The second weeks of Slams are my least favourite as there are hardly any games. I might even have a go at some of the doubles!
Murray and Troicki resume their marathon match at 2 sets all. Will Murray’s ankle have swollen up last night? Possibly. Will he make another slow start? Possibly. After yesterday’s first set I was lucky to escape without loss. I kept laying Troicki in the first set up until 5-0 and was then worried about retirement from Murray. The market certainly expected it. I removed the red from Troicki’s side about 5 seconds before Trocki started playing like a ballboy and Murray decided that his ankle didn’t hurt. Thankfully for me Troicki took the second set and I was able to bail out. I won’t be entering this one again!
I don’t see 1.35 as a back price here. I think its a pure gamble if you get involved as the market could well go absolutely nuts. I’ll be watching it though 😉
Update Murray made his usual slow start and Troicki served for the match. Murray broke back and took the match 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
Federer and Monfils: Monfils won their last match which was also played in France. Monfils came through a marathon of his own to beat David Ferrer in 5 sets. Fed has quietly made his way through the rounds without losing a set. Wawrinka, Tipsarevic and Lopez couldn’t do much to challenge him. Monfils was hitting the ball extremely well in that final set yesterday and I feel 1.17 is just too low for Federer. Monfils’ legs may be a little heavy this morning but this is what these guys do for a living and he will be up for the fight. Hard to see Federer losing in the form he has showed so far but it will be an entertaining match. I’ll wait for a higher price.
Update: That couldn’t have gone better. Monfils got the first break and Federer’s price rose to 1.40. He soon broke back and then broke again to take the set. The second was all Federer. The third was much closer with the players exchanging breaks. It was settled in a tie break. Fed won 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.
In the women’s matches defending champion Schiavone takes on Pavlyuchenkova. Their head to head is 2-1 to Schiavone who won their only previous match on clay. Both have overcome very strong opponents to get this far with Schiavone knocking out Jankovic in 3 sets and Pav beating Zvonareva also in 3 sets. There’s something about the French Open that Schiavone loves and the French crowd certainly love her. Most of their support will be with the Italian.
Pav’s stats are slightly better over all although Grand Slam quarter finals are often won by the player with the mental strength and Schiavone is ahead on that score. If it turns into a battle I have to go with Schiavone to come through but I can’t back her at the start. Against strong opponents she often starts slowly and has to fight back which would give us a better price. A small lay from the start on Schiavone looking to back her higher up.
Update: The initial lay worked perfectly as Schiavone was terrible in the first set and Pavlyuchenkova served exceptionally well. The next 2 sets were much closer and Schiavone managed to win them both to take the match 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Kuznetsova and Bartoli have never played on clay but the head to heads on hard courts are 2-1 to Kuznetsova. Bartoli won their only recent match which was last year. Bartoli will be the more rested of the 2 players as Dulko retired early in the second set of their 4th round match. Kuz had to get past Hantuchova in 3 hard fought sets. Kuznetsova has a better serve and Bartoli is better on return of serve. Bartoli is ofcourse playing in front of her home fans. I am surprised by the market that has Kuznetsova a strong favourite at 1.44 and that has to be a lay from the start for me as I give Bartoli a slight edge.
Update: Very scrappy first set with more breaks than holds but Bartoli took it. She won an early break in the second and hung on to win 7-6, 6-4.