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Tennis Tips - March 8 - March 14


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  • 2 weeks later...

We've got way too many tournaments on the cards this week.

Roberto Bautista-Agut to beat Reilly Opelka at 1.61 with Pinnacle

Still a difference in quality and I remember RBA liking the courts in the Middle East most of the time. He looked really good two weeks ago and has had enough time off to be ready for this. Unless Opelka fires big time on serve, he'll be in trouble all around. Slight value on RBA I feel.

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3 hours ago, CzechPunter said:

We've got way too many tournaments on the cards this week.

Roberto Bautista-Agut to beat Reilly Opelka at 1.61 with Pinnacle

Still a difference in quality and I remember RBA liking the courts in the Middle East most of the time. He looked really good two weeks ago and has had enough time off to be ready for this. Unless Opelka fires big time on serve, he'll be in trouble all around. Slight value on RBA I feel.

I just feel that whatever the quality that is the difference, you could have been better taking any other pick, including from the WTA, but this one. This has the feeling of watching a guy juggling with sword-swallowing. In truth Opelka is not far from the very top when he is serving well and he serves well most times. In fact, I think betwise, Opelka can be considered a more productive player than Bautista. At least I know that I can rely on him to win or cover handicaps than Bautista anytime. It is way too early in the week to be burning emotional energy waiting for a win. Good luck anyways!!

Edited by liquidglass
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There's three matches I like today - all WTA. In Dubai, I'm backing Cirstea to beat Tsurenko - both players aren't in great form but Cirstea has the recent scalp of Kvitova so that swings it for me at odds against. Also in Dubai I can't have Ferro as such a big underdog against Mertens. She strung a few wins together last week and Mertens hasn't been seen since the Australian Open. I like Mertens as she's quite consistent and so she should be winning this, but for a small stake I'll take a chance on Ferro. Lastly in Guadalajara, I think Volynets has a chance against McNally. Mostly this is about going against McNally, with the American in no form at all right now. That's also the case for Volynets, but with one player out of the two heavy odds against I know where I'd rather put my money.

30pts Cirstea to beat Tsurenko @ 2.10 Betfair Sportsbook

10pts Ferro to beat Mertens @ 5.50 Bet365

20pts Volynets to beat McNally @ 3.00 Bet365

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Bolsova vs Juvan +19.5 Games at 1.74 with Pinnacle

I'm not sure if Juvan deserves that big favoritism. Bolsova took a set against Bouzkova after beating easily Raina in 2 sets in the Yarra Valley. After that, she lost easily against Brady in the 1st round of the AO. 4 of 5 Juvan's last matches have been 3 set matches (vs. Yafan Wang, Swiatek, Sherif and Gauff). I do not count her match against Konta cause Konta retired after winning the 1st set. The only match from the last 5 that she has won in 2 sets has been against Cabrera (6-4, 6-3). In the AO, both players lost against Brady with exactly the same result (6-1, 6-3). I expect Bolsova to fight this match more than the odds suggest.

Fiona Ferro (+5.5 Games) to beat Mertens at 1.91 with William Hill

I will go with a safer option. Ferro's last year was really good and she has been productive in her last tournaments (wins over Siniakova and Rybakina in the AO and SFs in Lyon) . The surface favors Mertens but, as has been said, this is her first match after her unexpected loss against Muchova in the AO so I think she can have a slow start.

Edited by darko08
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Francis Tiafoe vs Nicholas Jarry

well, we all know that Tiafoe is not a natural claycourter compared to Jarry who loves to play on the surface. Tiafoe has already had two matches on clay in Buenos Aires where I would say he played okay against Munar who he lost to. Jarry on the other hand has had 4 competitive matches on clay beating Munar in Cordoba in the process. I really believe that Jarry has had just enough matches to set him up well for his home tournament in Santiago. One thing most tournament organizers always do, is to try to schedule their matches in such a way that their best home representative is put in a prime slot to hopefully provide value for money which they do most times. I took Jarry early yesterday to win a set at a very huge stake. I really believe he has what it takes to go further and win here. Verdict: Jarry to beat Tiafoe

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32 minutes ago, CzechPunter said:

Opelka seems clinical on BPs today! I've also gone through the match list for tomorrow twice and can't find a bet that I'd really like despite there being so many matches!

I also followed you on RBA................. I think the more experience RBA will win the match for us!

Good Luck!😁

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Jabeur to beat Rybakina at 1.80 with William Hill

Rybakina's great moment of form was cut by the pandemic and her last results haven't been good at all. She lost in the 1st round of the Grampians Trophy against Krejcikova, in the 2nd round of the AO against Ferro and in the 1st round of Doha against Siegemund. 3 defeats against 3 clay court players that she should have beat easily on this surface. She has beat Saisai (6-0, 6-4), who is still winless this year (0-6). Despite that bagel in the 1st set I don't like how Rybakina played in the 2nd one. I already said what I think about Jabeur on a previous post. I think Jabeur is not a good matchup for Rybakina. She uses a lot of variety on her shots, she loves to slice and drop shot. I still remember how Barty destroyed her the last year in the AO with her slices. Jabeur beat Siniakova (6-2, 6-3) in the first round.

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Sebastian Baez to beat Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune at 1.62 with William Hill

Found one that I like finally. I saw a bit of Rune in the qualifying and I wasn't impressed. He's also had to play a lot of tennis to qualify, more than Baez and against arguably slightly softer opposition. Baez is 9-1 or something like that for the season and he's playing really well on clay, so I'll go against the talented Rune here.

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3 hours ago, CzechPunter said:

Sebastian Baez to beat Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune at 1.62 with William Hill

Found one that I like finally. I saw a bit of Rune in the qualifying and I wasn't impressed. He's also had to play a lot of tennis to qualify, more than Baez and against arguably slightly softer opposition. Baez is 9-1 or something like that for the season and he's playing really well on clay, so I'll go against the talented Rune here.

In his match yesterday he (Rune) picked up an injury at 4-2 up second set (he won first set), and essentially couldn't run for the final few games. He managed to serve it out whilst limping between points somehow. I believe he was 1.75 when serving for the match. 

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Sometimes you have to wonder how certain players are ranked where they are. Svitolina is one of those players. Top 5, but when she's bad she's abject. Earlier she played Kuznetsova and went a set and a break up - or as I call it the curse of a set and a break up, as so many players seem to lose from that position - then gave the break back as the second set went to 4-4. Seven games in a row to Kuznetsova later and it's practically game over. Maybe it's me, but if you're top 5 in the world you shouldn't be losing seven games in a row against anyone, let alone a player like Kuznetsova who has been in decline for a number of years now.

There's other times where you have to wonder whether certain players are replaced with doubles between rounds, such is the contrast in performance levels. An example of that was the Mertens of yesterday, who struggled to get over the line in three sets against 140th ranked lucky loser Tomova, largely due to being completely incapable of holding serve and the Mertens of today, who confidently brushed past a very capable player in Rogers in two easy sets. I suppose it's idiosyncrasies like these that make punting such fun :lol

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4 hours ago, Torque said:

Sometimes you have to wonder how certain players are ranked where they are. Svitolina is one of those players. Top 5, but when she's bad she's abject. Earlier she played Kuznetsova and went a set and a break up - or as I call it the curse of a set and a break up, as so many players seem to lose from that position - then gave the break back as the second set went to 4-4. Seven games in a row to Kuznetsova later and it's practically game over. Maybe it's me, but if you're top 5 in the world you shouldn't be losing seven games in a row against anyone, let alone a player like Kuznetsova who has been in decline for a number of years now.

There's other times where you have to wonder whether certain players are replaced with doubles between rounds, such is the contrast in performance levels. An example of that was the Mertens of yesterday, who struggled to get over the line in three sets against 140th ranked lucky loser Tomova, largely due to being completely incapable of holding serve and the Mertens of today, who confidently brushed past a very capable player in Rogers in two easy sets. I suppose it's idiosyncrasies like these that make punting such fun :lol

I'm really surprised with how Tomova played yesterday. Her backhand shot, cross-court and DTL, was simply brutal. And the effort she played with was also admirable, putting an extra ball on every single point. I don't think you should reduce all what happened yesterday to a "Mertens being uncapable to hold her serve". It's ridicolous and it's not fair for her opponent.

 

10 hours ago, AgaRadwanska said:

In his match yesterday he (Rune) picked up an injury at 4-2 up second set (he won first set), and essentially couldn't run for the final few games. He managed to serve it out whilst limping between points somehow. I believe he was 1.75 when serving for the match. 

Looks like Rune wasn't injured after all.

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1 minute ago, darko08 said:

I'm really surprised with how Tomova played yesterday. Her backhand shot, cross-court and DTL, was simply brutal. And the effort she played with was also admirable, putting an extra ball on every single point. I don't think you should reduce all what happened yesterday to a "Mertens being uncapable to hold her serve". It's ridicolous and it's not fair for her opponent.

 

Looks like Rune wasn't injured after all.

I stand by what I said. For the level of player Mertens is, she should have been able to deal with whatever Tomova threw at her. If Tomova's backhand was stellar, then Mertens certainly has the game intelligence to adjust what she's doing to negate that weapon. As it was, she played into it over and over again which lead to her being incapable of holding serve.

I've watched a lot of WTA and I know that breaking is a common thing, but based on all the matches I've seen the amount that Mertens was broken relative to her level and the level of her opponent was ridiculous. Again, that's my opinion. You may have a different one and that's fine.

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@Torque First of all. You should know that rankings a lot of times don't show the real level of players (did you know Karatsev before...?). That being said, how many times have you seen Tomova? Did you know her? Could be there some back story that explains why she is ranked that way? Personally, I did not know her, I just said that it shocked me how she played and I just found really poor your comment, reducing all to a "Mertens couldn't hold the serve". Reading you seems you're assuming that when a good ranked player loses to a worse ranked player is because the good ranked one played a bad match. That's ridiculous. WTA has reached a point where a top 100 player on a good day can beat a top 20 player fairly, and this is due to 3 things: the first one is that the difference between good players and normal players has become short, the second one is that most of the players nowadays are big hitters and the third one is that rankings sometimes don't show the real level of players. As you said, we have difference opinions.

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1 hour ago, Torque said:

As an added caveat, some of the stats during the match back up how Mertens was playing well below her best. During the first set, Tomova was winning more points on second serve than first. That should never happen.

😂 😂 😂  Do you know what means that? That she played better with her second serves 😂

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34 minutes ago, darko08 said:

@Torque First of all. You should know that rankings a lot of times don't show the real level of players (did you know Karatsev before...?). That being said, how many times have you seen Tomova? Did you know her? Could be there some back story that explains why she is ranked that way? Personally, I did not know her, I just said that it shocked me how she played and I just found really poor your comment, reducing all to a "Mertens couldn't hold the serve". Reading you seems you're assuming that when a good ranked player loses to a worse ranked player is because the good ranked one played a bad match. That's ridiculous. WTA has reached a point where a top 100 player on a good day can beat a top 20 player fairly, and this is due to 3 things: the first one is that the difference between good players and normal players has become short, the second one is that most of the players nowadays are big hitters and the third one is that rankings sometimes don't show the real level of players. As you said, we have difference opinions.

I've said more than once and in numerous conversations on here in the past that there is a degree of homogeneity to all but the very best players, both female and male and so I'm more than aware that rankings are not the be-all and end-all and yes I did know about Karatsev - I'm probably aware of nearly all of the top 200 WTA and ATP players, plus a few more.

For absolute clarity, and as you've pointed out now more than once, I said that Mertens was incapable of holding serve. I went no further than that - I made no comment about how much Tomova was responsible for that. Clearly, she had a role to play and clearly she played at a high level in order to push Mertens so hard, but that doesn't change my thoughts that Mertens should have enough about her in terms of ability and nous to not get broken the amount of times she did - rankings do count for something after all and Mertens showed that against Rogers.

Finally, as you say we have different opinions which is absolutely fine. But what I haven't done at any stage is label anything you've posted as ridiculous or poor. I'd appreciate it if you could extend me the same courtesy.

Edited by Torque
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16 minutes ago, darko08 said:

😂 😂 😂  Do you know what means that? That she played better with her second serves 😂

Which I'm sure you'll agree is highly anomalous.

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42 minutes ago, Torque said:

Which I'm sure you'll agree is highly anomalous.

Not necessarily. It depends on the player and the way she manages first serves and the way she manages second serves. It's not usual but you will see it especially on players who don't have the serve as a big weapon and use first serves and second serves similarly.

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5 minutes ago, darko08 said:

Not necessarily. It depends on the player and the way she manages first serves and the way she manages second serves. It's not usual but you will see it especially on players who don't have the serve as a big weapon and use first serves and second serves similarly.

In my experience it is very rare - which makes sense. Let's move on.

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WTA Dubai

Jabeur to win the 2nd quarter at 2.50 with bet365

Well, this is my last bet for this week. When I saw the draw I got the feeling that Jabeur could have a deep run so I will go with her for third time. Teichmann in her next match and then Gauff/Martincova. The favorite player to win the quarter is Gauff at 2.37. I have watched Teichmann against Kvitova. The czech player retired due to a thigh injury. Watching her it was clear something was wrong after losing the 1st set but even with that Kvitova managed to take the lead in the second set (4-1) before retiring a couple of games later. I havent seen Gauff today but I saw her match against Alexandrova and she played with a lot of nerves. She wasted a 5-1 lead in the 3rd set but she managed to win a heartbreaking TB. I remember her wasting a big amount of MPs. Jabeur has won against Siniakova (6-2, 6-3) and Rybakina (7-6, 4-6, 6-2). I don't think it will be easy but I expect her to prevail on both matches.

ATP Marseille

I also add this one: Kachanov to win the 2nd quarter at 1.90 with bet365

I haven't seen the matches but I like this one, though. He will play McDonald in his first match and then Ebden/Ruusuvuori. He did relatively well in Rotterdam, beating Wawrinka and Norrie in 2 sets and then lost in 3 against Tsitsipas.

Edited by darko08
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3 minutes ago, lelit said:

Tomova played very well in this match, I must admit.

For plenty of WTA players, the second serv is a dangerous weakness, for very few it is used as a weapon, take Swiatek, for example.

Having to play a second serve can't be described as a weapon, as it's necessarily more likely the point will be lost either due to playing it more defensively or because of a double-fault. The perfect example of this is Medvedev. He'll often play his second serve like his first, but his second serve numbers remain inferior to his first. Of course a second serve can be intelligently used, for example by playing it slower to surprise the receiver or by sliding it out wide, but it's never an advantage and no player would ever say it is. It's a question of making the best of a bad situation. Every single player would like to hit their first serve every time, because if they do their chances of winning the point are much higher and with that in mind it always surprises me that players don't strive for better first serve percentages - it's as though it's accepted that 60% is about par and acceptable.

To my mind, if you're a professional tennis player it should be 80% at least as I can't see any excuse for it to be missed. Marginal gains is a big thing in sports these days and what's clear is your chance of winning a point, and therefore a game, and therefore the match is that much better if your first serve goes in and I just can't agree with those who think there's a trade-off to be had between fast, accurate serves and a high first serve percentage. There shouldn't be. It's a free shot and the best players in the world should be able to hit it at least 3 out of 4 times

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I add this one. 

Olmos (+6.00 Gamest) to beat Podoroska at 1.67 with Pinnacle

I think the line is just to big. Olmos has already played 2 matches here and she beat Sherif in straight sets (Sherif was priced at 1.20). Podoroska did not end well her australian season. She lost easily against Vekic in the 2nd round of the AO (6-2, 6-2) and in the 1st round of the Phililp Island Trophy against Begu (6-3, 6-3). Olmos is better known for doubles but I have seen her and she's not a bad player on singles despite her ranking. Podoroska last match was against Begu and it was 1 month ago. Considering Olmos has already played 2 matches here (including a win in 2 sets against Sherif) I think she can cover this handicap. This match starts in 1 hour.

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