EXHIBITION = REDUCED STAKES
We had some interesting matches yesterday. Sinner took a tight match in 2 sets over Khachanov. Tommy Haas started as massive underdog against Struff. He took an early 3-0 lead. Struff pulled him back and seemed to be on his way to winning the tie break but Haas took it. He also took the second set in a tie break.
As expected the fact that the WTA final was moved from grass to an indoor court tipped things towards Svitolina. She broke the Kvitova serve right at the start but Kvitova came back to take a scrappy first set. In the second set Svitolina sorted her serve out and easily levelled the match. She was the stronger player in the match tie break.
Bertens was disappointing against Sevastova. She made far too many errors and clearly has some work to do in the next few weeks.
Sinner (2.64) v Bautista Agut (1.56)
Due to start at 11 am
This will be their first meeting.
Their win percentages in the last year are quite even although Sinner’s were played mostly in Challengers. His results indoor were stronger.
Bautista Agut has a good long term record indoors but in the last couple of seasons he has just 2 quarter finals and a semi final to his name.
Sinner has already played on this court which is inside an aircraft hanger. Despite being labelled an indoor court one side of it is completely open to the elements.
We have some value on Sinner today. If he can serve well we are likely to see at least 1 tie break. Lay Bautista Agut around 1.30 and remove the liability at 1.60. As it should be a close match laying the first set winner is a good option.
Petkovic (4.7) v Kvitova (1.21)
Due to start at 12:30 pm
Their head to head record is 6-6. Their last meeting was earlier this week in the grass event. Kvitova won in straight sets but Petkovic did cause her a few problems. They have met 3 times indoors with Kvitova winning all of them in straight sets.
Petkovic had a comfortable win over 1268th ranked Vecic yesterday. She was broken at the start of the second set but then broke her opponent’s serve 3 times to close out the match. She has played her first 2 matches of 2020 in Berlin this week. She does have a decent indoor record but a semi final in Linz in October last year was her only recent strong finish.
Kvitova has not had massive success indoors. Her only strong result in the last 4 seasons was when she took the title in St Petersburg in January 2018. She took the first set from Svitolina yesterday in what was actually the final of the grass event. The final was delayed by rain earlier in the week and was moved to the aircraft hanger indoor court.
This could be similar to their match on grass. Kvitova should be too strong but if her issues on serve continue then Petkovic will have opportunities.
We can try a small lay around 1.15 and remove the liability at 1.30. Back Kvitova if she loses set 1.
Thiem (1.14) v Haas (6.8)
This will be their first meeting.
Thiem has a strong indoor record. He reached the final of the World Tour Finals last November beating both Djokovic and Federer en route. He lost the final in a third set tie break to Tsitsipas.
Haas had an excellent win over Struff yesterday. He also played well earlier in the week on grass and took Sinner to 3 sets.
I don’t expect Haas to pull off another surprise win. Thiem is a level above Struff although his return game is not at its best. He has been serving extremely well.
At this price it could be worth a lay around 1.10 and look to remove the liability at 1.20. Haas’ best hope is to take the sets to tie breaks.
Svitolina (1.5) v Sevastova (2.68)
Due to start at 4:30 pm
Svitolina leads their previous matches 3-1. They last met earlier this week on grass. I had expected Svitolina to struggle a bit in that one but she took it in 2 close sets. They have never met indoors.
Overall results in the last 12 months and also in 2020 favour Svitolina. She has a much stronger indoor record.
Excellent win over Kvitova for Svitolina yesterday. It was a messy opening set but once she sorted her serve out she was the better player.
Sevastova took advantage of a poor display from Kiki Bertens yesterday. She beat the Dutch player in straight sets. Sevastova has served well this week. She has played very few indoor matches in the last 2 seasons.
Ideally Svitolina gets broken first. Back her if that happens or if she loses set 1.