Here we go! Britain will be going tennis crazy again. For 2 weeks at least before they forget all about it for another 12 months.
First rounds of slams are really a matter of being patient more than anything else. Lots of matches on at the same time and the traders’ money gets thinly spread. Value on the match odds markets (at SP) can be hard to find too, especially on the men’s side.
For the first rounds I won’t be posting long match previews but will try to cover more matches so that I am more likely to mention the matches you are interested in. TradeShark Tennis members can get extra advice in the members chatroom.
WTA, 11:30 – Svitolina was pretty poor last week against Zheng although to be fair to her Zheng was playing better than she has for a while and made it to the final.
Svitolina starts today at 1.41 against Doi who has been doing OK on the ITF circuit but has not won a match on the main WTA tour this year. She has played 3 matches on grass this month. She beat Arvidsson but lost to Schiavone and Gibbs. She was competitive in both those losses.
I have to go with Svitolina to get the win but I think Doi can push the price up in the early games.
Update: Svitolina took a 2 break lead and was up 4-1 but didn’t win another game in that set. She never came back from that and won just a single game in set 2.
Doi won 6-4, 6-1.
WTA, 11:30 – Neither Hercog or Ormaechea play their best tennis on grass. Hercog really ought to be better on the surface but has only won a single main draw match at Wimbledon. Her record in slams is pretty dire too.
Ormaechea is a fighter and reached the third round at the French Open. her own slam record isn’t great either although it is better than Hercog’s
If Hercog doesn’t have one of her nightmare matches where she loos completely clueless she has the game to win this one. I’d expect her price to trade near evens in the opening few games though so I will wait for her to go a break behind before backing her.
Update: Hercog was always in control. She won 6-4, 6-4.
WTA, 11:30 – Konta came so close to beating Giorgi last week losing 7-5 in the third set. She starts as a 1.63 favourite against Peng. She is playing at home and will have the crowd behind her but that still seems too low.
Peng was 14th in the world 3 years ago but isn’t having a good season in 2014. I am hoping for a slow start for Konta so I can back her above evens. Peng won’t make this easy at all.
Update: Peng took the opening set but Konta levelled at 1 set all.
Peng won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
ATP, 11:30 – Matosevic has found his form this season. He reached the quarter finals at Queen’s Club and the final of the Nottingham Challenger the week before that. He is up against Verdasco who doesn’t get much easier to predict as he gets older. If Matosevic can keep his grass form going he can certainly take a set in this one and it would be great if its the opening one!
Verdasco almost beat Murray in the quarter finals of Wimbledon last year and won the first 2 sets and he knows his way around a grass court. I want to back him higher than his 1.50 SP.
Update: This worked out perfectly for the trade. Matosevic broke serve first but Verdasco immediately broke back. I left a free bet on Verdasco which didn’t look like a good idea when he was broken again to lose the set. he did come back to take the second and i took the chance to green at a more reasonable price.
Matosevic won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
ATP, 13:30 – Dustin Brown v Baghdatis is a match that a lot of people will be looking forward to. Brown was the latest player to beat Nadal on grass and in his next match only lost to Kohlschreiber in a third set tie break.
Baghdatis hasn’t been having a good season but has sprung to life in recent weeks. He won the Nottingham Challenger on grass. That may have taken its toll on his body as he was forced to retire in the second round of Queens Club.
Baghdatis is rightly the favourite but how bad is that injury? If it was minor and if he can continue his excellent grass form then he can win this one. Thats a lot of ifs though and I feel value is on Brown for this one. He made the third round last year as a qualifier beating Garcia Lopez and Hewitt.
I’ll try to lay Baghdatis below 1.50 .
Update: This one didn’t work out. Baghdatis broke in the very first game and held on for the set. There were no breaks in set 2 until Brown was again broken at 5-6. Brown took the second set but it was Baghdatis who won 6-4, 7-5, 2-6, 7-6.
WTA, 16:30 – Niculescu has lost in the first round for the past 2 seasons. She starts as a 1.60 favourite against Van Uytvanck who shows a lot of promise but has only ever won one main draw match on grass which was last year against Morita.
Niculescu’s weird style is unlike anything Van Uytvanck will have faced before and I’m not sure she has the experience to figure it out in their first meeting.
I want a higher entry on Niculescu though as this could be a messy match.
Update: Van Uytvanck was broken in the third game. unfortunately I stopped monitoring the score of this one. Van Uytvanck broke twice to take the set and went on to win 7-5, 6-3.
ATP, 18:00 – Sam Groth isn’t an easy player to break on grass. He plays Dolgopolov who retired from Queens Club with a thigh strain and then withdrew from Eastbourne with a groin injury.
Groth doesn’t have much more to offer other than his serve but tie breaks are quite likely and if Dolgopolov gets frustrated or is not 100% we could see an upset.
Dolgopolov starts at 1.50 and its worth a part stake lay at the start and add to it if he drops below 1.30 in the early games.
Update: Dolgopolov won 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.