US Open 2013 – week 1, Friday

The day is more organised (so far ) and no one has a crisis that needs sorting. Not sure how long that will last but I’ll start the post early.

As expected once the first round was out of the way the matches have become less random. No huge surprises yesterday although Evans  had an excellent win over a fatigued Tomic and Cirstea went down in straight sets to Nara from Japan. The world is beginning to make sense again!


The number of matches on at the same time start to get more bearable too with just 5 starting at 4pm

I don’t expect Radwanska to have too many problems with Pavlyuchenkova but it would be nice if she can start slow and give us a price worth backing. Pavlyuchenkova did win their last meeting but it was in 2009.

Update: Radwanska won 6-4, 7-6.


Both Dolgopolov and Youzhny won their first round matches in straight sets. Youzhny leads the head to heads 2-1 but Dolgopolov won their only match on an outdoor hard court in Toronto in 2010. All of their matches went to 3 sets with Youzhny winning the first set every time. Youzhny is 1.70 to win the first set.

They are still closely matched and I can’t see why this shouldn’t be a 4 or 5 setter but I have to go with Youzhny who has been having a great season. I’ll hope to get on him higher than his SP of 1.67 .

Update: Youzhny won the first 3 games but Dolgopolov fought back with the next 5 games. He was broken serving for the set and fell apart.

Youzhny won 7-5, 6-1, 6-3.


Li Na starts as strong favourite against Laura Robson.

The only time they have met before was actually at this stage of the US Open last year. Robson won in 3 sets. Robson also beat Clijsters in that tournament which came just after she had got a new coach. As so often happens a new coach can have an immediate short term improvement in form.

In her last match Robson battled well to win but if Garcia can give her so much trouble I have to doubt she can hurt Li Na. Fortunately Li Na can often hurt herself though and whilst she has been playing well she hasn’t been tested. Li has been making quarter finals for fun recently and with Semi finals in her last 2 events I can’t see Robson getting the win. I can however see Li trading a lot higher than 1.25 so I will wait for the higher entry. If Li breaks early in the match I will lay her though.

Update: Nerves paralysed Robson in the first set but LI started making errors in the second and Robson went ahead. She couldn’t hold on to it though.

Li won 6-2, 7-5.


I will monitor the Jankovic v Nara match in case Jankovic goes behind and we get a decent backing price. Nara has been playing well and has had an excellent week but she goes home after today.

Update: Jankovic didn’t have it her own way but won 6-4, 7-6.


Makarova and Lisicki should have a great match!

Head to heads are 1-1 but they haven’t played since 2009 so we don’t get much insight from them. The Betfair site has Lisicki beating Makarova at last year’s US Open. Not for the first time their stats are complete crud as they didn’t play. Lisicki was knocked out in the first round by Cirstea. Makarova was knocked out by Serena on the third round.

Their 3 month and 6 months stats on hard courts slightly favour Makarova. I used to view her as a player who could start a match well but then she would nearly always fade. That hasn’t been the case in recent months and she has become much better at maintaining her level.

Lisicki starts as slight favourite at 1.82 but I will be favouring Makarova to come through this one in 3 sets.

Update: Makarova was soon a break up and held onto the lead. She won a close match 6-4, 7-5.


Kanepi has beaten Kerber in both their previous matches including at this year’s Wimbledon.

In the last 3 months their stats are close with Kerber edging the return stats and Kanepi ahead in the service numbers.

Looking at their stats for the last 2 rounds it looks like Kanepi is going for more power on the first serve which is very effective when it lands in. Kerber had an easy first round match and didn’t give up a single break point to Hradecka. However she allowed Bouchard 14 break points in their second round match of which she saved 8 of them. She was also only able to take 7 of the 18 break opportunities herself.

Kanepi has given 7 break points to her opponents in each match and has converted a higher percentage of the ones she earned for herself.

Kerber start at 1.70 which seems about right. I think we will see 2 very tight sets or maybe a 3 setter.  I am giving a very slight edge to Kanepi. If she can keep her first serve percentage reasonably high then she will get a lot of cheap points. Kerber’s serve has looked vulnerable against anyone half decent and I think she could have a nightmare period of the match where nothing works for her.

Laying Kerber a break ahead seems like a good option.

Update: I didn’t trade this one but what was Kanepi doing in the first set??

Kerber won 6-0, 6-4.

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