Just a week until Wimbledon starts. With it being such a short grass season players will be looking to get a few matches in to fine tune their grass game. I expect a competitive week.
Bartoli has a good record at Eastbourne. Every year since 2007 she has reached the semi final and she won the title in 2011 when she beat Kvitova in 3 sets.
She starts as a 1.47 favourite today against Pennetta. The price reflects a little how poorly she has been playing and in particular how bad she has been from the service line.
Pennetta has come back fairly well from her long injury lay off and reached the semi finals in Strasbourg having had to play the qualifying rounds. She doesn’t have an amazing record on grass and whilst I expect Bartoli’s price to trade a lot higher than SP I think she will scrape through.
Waiting for the higher price will give us a chance to see how her serve is working. Even when she is playing well her serve can falter at any time but as long as she isn’t throwing in 2 double faults every service game she is worth backing if she goes a break down.
Update: Bartoli looked a lot better today and her serve was more reliable.
Bartoli won 6-3, 6-2.
Heather Watson is a slight favourite against Lepchenko. Not sure I agree with that. Lepchenko hasn’t had a match on grass yet but her game suits the surface well. A slow start from her may give us a decent lay price on Heather. Lepchenko will need her serve today though.
Update: Watson was broken in the first game but she broke straight back. There were just 2 more breaks in the match and both went Watson’s way.
Watson won 6-3, 6-4.
Fognini will have some problems with Zemlja today. Zemlja won their last match which was on a hard court in December. He reached the third round at Queens last week and I have him to at least win a set today. Foggy reached the quarter finals last year losing to Roddick but this is his first match on grass this season and he may take a few games to find his timing.
Update: Fognini was broken in the first game but Zemlja couldn’t hold his own serve. Zemlja took the set in a tie break but it was Fognini who came through in 3 sets.
Fognini won 6-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Grass courts allow James Blake to compete with the medium ranked players. Ramos has never won a main draw match on grass and the 1.50 on Blake looks like value to me.
Update: Without his serve Blake has very little else and this serving performance was one of the worst of the day.
Ramos won 6-2, 6-4.