Australian Open – Monday, week 2

Midnight – Schiavone v V Williams

 

Rankings are 18 and 6. Head to heads are 5-0 to Williams.

 

Schiavone hasn’t taken a set off Venus since 2003 and I dont expect that to change in this match. This should be  straight sets win for Williams.

 

Venus is one of the women who I would consider backing  on serve however her price of 1.26 as far too low for that strategy. The return would be 1 or 2 ticks at best for a game won to love.

 

Back Williams from the start and green up after she wins the first set.  Have your plan in place BEFORE the match for what you will do if she is broken.

 

Update:  Very slow start from Williams. Very surprised to see  her lose the first set. After that normal service was resumed.

 

Williams won 3-6, 6-2, 6-1

 

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02:00 – Verdasco v Davydenko

 

Rankings are 8 and 7. Head to heads are 6-1 to Davydenko.

 

Davydenko has been in great form since the back end of last season. That has continued in the first week in Oz.

 

 He has had 3 straight set wins. Verdasco only had to win 1 set against Koubec in the last round before his opponent retired. The extra energy that will give him will help but just won’t be enough.

 

It’s possible that Verdasco can take a set from the Russian but there will only be one winner.

 

Back Davydenko on his serve or back him from the start. Verdasco has one of the most consistent serves on the tour but Davy is among the best returners of serve. Be careful of backing Verdasco on his own serve.

 

Davydenko to win in 3 or there’s an outside chance of 4 sets.

 

Update:All credit to Verdasco. I didn’t see this one going to 5 sets.

 

Davydenko won the first 2 sets so backing him fom the start would have worked well.

 

Verdasco came steaming back and won a 4th set tie break to level the match. Davydenko took the decider 6-3.

 

Davydenko won 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-7, 6-3.

 

 

11:30 – Zvonareva v Azarenka

 

Rankings are 9 and 7. Head to heads are 4-0 to Zvonareva.

 

Neither player has lost a set so far this week. Azarenka is slight favourite on Betfair at 1.67 but I think this could be very close. Very difficult to pick a winner from the start so simply wait for the opportunities to use 15-40.

 

I’d give Zvonareva a slight edge but it could easily go either way and we could also see 3 sets.

 

Update: A 3 setter with a suprisingly one sided deciding set. Azarenka won 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

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