In the penultimate match of the day, Doha winner Petra Kvitova starts her campaign to win back to back titles at the Persian Gulf.
Kvitova is the #4 seed in Dubai and she’s undoubtedly playing some great tennis at the moment after having lost her second round match to Cirstea at the Australian Open. Last week, she defeated Pavlyuchenkova, Kontaveit, Pegula and Muguruza and only lost one set along the way.
Nonetheless one could argue that the Czech is more vulnerable in the earlier stages of tournaments, especially after winning a title. I don’t want to argue with fatigue as she really crushed her opponents in the latter stages of Doha, but competing in a round one (or two for that matter) match after having won a tournament can be mentally challenging for pro athletes, especially when facing a worthy opponent which is definitely the case here.
The 23-year-old Swiss Jil Teichmann continually improved her game over the last couple of years and might be a tricky player to face for Kvitova. She reached the semifinal in Adelaide as well as the quarterfinal in the post-AO tournament in Melbourne the week prior, only losing to Swiatek and Bouzkova. Her added power obviously helps on the rather quick Australasian courts, but it’s the depth and angles Teichmann is able to create that could catch Kvitova on the wrong foot here more often than she’d like to.
Alongside this year’s second round losses to Cirstea and Podoroska in Melbourne, Kvitova lost opening rounds to Sasnovich, Gavrilova, Venus Williams, Konta or Bouzkova over the last couple of years. I do see the possibility for that to happen again today and despite the dropping odds, I still see value in Teichmann’s number, especially in the handicaps as these didn’t change as much as the ML which I still have a sprinkle on as well.
0.5u on Teichmann to win at 3.80 with Bethard
0.5u on Teichmann +1.5 sets at 2.21 with Pinnacle
0.5u on Teichmann +4.5 games at 2.11 with Pinnacle