Qatar ( Doha )
Monfils v Troicki:
That have played just once which was last August and also on a hard court. Troicki took the first set and Monfils won the next two on tie breaks.
Monfils still seems to be having problems with his knee and hasn’t looked too impressive so far.
Troicki has served well though has not created many break chances on return. he will need Monfils’ serve to be below par today. An injured knee won’t be helping the Frenchman’s serve.
We could easily see at least 1 tie break in this one and i feel that Monfils is a lay at 1.82 . I won’t be putting full stake in at the start though and hope he gets a better start so i can lay again lower.
Neither player needs to go further to defend points so no added motivation. If Monfils loses the opening set he may not risk further damage to his knee with potentially another 2 sets.
Kerber v Pennetta:
Head to heads are 1-1 with Kerber winning the only hard court meeting at the US Open last year. That was in 3 sets.
Pennetta had a tight first match against Cirstea but since then she has despatched her opponents without too much fuss. She has yet to lose a set.
kerber’s toughest match also came in the first round when she was taken to 3 sets by Erakovic who took the opening set. Kerber was a set up in the quarter finals when Lisicki retired. She also had an easy win over Goerges who had been ill this week.
Pennetta reached the final in 2010 and i think she has a good chance of doing so again. This will be a very tight match and almost certainly will go to 3 sets.
Based on this week’s performance I have to go with Pennetta. However I certainly don’t want to be backing at 1.60 as the price should be at least 1.80 .
I will lay Pennetta at the start and manage the position from there. She has been a little fragile at times on her serves but her ground strokes have made up for that.