January 3rd/4th 2013

Last night felt like hard work. Hantuchova didn’t help by losing in straight sets from an SP of 1.20 . I backed her at evens and secured some profit which I managed to piss away in the second set! Jamie Hampton started her match in superb form again but then fell asleep in the second set. Something to watch out for with her. Not that I was bothered. I was out after the 6-1 opening set 😉

Periods of inactivity weren’t helping me and I fell asleep at least a couple of times so I think over all it was a trading session to survive and be grateful!

 

Barthel is first up again and will take on Wickmayer. That will be one hell of a match!

They played twice in 2012 with Wickmayer winning indoors and Barthel taking their only outdoor hard court match. That was almost exactly a year ago in the final in Hobart where she took the title as a qualifier.

Wickmayer is ranked higher but it is Barthel who starts as slight favourite at 1.80 .

Barthel  won’t find it as easy to come back from a slow start against Wickmayer. Having watched her demolish Larsson I have to give Barthel the edge although I am nervous of her slow starts. I will sit out for a couple of games before getting involved.

Update: Barthel started very nervously. Her return of serve was weak and Wickmayer was getting on top. At 3-4 Barthel was broken and Wickmayer served for the set. She wasn’t able to serve it out and Barthel broke back. Wickmayer won a third consecutive break to take the opening set.

The second set saw a totally different Mona Barthel. She started to play as she had against Larsson and broke Wickmayer three times to take the set. She had the momentum and I felt she would go on to take the match. In the third set neither player could get the break. In fact Wickmayer didn’t allow Barthel a single break point chance. She had 3 break points on Barthel’s serve but they were all saved. The set went to a tie break which Wickmayer won.

Wickmayer won 6-4, 1-6, 7-6.

 

Azarenka goes up against Serena Williams in the semi finals in Brisbane. I haven’t seen either of them play this week but the head to head is marginally in Williams’ favour at 11-1. She has won their last 9 matches. In those 9 matches Azarenka won just 2 sets.

Is 1.55 value against the world number 1? Either the price isn’t right or the ranking positions aren’t right. Give it 12 months I reckon and the price will be the same but the rankings will have corrected themselves.. I will still be holding out for a slightly better price on Williams 😉

Update: Azarenka pulled out before the match.

 

Baghdatis usually starts the year well and seems to have done the same so far in 2013. 1.70 is too low against Simon but i think it could be a good time to benefit from Baggy being in form before he starts thinking about things as we get deeper into the season. I’ll be backing him if Simon gets an early break.

Update: Simon broke serve in the very first game and was immediately broken back. Baggy went on to win the set with a further break of serve. At 2-2 in the second set Baggy won what proved to be the only break of the set.

Baghdatis won 6-3, 6-4.

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