We have some tricky matches today with a few where you’d expect the favourite to take it until you delve a little deeper.
Tommy Haas starts as a 1.62 favourite against Gulbis who he has beaten in their last 2 matches. Both were also in Germany with a 3 setter on the Munich clay in April and a tight 7-6, 6-4 win on the grass in Halle.
Today they meet in Stuttgart. Haas has only played the event twice which were in 2000 and last year. In 2000 he retired at this stage and last year he lost at, once again, the round of 16 in straight sets to qualifier Pavol Cervenak (ranked 206).
Obviously this isn’t a huge sample but perhaps this is the stage of the season where Haas runs out of energy.
Gulbis made a slow start against Granollers in the first round losing the first set but he came back very strong to take the next 2 sets 6-1, 6-1. He certainly appeared to be giving everything against potentially tough opponent.
Given that their previous matches have been tight with most of the sets being close I will be laying Haas today, preferably below 1.45 to 1.50 but I’ll see how they start.
Update: It was clear from the start that Haas wanted to win this one. The initial lay on Haas after he broke in the first game failed as Gulbis was in clown mode. Haas won the set 6-0. A lay at 1.15 proved more fruitful as Gulbis started to play in the second. He levelled the match and Haas was able to take a tight third.
Haas won 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.
Roberta Vinci is playing in her home town of Palermo. Often when a player is so close to home they will have a lot of their friends and family at the matches. They also have the option to be able to stay with family and will be more relaxed and motivated to perform well. When Vinci has played in Italy in the Fed Cup she has been really pumped up and 1.60 on her today seemed like a good price against Polona Hercog.
Vinci reached the final in 2006 but since then she has never made it through her second match.
They have only played twice since 2011 and Vinci took them both in straight sets but neither was on clay.
Recent stats are actually in Hercog’s favour although she has played fewer main tour matches than Vinci. She is ahead on holds of serve, return of serve (particularly against first serves) and has allowed fewer holds by her opponents.
I will be looking to lay Vinci if she goes an early break up.
Update: Vinci looked up for this one in the first set and was soon a break ahead. She took the set easily. In the second she did her best to give it to Hercog but unfortunately Hercog was too crap from the service line to take advantage. Vinci was broken in the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 11th games and every single time Hercog couldn’t hold.
Vinci won 6-2, 7-6.
Almagro isn’t breaking any records this season. His brief appearance in the top 10 seems like a long time ago. He did reach the 4th round of the French open and the third round at Wimbledon but his consistency has been letting him down too often.
Today he faces Garcia Lopez who was impressive in his first round match. He heads the head to heads with Almagro 4-1 and has won all 3 of their clay court matches. They haven’t played since 2010 which was at the Us Open and Almagro won that match in 4 sets and they haven’t played on clay since 2008 but with an SP of 1.26 I will be looking to lay Almagro below 1.20 as I think at the very least he will trade higher.
Update: Almagro was awful for most of the opening set and looked like being bageled. He started to find some timing towards the end. In the next 2 sets he was much better and lost just a further 2 games in the match. His price dropped to 1.22 at 0 15 in the opening game. I laid part stake there as i was hoping for lower. We didn’t get it in that set but still a very nice profit.
Almagro won 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.