Australian Open 2014 – week 1, Saturday

The midnight matches all have low priced favourites except for Cilbulkova v Suarez Navarro.

Cibulkova starts at 1.50 . She has had 2 very solid wins including over Schiavone in round 1. She hasn’t lost a set yet.

Carla has performed well too but needed 3 sets in the last round to get past Voskoboeva. She won 8-6 in the third set.

Stats-wise they are quite well matched. Cibulkova is slightly ahead from the service line and Suarez Navarro has better figures on return.

Suarez Navarro reached this same stage last year. Cibulkova has improved on her second round from 2013.

I think 1.50 is too short. I have to favour Cibulkova to ultimately get the win but I can see her making one of her slow starts although it may be a matter of who gets in first with the poor start as Carla can wander round the court like a gormless cave woman sometimes. I will be surprised if we don’t get a higher price and if I see 1.80 I will be backing Cibulkova. If the match turns into a battle I think Suarez Navarro will be a little intimidated by the shouts and screams coming from the Pocket Rocket.

 

Sloane Stephens is rightly the favourite against Svitolina but 1.32 is really tight.

Svitolina beat Kuznetsova in the first round and is still to lose a set having beaten Rogowska in her last match.

Stephens was pushed very close in her second round match with Tomljanovic and won the third set 7-5.

Svitolina has an excellent serve and it has been flowing well so far. Stephens tries to play her own game regardless of her opponent. Slight adjustments have to made and she isn’t always the smartest when it comes to making those adjustments for players she hasn’t faced before.

I will be laying Stephens below 1.25 and expect to see 3 sets.

 

Muguruza beat Wozniacki the last time they played. That was in Miami last year. She has played a lot of tennis in the last couple of weeks having won the title on Hobart last week. Playing someone like Wozniacki is likely to be a match with long rallies and she may not have enough left in the tank if they end up in a deciding set.

Wozniacki has been playing reasonably well but lost concentration in her second set with McHale. She came back strongly in the third set but a lapse  like that today may not be easy to come back from.

Woz starts as slight favourite at 1.87 which is a fair price given the fatigue factor.

I will start with a small back at the start on Wozniacki and will look to add to it if and when she goes a break or break point down. I think she gets her  revenge today.

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