Recap of August 11:
Sevastova vs Begu – The selection of Sevastova -4 games was unsuccessful. After breaking Begu in the first game, it was all downhill from there for Begu. Whilst I did not think the performance of Begu against Siegemund in Palermo was of note, perhaps I should have been more considerate of her effort given her lack of break point conversion in that match. I will be curious to see how Begu goes today against Kung as a clear favourite. Result = -2 units
Fruhvirtova vs Pliskova – A lot to like from the 15 year old Czech, even if she did not come away with the victory. This match had every right to end 6-2 6-2 to Pliskova. To Fruhvirtova’s credit she fought on gamely in the second set, even breaking when Pliskova served for the match. Pliskova ultimately ended up being too good in key moments, winning 6-2 7-5 in the match played over two days. Result = -2.5 units
Onto today, where there are three standout selections from Prague. If you are interested, I will be jumping on a live stream at approximately 10pm AEST to chat through some of the live matches, as well as previewing the action from Lexington – feel free to stop by!
Summary of plays
3 unit bet
Mertens to defeat Giorgi at $2.00 at Unibet (also available at Bet365)
2 unit bet
Martic -3.5 games vs Pliskova at $1.97 at Unibet (-3 games available at some bookmakers)
Bogdan to defeat Tsurenko at $2.18 at Topsport ($2.20 at Bet365)
Martic vs Pliskova (Approx 07:00pm AEST)
Whilst there have been some concerns as to whether Petra Martic is quite at 100% physically, this line looks to be far too generous for the Croatian in my opinion.
I will not spend too much time discussing Pliskova, as I have been pretty consistent in my thoughts on her over the last couple of matches. Pliskova had only two services games that went less than 6 points against Fruhvirtova, and faced break points across five of her ten service games. Against a more experienced opponent today in Martic, who is exceptional at neutralising pace, this looks to be an incredibly tough ask for the Czech.
Martic did take a medical timeout at the end of the first set against Gracheva, however was able to maintain the momentum to take a 7-6 6-3 victory. What made the win more impressive was getting it done with a -23% first serve percentage differential. She did a great job of returning the serve of Gracheva, and consistently put pressure onto the Russian.
If this doesn’t succeed, perhaps I am Pliskova’s good luck charm. Personally, I like the -3 game handicap today for Martic. If she can neutralise the serve of Pliskova, and I think she can, she progresses today.
2 units Martic -3.5 games vs Pliskova at $1.97 at Unibet (-3 games available at some bookmakers)
Bogdan vs Tsurenko (Approx 09:00pm AEST)
I think Tsurenko is certainly a false favourite in this match-up on clay. Are wins over a tired Dodin (backing up from Palermo), Palicova, Frech (who earned one of three lucky loser spots) and Alexandrova on clay enough to justify favouritism here?
Ana Bogdan was absolutely ruthless against Storm Sanders in round 1, dropping 2 games whilst dealing with a -21% first serve percentage differential. She won 35/57 points on the return of serve, and her movement and ability to absorb and re-direct pace is just the style I would like to take when opposing Tsurenko on clay.
Short and sweet, however I am more than comfortable with this play for 2 units. Bogdan’s defensive skills will be the difference today.
2 units Bogdan to defeat Tsurenko at $2.18 at Topsport
Mertens vs Giorgi (Approx 10:30pm AEST)
Speaking of players who are impressive defensively against larger strikers of the ball, we have another one here in Elise Mertens.
I was a little hesitant to jump in and support Mertens in her first round match against Paolini, as I do lean towards supporting her against bigger strikers of the ball. Mertens’ game is right in that sweet spot where her movement around the court is not an issue on clay, however she also has the power to be aggressive and assertive when the opportunity presents itself. I think Mertens will be a little too consistent for Giorgi today.
I was surprised to see Giorgi as a favourite in her meeting against Kostyuk yesterday, however she did a fantastic job of overcoming a 0-3 third set deficit to win the match in a tiebreak. She was impressive considering Kostyuk hit the mark with 78% of her first serves across the entirety of the match, however I cannot justify Mertens opening at the same price as Kostyuk did, given this is a far more favourable match-up in styles for Mertens compared to Sasnovich and Paolini in the last week.
I am happy to make a larger play on Mertens here. Coming off two matches against tricky opponents for her, against Giorgi off a lot of tennis (without setting the house on fire), and at $2?! I am more than happy to take this price.
3 units Mertens to defeat Giorgi at $2.00 at Unibet (also available at Bet365)