It looks like a decent list of matches today and ofcourse we still ahve the Djokovic/Nadal final at 11.
McHale v Cibulkova:
They have met once before which was on a hard court in July last year. Cibulkova won in 3 sets. Since then McHale has improved her ranking from 65 to 36 and has been playing some solid tennis.
Last week McHale pushed Sharapova very close losing 5-7, 5-7. She had a 4-1 lead in the first set. In Madrid the week before she took Stosur to 3 sets.
Cibulkova made the quarter finals last week in Rome but perhaps reached that stage thanks to Azarenka pulling out of their third round match. Cibs was out played by Na Li for most of the match although she was allowed back into the second set having being 4-0 down.
Comparing the two players over the last couple of weeks McHale looks the stronger. If she can come close to the form she showed against Sharapova then she would have to be favourite. Her normal pattern however is to start well but fade away against higher ranked opponents.
Cibulkova starts as slight favourite on Betfair at 1.77 but as her serve has been at its usual unreliable level I feel this is going to be a tough match up for her.
As I favour McHale I will start with a small lay at the start. This gives me chance to see if my assessment is correct and if Cibulkova should make an uncharactaristicly fast start it will give me a lower price to add the rest of my stake.
A good chance of 3 sets.
Update: The first set was very close but Mchale was putting pressure on Cib’s serve. I added to the lay. At 3-3 Mchale had 3 break points and I hedged out. The break wouldn’t have given me enough extra ticks to make it worth staying in. Smart move as Cibulkova fought back to hold. McHale was broken in the next game. In true WTA style she immediately broke back. The set went to a tie break which Cibulkova won. McHale fadede badly in the second set.
Cibulkova won 7-6, 6-1.
Roger-Vasselin v Paire:
The market has Paire as favourite. This is perhaps due to him reaching the final of the last event he played which was the Serbia Open at the start of May. However if you look at his opponents that week it take a little shine off the achievement.
Round 1 – Fognini had just reached the final of the previous tournament and was always going to be under-motivated.
Round 2 – Typically flaky performance from G-L although to be fair perhaps Paire’s only half decent match that week.
Q Final – Nieminen had already played a rain delayed match earlier that day and was low on energy. Paire still somehow managed to lose the first set 6-0!
S Final – Andujar had played a huge amount of tennis in recent weeks and was dead on his feet. Still took 3 sets.
Final – Seppi was the first real fit player he faced and Paire was battered 3 and 2.
Roger-Vasselin reached the semi final of a hard court Challenger event a few weeks ago and whilst he has lost 2 of his 3 recent clay court matches one was a 5-7, 6-7 defeat to Almagro and a tight 3 setter with Lorenzi who beat Davydenko last week.
I don’t think this will be the highest quality tennis that we will see today. Roger-Vasselin is capable of putting in a decent performance against almost anyone and Paire just doesn’t inspire confidence.
I will be laying Paire at the start and will decide how long to hold that position based on the early games. He will need to show a lot more consistency than he has recently. Whilst they are both French Roger-Vasselin in particular lifts his game on home soil.
Update: The match was postponed until Tuesday due to rain. Why Paire bothered to play is beyond me. He was broken to 0 in his first 2 service games. Roger-Vasselin wasn’t quite as bad as his fellow countryman and despite losing one of the breaks he took the opening set. I didn’t stick round for the second set but Roger-Vasselin took it in a tie break.
He won 6-4, 7-6.