11:00 – Golubev v Riba
Rankings are 40 and 84. They haven’t played before.
Golubev hasn’t played on clay this year. Gulbis has tendon damage in his knee and will be taking time off after the American swing of the tour. The longer rallies on clay won’t help him at all.
Riba had a solid win in the last round and didn’t face a single break point. He has a good record on clay on the Challenger tour. In 2010 he was regularly reaching the latter stages of tournaments. He won a couple of tournaments and was runner up twice in the second half of the season.
Golubev will ofcourse have been practicing hard on clay but there is no substitute for match play. His game is quite well suited to the dirt although he won’t be getting as many cheap points from his serve as he does on the hard courts.
This match could be very close and I have Riba as slight favourite. If the match goes on to be a tough 3 setter then I think Golubev may start to feel his injury.
If Golubev is having no problem with his knee as he claims then why have they scheduled some time off to sort it out?
I will be laying Golubev with half stake from the start. This will be reviewed as the set progresses. You should never be afraid of admitting you were wrong as we can’t really know how the players will perform. I really don’t think Golubev will want to play 3 sets so if he does lose the first I will be leaving the bet open to see if he loses interest in the second.
Update: Wow!! When I fired up the Geeks Toy I saw that Golubev’s price had moved to around 2.20 . Anyone laying when I posted would have a nice profit but no value in getting in at that point so I waited. Riba served first and at 0-15 his price didnt move. So I layed him. I got out at 3.85 although that was way too early. Its currently 5-0 to Golubev.
Riba took the second set 6-1 (probably because another 6-0 would have been even more suspicious). Riba won an early break in the third although Golubev broke back. Riba broke again for 6-5 and served out the match.
Riba won 0-6, 6-1, 7-5.