Today is definitely a day for traders rather than punters. The majority of the value will be in play.
WTA Gastein, 9:00 – Grace Min has a good record against other Americans and has also won 12 of her last 13 matches when starting as a favourite over 1.50 . her opponent today Falconi has lost 5 of her last 6 as underdog.
They haven’t played for 2 seasons. Their 2 previous meetings were both on clay and both in 2012. They won a match each.
We have to go back to 2012 to find the last time Falconi won a main WTA tour second round match. That was on the grass in Birmingham.
I’ll be going with Min but will wait to see if I can get nearer evens on her in the early games.
ATP Stuttgart, 10:00 – Lets hope we get some play in Germany today. Becker takes on Paire.
They have met just once before which was on a hard court last season. Becker won in straight sets.
Paire has retired with his knee injury 3 times since April. he has won just 2 of his last 10 matches. He starts at 1.50 today. Even though clay isn’t Becker’s favourite surface he has been in excellent form on the grass which will have increased his confidence. I expect Paire to trade a fair bit higher than 1.50 .
WTA Gastein, 11:00 – Svitolina reached the semi finals last season. Voegele has been in a terrible run of form and hasn’t won 2 matches at any tournament since Brisbane at the start of the year. She fought well in the first round to beat Goerges.
I’d expect Svitolina to win this but she can completely lose the plot at times. I won’t be backing her at her SP of 1.53 but if I can back her when she is an early break of swerve down then I will.
WTA Bucharest, 17:00 – Niculescu was handed the win in the first round by her doubles partner Koukalova. Judging by both player’s reactions during the match I’m not convinced the result was decided pre match but Koukalova looked more like Zakopalova in a match almost as one sided as a World Cup semi final.
Niculescu starts at 1.20 today against Kostova of Bulgaria. 244th ranked Kostova has come through 3 qualifying rounds and a first round win over Alize Lim. She won an ITF clay court event in France last month and whilst it wasn’t the strongest field she clearly knows her way around a clay court.
Niculescu really should get the win but at 1.20 she has to be a lay. I will look to remove my liability if Kostova gets a break of serve and we’ll see what happens from there.
ATP Newport, 22:00 – Stakhovsky and Karlovic have met 4 times. They are 2-2 and Karlovic won the 2 most recent.
Karlovic had an unexpected strong clay court season before he was forced to retire from the French Open in the third round with a back injury. When he returned for the grass season he struggled but seemed to be over the injury in the first round this week beating Ginepri in 2 sets.
Stakhovsky had another good Wimbledon win, this time over Gulbis. He didn’t retire from his next match but was clearly injured against Chardy losing the 4th set 6-0. He had a comfortable win in the first round this week.
All the stats point to a Stakhovsky win but if Karlovic’s back is ok my gut feeling is that he takes this. I will have part stake on him at the start. If he looks as comfortable on serve as he was in round one I will top up on him but not below SP.
Lets hope it doesn’t go to tie breaks though as his record of them on grass isn’t too good!