Wimbledon 2014 – Week 2, Day 1

We haven’t had a massive number of shock results this year. Last year was very different although from memory I think a lot of the surprise defeats were down to illness that spread through the players.

When Serena Williams took the opening set 6-1 against Cornet I suspect a few people stopped watching. Something isn’t right with the Beast and I think it is mental rather than anything being wrong with her physically.

Li Na going out in straight sets to Zahlavova Strycova was a sock result although Li’s lack of consistency is becoming almost the norm with her. I’ll be glad when Barb goes out as my fingers always get in a muddle typing her name.


So we’re into the second week. fewer matches on at the same time which is good but the value is just as hard to find pre match.


WTA 11:30Safarova was just too good for Cibulkova although their first set was tight. Today she takes on Smitkova who knocked out Vandeweghe in round 2.

Safarova starts at 1.21 and it is hard to imagine that if her form continues that 175th ranked Smitkova will have enough to make this competitive. I don’t like backing anyone at this price and certainly not in the WTA but if Safarova makes a slow start I will be backing her. 1.40 would be nice but probably won’t happen. You just never know though in tennis.


WTA, 12:30 – As I said above Zahlavova Strycova knocked out Li Na in the last round. We can be more hopeful of a better price on Wozniacki than we are about it happening on Safarova.

Wozniacki starts at 1.34 and even though her game and mental state seem to be in great shape any player can start slowly if put under pressure.

Zahlavova Strycova is putting the Duracell Bunny to shame but that achilles problem will be tested to the limit today. Enough is enough Barb. Time to go home.

An early break for Zahlavova Strycova would be perfect to give us a stronger back price on Woznaicki.


WTA 13:00 – If Cornet was a calm level headed girl then she would be able to deal with her win over Serena Williams with very little fuss. She isn’t. She won’t have slept on Saturday night although there was obviously a rest day on Sunday to catch up with sleep. There was probably a lot of media interest in her after the win and press conferences and interviews can distract players from getting ready mentally for the next match.

She starts as a 2.94 underdog against Bouchard.

Bouchard has improved on her 3rd round finish last season. She has reached the semi final in each of the grand slams so far this season losing to the eventual winner each time.

Since she won the title in Katowice in April this is the first time that Cornet has managed to win more than 1 match in a week. It often happens that when a player beats one of the big names their performance in the next match doesn’t live up to the expectation put on them by themselves and the tennis media.

I will wait for a higher price to back Bouchard although am tempted to place a part stake back on her at the start.


 ATP, 13:30Chardy got a little lucky in the last round. Stakhovsky had beaten Gulbis in the previous round and whilst he stayed away from the media this time unlike following his win over Federer last year his body let him down.

Chardy beat an in form Matosevic in his second round match. that went o 5 sets and both his other matches went to 4.

Cilic beat Berdych in straight sets in the third round. Berdych had a wrist problem but it was still an impressive win. His previous 2 matches had each gone to 4 sets.

Cilic starts at 1.35 and whilst that doesn’t offer any value against the Frenchman who has been serving extremely well I have to go with Cilic for the win. Straight sets are unlikely though and I’m sure we will get a healthier back price on him.


ATP, 14:00Leo Mayer’s best chance today against Dimitrov is to serve himself to tie breaks.

Dimitrov had a 5 set battle with Dolgopolov in the last round having eased through the earlier rounds in straight sets. His loss at the French Open to Karlovic gives Mayer some hope.

Dimitrov’s SP is 1.10 which has to be a lay. I expect him to win but we should see some close sets.


WTA, 14:00 – After her excellent win over Venus in the last round it’s hard to imagine Kvitova having too many problems with Peng.

Peng has taken her to 3 sets in 2 of their 4 meetings including at the London Olympics in 2012 on grass.

1.16 is an understandable price but I will be monitoring the score for a slow start from Kvitova to back her higher. I would want at least 1.40 which I am not hopeful of getting.


WTA 14:00Makarova beat Radwanska in their last match. She has made a slow start in each of her matches so far.

Radwanska allowed Dellacqua back into the set from 5-1 in their 2nd round match. Dellacqua was then broken again and that broke her spirit. She didn’t win another game in the match. That does suggest that the Radwanska serve is vulnerable if put under pressure and Makarova certainly has the game to do that.  I did think the same for her match with Kerber at Eastbourne a couple of weeks ago but Makarova was disappointing.

Even with a slow start which will give us a lower price to lay Radwanska I think she can keep this close and i will be surprised if she doesn’t at least take a set.


ATP, 15:00Murray hasn’t played Kevin Anderson since 2011. That was on a hard court and Anderson won.

On grass his serve should give him a fighting chance but Murray has a great record against big servers.

1.06 is a crazy price on Murray. It’s obviously a cheap lay and if Anderson can somehow nick a break or even a set we can switch the green onto Murray. It may not be worth the effort though as a lot has to happen to give us a significant price move. Another option is to lay Murray and if the price does hit, say 1.20 then remove the liability and leave a big free bet on Anderson. You never know!


WTA, 16:30Sharapova leads the head to heads 4-1 over Kerber. They have never met on Grass though and it is this surface which perhaps gives the German her best chance.

Kerber has shown some strong form on the turf and reached the final In Eastbourne with some strong wins including over Wozniacki.

Sharapova hasn’t been tested so far. Only Alison Riske was able to get 3 games in a set before being bagel’d in the second.

Sharapova is no stranger to a slow start and I expect an early lead for Kerber. I will wait for Sharapova to be broken in the early part of the set to back her.

If Kerber can keep playing her game she can take a set here but I’m not sure she has what it takes to get the win.


ATP, 17:30Djokovic has won 13 of his 18 matches with Tsonga. They have played twice on grass. Both were on the same court and Djokovic won each time.

Tsonga hasn’t beaten him since 2010. Since Djokovic went  gluten free in 2011  Tsonga has won just 2 sets.

Any player can have a slow start and it could be worth a lay on Djokovic at 1.06 or 1.07 .


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