Tuesday 19th February 2013

Lots of distractions yesterday so adding more match picks took a very low priority. Hopefully a more peaceful day today!

 

Cibulkova and Petrova are often involved in matches that swing from one player to the other. However when they play each other the result is usually decided in straight sets. They have played 4 times and the last 3 didn’t need a 3rd set. Cibulkova leads the head to heads 3-1 and has won all their previous hard court matches.

Cibulkova reached the final in Sydney where she unfortunately didn’t manage to win a single game against Radwanska. Her results since then aren’t good with 2 losses and a single win over Barty.

Just over a week ago she represented her country in the Fed Cup where she was serving for the match against Dolonc. In that service game she fell to the floor with a leg injury and retired after losing the service game and taking a further MTO.

Petrova’s form has been inconsistent so far in 2013. She has put in a couple of shocking performances but then last week reached the third round in Doha. She perhaps should have beaten Kvitova but just made too many errors in the last 2 sets.

I am siding with Petrova in this one but won’t be backing her below evens. Both players are capable of making a slow start so I hope Petrova’s is slower! Ideally Cibulkova will go a break up early in the set so I can lay her at around 1.65 .

Update: Petrova did make the slower start despite Cibulkova handing her a break of serve in the opening game. Petrova didn’t look happy with herself. She trailed 1-4 but managed to pull back to 5-5. However another break for Cibulkova took the set.

In set 2 breaks in the first and last games for Petrova levelled the match at 1 set all.

In the deciding set both players had MTO’s.The set was tight up to the 6th game. Petrova got the break for a 4-2 lead. She held her own serve and in the next game she had and wasted 7 match points. On the 8th she managed to end the match.

Petrova won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

 

Parmentier starts at 1.74 against qualifier Mrdeza from Croatia.

Mrdeza beat Sevastova in the qualifying rounds but is playing her first main draw match today. She has has some success on the ITF tour but I expect Parmentier to be too strong for her today. They have played once before which was in 2011 and also on clay. Parmentier won 6-2, 6-1.

Update: Oh dear!  Many of the more experienced players really struggled in Bogota today and Parmentier was most certainly one of them.  She trailed 1-5 in the opening set and whilst she pulled back to a tie break it was the youngster who took it.

Set 2 was a similar story with Parmentier going a double break down at 0-3 before drawing level at 3-3. It wasn’t to be her day though and Mrdeza won 7-6, 6-4.

 

James Blake plays almost exclusively these days in America. He leads the head to heads with Florian Mayer 3-1. Mayer’s single win came in their last match which was in France last September.

Mayer hasn’t made a great start to 2013 although losses to Baghdatis, Tomic and Davydenko aren’t embarrassing. A straight sets loss to Berankis in Melbourne wasn’t too impressive though and he managed to win just 6 games in the match.

Since that loss to Mayer Blake has  reached the final in Sacramento and the quarter finals in California. This year he has played  the qualifying rounds in Melbourne where he lost to Donald Young. He went to the Challenger in Dallas where he lost to Ginepri in the semi final. He beat Russell in the quarter final.

I think Blake will again be too strong for Mayer and his starting price of 1.80 seems fair enough to me. I may start with part stake from the start as the prices are likely to bounce around while traders decide who is stronger on the day. Even holds of serve should move the price 15 ticks.

Update: Blake took a 3-0 lead at the start of the match but Mayer came back with 6 of the next 7 games to take the set. Set 2 was almost a mirror image of the first as Mayer broke serve right at the start but Blake fought back with 2 breaks of his own to level the match.

In the decider breaks for Blake in the first and 7th games gave the American the match.

Blake won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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