The women have had a tough month with Indian Wells and Miami. That showed in some of the performances yesterday.
The only matches I could trade yesterday were the opening set of the Shvedova/King match and the whole of Stephens v Mattek Sands. I had also placed a lay on Bartoli while I was waiting for the Stephens match to start and I got out when Vadeweghe pulled back to 4-4. Ah well…. Stephens doesn’t have much experience on clay but it was apparent early on that she didn’t feel like playing. I missed the best lay prices as I was nervous of trusting Mattek Sands but Stephen’s attitude convinced me that she was going to be worse than even Sands could manage. I laid at 1.80 and ended up letting it ride to the end of the 6-0 second set. Worth staying up for!
It is a good idea to check which players progressed in these tournaments last year as an indication of whether they are likely to give theor best efforts.
Robson came through yesterday’s match strongly with a 6-2, 6-2 win. Today’s opponent will put up more of a fight but I am confident that Robson will come through again.
She starts at 1.75 and i will be looking to get on above 2.00 . I may put a small back on at the start in case she runs away with the set.
Update: 14 breaks of serve in the 3 sets. Robson led 3-1 in the first set but lost 5 of the next 6 games to lose the set. She controlled the second set but was unable to hold serve even once in the third.
Bouchard won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
My dreams can be weird at the best of times and there can be very varied plots going on at once. I’m sure somewhere in the mix last night I dreamt that Puig beat Venus Williams. I will be laying Williams but not with a huge amount. Just for interest.
Update: Puig had break points in the very first game but couldn’t convert. Most games were close in the firsdt set but it was Williams who took it. Puig did take the second set with a late break but it was the American who took the decider.
Williams won 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
I expect Vekic to give Ursula Radwanska a tough match. The Croatian is a real fighter and certainly a good prospect for a top 20 place in the next year or two. If U Rad is on her game she ought to be able to come through this one but I am sure we will see a price above her Sp of 1.53 . I’ll wait for 1.80 .
Update: In the first couple of games someone with a large bank was very keen on pushing Radwanska’s price up. With no break of serve she traded above 1.90 and there was a huge lay left at 1.89 . It would have been rude not to take it and the muppet layer was duely punished in the very next game when Radwanska broke easily.
Radwanska won 6-4, 6-1.
Wickmayer leads the head to heads 2-0 against Niculescu. Their last meeting was a couple of years ago.
Niculescu starts as favurite at 1.61 and I feel if Wickmayer can show some fight and serve reasonably well then she has a good chance of winning. If I am still awake at 2am I will look to get a lay in on Niculescu below 1.40 .
Update: Niculescu took the opening set so the lay was available. Wickmayer took the second but it was Niculescu who took the third.
Niculescu won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.