Wickmayer v Jankovic – Indoor hard court – approx 12:30
EDIT- Well that was a waste of time. Similar to Davis Cup, players can be changed at very short notice. Jankovic has been replaced in this match by Krunic. This is why I rarely blog about DC or Fed Cup 🙁
They have played just once before which was also on an indoor hard court. That resulted in a straight sets win for Jankovic.
Both players won their first match in this Cup match.
Wickmayer reached the final in Hobart last month although was completely outplayed by Barthel despite Wickmayer being top seed and much more experienced in finals. The following week, perhaps not surprisingly she lost in the first round of the Oz Open.
Jankovic reached the quarter finals in Brisbane losing in 3 sets to Schiavone. At the Australian Open she reached the 4th round playing great tennis but was inexplicably bagelled by Wozniacki in the first set. The second went to the Dane 7-5. She beat Flipkens in her first match here but it was very tight and ended 7-5, 7-5.
Jankovic has won 9 of her last 10 Fed Cup singles matches. Wickmayer has an identical record. 8 of those 10 matches were played at home.
Home advantage will make this a more even contest. Snow has affected the heating system. The temperature outside was -7 and inside wasn’t much warmer. Jankovic said afterwards that it was very very cold and that affected the bounce of the ball which was keeping low.
As long as the heating is sorted and the bounce is higher then that will favour Jankovic. Wickmayer will make this more of a contest than in their previous 6-2, 6-0 meeting but I still give her opponent the edge.
Jankovic starts at 1.60 but is likely to trade higher during the first set. I will be waiting for something over 1.80 before getting involved.
VTR Open, Chile – Final, clay ,20:45
Berlocq v Monaco
Berlocq came through in 3 sets against Chela. There was talk before that match that Chela was going to throw the game as he wanted to join his team for the upcoming Davis Cup tie and Berlocq 2-0 was backed heavily in the set betting market. Both players struggled to hold in the first set which was eventually won by Berlocq. In the first game of the second set Chela went 2 break points down withh some very weak play and it looked like the rumours were correct. Perhaps Berlocq wasn’t able to play his part in the scripted match and failed to break. Chela took a 5-2 lead and managed to give away the next 2 games but was forced to win the set. The “master” then took control and skillfully lost the third set 6-0.
Monaco is in the same Argentinian Davis Cup team and again there was talk of him not giving his best efforts. Chardy 2-0 was backed heavily.
However from the start it was clear that Monaco was there to win and he quickly broke Chardy and took the set 6-1. He won in straight sets.
Monaco leads the head to heads 4-0 and starts as a strong favourite. One concern is their record in finals. Monaco has won just 2 of his last 10 finals. Berlocq has won 8 of his last 10 finals although it is worth noting that all 10 were in Challenger events.
Berlocq has playedd reasonably well this week but at times he has struggled to close out games that he should win easily. I feel he was given some assistance from Chela in their semi final.
Monaco beat an in form Chardy and also Montanes who put up aa real fight and has to be my pick to take the title. He starts at 1.54 on Betfair and 1.52 on Betdaq ( although only £6 has been matched so far on the match odds market!! )