Mahut looks good for the win over Kuznetsov ( Betfair still have a photo of Gasquet next to Mahut! ). His game really suits grass well and he comes alive at this time of year. The Kuznetsov serve could keep him in the match and I would expect Mahut’s price to go higher than his SP of 1.40 so i will be looking for over 1.60 before getting on him.
Update: Mahut won 6-2, 6-4.
Bartoli looked a lot better in her last match. She didn’t have the major issues from the service line which gave her confidence in the rest of her game.
Li Na leads the head to heads 2-1 and has won their last 2 matches. They haven’t played since the end of 2011 though and never on grass. Both Li’s wins were in 3 sets.
Bartoli loves the grass and usually does well both in Eastbourne and at Wimbledon. She reached the semi finals in this event last year.
I think as long as Bartoli continues to serve better that she will keep this close although I would expect Li to come through in the end. Li Na to win in 3 sets.
It’s worth noting that in all 3 of their previous matches Bartoli took the first set.
Update: Bartoli withdrew before the match.
Cibulkova made a shaky start to the grass season. Having beaten Domingez Lino twice before extremely easily she started as expected with a 6-1 demolition in the opening set. However things started to go wrong for her once she was a break up in the second set. Lino took it t a tie break which she won. The third set was also decided in a tie break but this time Cibulkova scraped through.
She has a strong head to head against Medina Garrigues at 4-1 and she has won both their most recent matches in straight sets ( both in 2012).
Medina Garrigues took advantage of a shocking display from local player Bertens and lost just 3 games in the whole match.
1.69 is a tempting price on Cibulkova but I will probably be greedy as usual and wait for around evens before backing her. It won’t be easy but I expect her to get the win.
Update: It certainly wasn’t easy! Awful first set from Cibulkova and it was hard to see where she was going to get the upper hand but Medina Garrigues started with a few more errors and was getting more frustrated with line calls that she thought were going against her.
Cibulkova won 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Some players have “bogey” players and Stepanek is most certainly Kohlschreiber’s. Stepanek leads the head to heads 6-1 and has won their last 4 matches although they haven’t played since 2011.
Kohlschreiber bowed out weakly from his home tournament last week to the in form Youzhny and I can see him having more problems against the serve and volley tactics of Stepanek. The market has then fairly even which is understandable. I will be waiting to lay Kohlschreiber below 1.65 to 1.70 in the first set as I think this will be close.
Update: Stepanek won 7-5, 6-3.
Wozniacki and Laura Robson meet again. They met at the French open where Woz won fairly easily in straight sets although the Robson camp claimed she was suffering from a lower back problem.
The Brit did play better yesterday and after a slow start on serve where surprisingly she wasn’t broken she over powered her opponent.
Wozniacki had a short match against defending champion Paszek who quit after 4 games of the second set.
Wozniacki’s serve wasn’t great yesterday and if Paszek managed to break her twice then we can expect Robson to have chances with her big ground strokes.
Woz starts as favourite again but I think we will see a few swings in this one. The crowd will obviously be with Robson and she has responded well in the past on the English grass against a big opponent. Robson will feel she has a chance to win today and the pressure of expectation may sit heavily on her shoulders.
I give a slight edge to Wozniacki but we should see some close sets.
Update: Wozniacki won 6-4, 6-4.