meeting which was in August. Their last two matches went to three sets. Sock won the opening set in those last two meetings.

I think we will see a tight match. Neither player is particularly strong on return of serve but based on recent matches Sock has the edge. I would prefer to back him above evens though.

Laying the first set winner is also an option.

 

20:00Julia Goerges has performed better this season than she did in 2013. She reached the semi final in Pattaya and her recent losses have been against stong opposition.

Cepelova hasn’t been doing too badly either. A quarter final in Shenzhen and a third round finish in Dubai including a win over Stosur.

I am expecting 3 sets and would have to give the edge to Goerges. She starts at 1.56 and I will look to lay her if  she goes an early break ahead.

 

21:00Istomin is favourite against Stepanek.

Stepanek often proves to be an awkward opponent as Federer found last week. He has a poor record in this even though and has lost 10 of the 12 matches he has played there.

Istomin has the stronger serve. He reached the 4th round in 2012 and lost to Federer in the second round last year.

They have never played before which could give Stepanek a slight early advantage as he has the more unusual style. Three sets would not be a surprise and the sets should be close. I am going with Istomin to get the win but want to get on him if he goes a break behind.

 

23:00Schiavone still hasn’t won a match this year. Barthel is so unpredictable but has managed three main draw wins so far.

I actually think Schiavone has been really unlucky not to have recorded a win yet. Her lack of confidence that comes from losing every time has brought too many errors to he game.

Barthel has performed well on her two previous trips to Indian Wells. She beat Ivanovic last year before losing to Stosur in 3 sets. In 2012 she lost in a third set tie break to Azarenka.

I think this match has the potential to be one of the “swingiest” matches of the night. I am favouring Barthel but won’t be backing her until she is a break behind.

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