Ah the Kremlin cup. Anyone reading the betfair forum this week will see endless threads/posts about match fixing. The Russian “mafia” are rumoured to be balls deep into match fixing and where else will it be easier for them than in their own country? It will get hyped up so much that even if a match isn’t fixed the slightest hint of something being not quite right could see some huge over reactions in the market so keep your eyes open 😉
I’ll stick to Stockholm for today’s picks.
Petzschner v Kubot:
Head to heads are 1-0 to Petzschner which was at Wimbledon last year. The match went to 5 sets.
Petzschner’s game is suited more to indoor hard courts than any other surface. With no distraction from wind he should be able to get his big serve going consistently. His recent losses have either been close or have been to higher ranked players.
Kubot pushed Dolgopolov close in Shanghai and took Gulbis to 3 sets in Tokyo. His last decent tournament performance was on clay in Stuttgart where he lost in the semi finals to Andujar. Whilst he can prove to be a tricky opponent on hard courts he doesn’t like to be rushed and an in form Petzschner will try to do just that.
I feel this match is Petzschner’s to win or lose and if he seems to be up for from the start I’ll be backing him.
Update: Petzschner broke serve in the very first game. He then held serve himself but it was a terrible service game with many second serves and deuces.
After that he was in control and took the set easily. The second set was closer but Petzschner won 6-2, 7-5.
Haas v Devvarman:
Tommy Haas received a wild card entry to this tournament. He hasn’t played since he reached the third round at the US Open. In July he pulled out of Newport due to a back injury and also withdrew from Canada with a hip problem.
Devvarman started the season well but has tailed off since then although he has been extremely unlucky with the opponents he has drawn. Even so, losing so many matches isn’t good for the confidence.
I am surprised to see Haas as favourite on betfair for this one. Yes his highest ranking was 2 but that was in 2002.
Devvarman can be an awkward opponent even for some of the better players so he must fancy his chances today.
I’ll wait a couple of games before getting involved but I am looking to lay Haas. I will be looking for Devvarman’s serve to be solid before entering the lay.
Update: Haas served exremely well in the early paer of the set and had 4 break points in Devvarman’s second service game but couldn’t take any of them. The market began to favour Haas quite heavily and at 5-4 ( still on serve) Haas was at 1.47 . Devvarman held and then had 2 break points in the next game. I had continued to lay Haas as his price went lower but wasn’t too confident so I closed the trade at 1.97 . That proced to be an inspired decision as Haas saved both break points and went on to hold serve.
The set went to a tie break and it was Haas who won it.
In the second set Devvarman was broken in the first game which cost me some of my profit as I had layed Haas. The set continued with serve until Devvarman broke back for 4-4. Unfortunately he was immediately broken back. Haas served out for the match.
Haas won 7-6, 6-4.