13th February 2015

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WTA BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games, 13:00 – Pliskova v Safarova

Safarova usually starts the season well but she hasn’t done this year. yesterday’s win over Mladenovic was her first victory in 2015. She served exceptionally well losing just 2 points on her first serve and winning 69% of points on her second.

Pliskova as expected has served well in her two matches this week. She was still broken 3 times by Beck in the  last round though. Several of the women were in action at the weekend in Fed Cup matches so be careful of Pliskova running out of steam.

This is their first meeting on a hard court. Safarova starts at 1.66 but we could easily see that trading higher in the first set. Pliskova won’t want 3 sets today so is likely to come out swinging in the first few games.

Tough one to call pre match as it depends a lot on Pliskova’s energy levels but Safarova winning in 3 looks a possibility.



WTA BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games, 14:30 – Suarez Navarro v Schiavone

This is the third time these two have met. Each match has been a quarter final but this is the first one away from the clay. They have one win each.

Schiavone made a poor start to 2014 but she is on fire at the start of this season. She already has 5 wins at this tournament as she had to come through the qualifying rounds. She beat the promising Dodin in the qualies and Koukalova and Kerber in the main draw. I thought she would do well against Kerber but wasn’t expecting 6-1, 6-1!

Carla struggled in her last match with Niculescu. Despite have won both their previous meetings she seemed confused by Niculescu’s slice and couldn’t find any consistency. However after the first set Niculescu received treatment for her back and wasn’t able to serve as she had been.  Niculescu won just 2 more games in the next 2 sets.

Suarez Navarro starts at 1.65 but I don’t think she will have an easy day at the office. She has started slowly in both her matches this week and that is nothing new to her. When Schiavone is confident she can be a formidable presence and if Carla is a little unsure of herself she could feel intimidated.

It should be a close one. Three sets would be no surprise but I have to favour Schiavone.




ATP Memphis Open, 19:00 – Young v Tomic

Both had good wins in the last round. Tomic came from a break down in the second set to beat Dolgopolov in straights. Young beat fellow American Kudla also in straight sets.

Young will have the crowd behind him but it hasn’t helped him much in previous years. His record in Memphis is poor.

The stats for the last 6 months favour Young in every category except service holds.

Tomic starts at 1.62 which too low but if he can maintain his current level of play he should take this. 1.85 is a fairer price on him.





10th Jan 2015

We have a few first round matches tonight in Sydney and Hobart. There are also qualifying matches although it doesn’t look like Hobart’s are covered by Betfair.


WTA Apia International Sydney, 03:00 – Safarova v Stosur

Safarova leads the head to heads 9-2 and has won their last 6 meetings. Their last 4 matches on a hard court were won by Safarova in straight sets.

Safarova usually starts the season well and she performed well in the Hopman Cup. Stosur really ought to start every season well as she is playing at home. Unfortunately she has a poor record in front of her home fans.

Safarova starts at 1.50 which is the lowest starting price we have seen on her in their hard court matches.

Safarova lost just 1 match in the Hopman Cup and that was a third set tie break loss to Serena. She beat Pennetta and Bouchard.

Stosur started well in her home town and took the opening set from Lepchenko. they ended up in a third set and Stosur threw away a 5-1 lead.

Safarova must come into this match with greater confidence but I will wait for a higher entry price. Hopefully Stosur can start the match well before she realises she is in Australia.

1.80 or better will get my interest.



WTA Apia International Sydney, 04:45 – Petkovic v Gajdosova

Petkovic leads the head to heads 4-1. Gajdosova won their first meeting back in 2005. they haven’t played since 2011.

Petkovic lost her first match of the season to Kanepi in 3 sets. Her biggest problem was her second serve and she won just 38% of points on it. She also won just 33% of points against Kanepi’s serve.

Gajdosova beat Shuai Zhang in her first match of 2015 before losing to Ivanovic. her second serve was punished by Ivanovic but she put up a good fight in the first set.

Petkovic starts at 1.48 . She made a terrible start to her first set with Kanepi and even allowing for it being her first set of the season it couldn’t have started much worse.

I don’t expect Petkovic to have an early ride in this one. Both players have strong serves and it will be the woman who settles into their service action the quickest who should come out on top.

I favour Petkovic but see her SP as no value at all. Lay her if she breaks early. Otherwise, backing her when an early break behind will be more realistic value.





Fed Cup – Czech Republic v Germany

Wow they really messed up the Tennis Insight site. It was supposed to be an upgrade but it seems to take forever to find info that took seconds on the old site. Does anyone like the new layout? It reminds me of the new Paypal site which is horrible. Do they think the whole world is short sighted? Why is everything so big?


Anyway, onto today’s matches


12:00 – Kvitova v Petkovic

Petkovic leads the head to heads 4-3 but they haven’t played since 2011.

Kvitova has a much better record over the last 3 months winning 16 of her 22 matches compared to Petkovic’s 10 from 18.

Kvitova wins more points on her first serve and her service holds are significantly higher at over 78% for the last 3 months. The other main stats categories are much closer but show Kvitova stronger on return points won and she allows fewer holds by her opponents. Petkovic’s break point conversion rate is slightly better.

Kvitova didn’t have a great time at the WTA Finals in Singapore losing two of her three Round Robin matches and playing poorly. She managed a half decent display against Sharapova beating her in straight sets but it has to be said Sharapova’s form was well below par too.

Petkovic made a slow start in the Tournament of Champions and lost the opening set 6-0 to Suarez Navarro. Her winning the tournament looked very unlikely at that stage and she lost the match in straight sets. However against the odds she won her next three matches in straight sets to reach the final where she beat Pennetta in three sets.

Both players can be unpredictable and Kvitova’s SP of 1.27 looks low. If she plays her best tennis then is capable of blowing Petkovic off the court but backing at that price after her performances in Singapore is very brave. I will stay out for the first few games to see if Kvitova is serving well. That will be a good indication of her form.

I am looking for a higher price on Kvitova as long as she doesn’t appear to be having a nightmare.




13:30 – Safarova v Kerber

They have played just once before which was on an indoor hard court in 2012. Kerber won in straight sets.

For matches in the last 3 months Safarova has better stats on serve but it is Kerber who leads the other main categories.

Both have a losing record in tie breaks although Safarova did win 2 of her 6 tie breaks played compared to Kerber losing her only breaker.

Safarova reached the semi finals at Wimbledon and since then she has been very consistent with her only first round losses coming in Washington and Wuhan. Her last tournament saw her reach the semi finals in Moscow. her loss to Begu in three sets was a surprise.

Kerber hasn’t played since her third round loss in Beijing a little more than a month ago. Her season really started to show consistent results from May though the hard court season was consistent without being spectacular. of the two players she is the more likely to choke in the big moments of matches.

They start at evens and I am favouring Safarova for this one. Her serve is more likely to stand up to pressure if the match is close and I can see this one going the distance.

I will have part stake on Safarova from the start and will top up if she gets broken early.