Cetkovska v Halep:
Halep starts at 1.52 on Betfair but I have them much closer than that. Cetkovska hasn’t played since losing to Jankovic in the first round in Dubai. She has had a couple of decent wins this year including against Ivanovic.
Halep has beaten Benesova and also Hantuchova although that win was after Hantuchova won the tournament the week before. She has won 5 of her last 6 on hard courts.
If Cetkovska gets her serve going she can set up her big ground strokes. ON her day she can give anyone a run for their money.
I feel the starting price is too low and I will be starting with a lay with a view to managing the position in play. Cetkovska is more than capable of taking this match.
Almagro v Querrey:
This is a tricky one. Querrey leads the head to heads 2-1 and he is 2-0 on hard courts.
Almagro lost in the second round last year so he won’t be losing many points if this one doesn’t go his way. He is coming off an excellent few weeks in South America where he won a tile and had another final appearance and a quarter final. I don’t think he would be devastated to get a week of rest.
Querrey has been given a wild card entry for this event. He made it to the third round last year and he won’t want to be losing any points as he tries to build his ranking back up after injury.
Querrey reached the quarter finals a couple of weeks ago in Memphis and also had a good win over in form Smyczek in straight sets.
The American will need his serve to win him as many free points as possible. Almagro has also been serving pretty well but he could take a few games to get a feel for the courts after several weeks on clay.
I expect Querrey to get the faster start partly due to him having played a match here already. He could easily get an early break and be able to serve out the set.
I think Querrey comes through this on top.