Rybakina vs Bouzkova (Approx 10:00pm AEST)
I saw exactly what I hoped to see from Elena Rybakina in round 1, to the point where I am comfortable backing her in here with confidence again in round 2.
The world number 18 was utterly dominant against Ekaterina Alexandrova in round 1, winning 6-0 6-4 in 62 minutes. The only blip on the radar was her inability to serve out the match, however she responded well by breaking Alexandrova to 15 to take the match. The catalyst for the win was her 87% of points won behind her first serve. It is such a key weapon on all surfaces, and is one of the significant differentiating factors in terms of her match today against Marie Bouzkova.
Both Bouzkova and Ajla Tomljanovic have struggled a touch for form over the last couple of weeks, so both were going to find the transition to the clay to be a little difficult. In what was an affair that was a little more tightly contested than the scoreline suggested, the Czech was able to prevail 6-3 6-4 in 1hr41min. It was Bouzkova’s first match on clay since the French Open last year, where she lost in 3 sets and 3 hours to an injured Bianca Andreescu. You cast an eye over the victories on clay over the last couple of years, and her opponent today in Rybakina is a significant step up in quality.
Rybakina was incredibly impressive in patches on the clay in 2019, which included taking the Bucharest title in July. She will have taken a lot of confidence from her convincing win over Alexandrova, and will have far more time over the ball today in terms of the power and weight of shot coming from the other end of the court. I spoke on the show with Alexander the other day that Bouzkova’s game can struggle to translate to the clay as she lacks the definitive power to be able to dictate for long periods of rallies and indeed the match.
Like the majority of her matches, this one rests fairly and squarely on the racquet of Rybakina. There is a little bit of -3.5 games available at a relatively juiced price, however I will instead take the -4 games that is available at Topsport for 2 units. If only -4.5 games is available, I would definitely consider that as well for greater than $2.00 odds.
2 units Rybakina -4 games vs Bouzkova at $1.89 at Topsport
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