Steve’s Debrief and WTA Rome Preview: Pera vs Muguruza

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1 win and 1 loss yesterday for 0.00 units.

Bencic dropped her round 1 match to Mladenovic in straight sets. It is interesting to note from the match that although Mladenovic only dropped serve once, she actually didn’t have any comfortable service holds. Her best hold score was to 30, and averaged losing 3.4 points on her serve per service game. I just wish I could trust Petra Martic to be able to oppose here. I am still looking into this one.

On the other hand, the right call was made to take Basilashvili first set. Berrettini struggled mightily adjusting to the conditions in the first set, dropping his serve twice. It wasn’t overly convincing, and he is very short again today to be honest. Keep an eye on ‘fading the fatigued’ later, around 08:00pm AEST.

The results spreadsheet has been updated, and can be found here.

WTA Rome

Pera vs Muguruza

I was hoping to see Garbine Muguruza’s fitness to be tested by Pavlyuchenkova yesterday. Instead, Pav withdrew and Muguruza got to dictate the entire match against lucky loser Tig. The power game heavily favoured the Spaniard, and we didn’t get to see her tested physically.

I am always wary of Muguruza in the weeks leading up to a grand slam. I don’t know if it is due to seeing her retire at the drop of a hat in Australia in the lead up to the Australian Open, or just the fact that I think she needs to be as close as possible to 100% physically for her game to translate to positive form.

Today looks to be a genuine test. After a lengthy period of playing three set matches with varied success, things seems to be clicking again for Bernarda Pera on the clay. Wins in the last fortnight against Bolsova, Hercog, Martic, Samsonova, Potapova and Zidansek, whilst dropping a 3 set match to Bencic. Her game is predicated on confidence off both wings, and the leftie will be able to both attack deep into the Muguruza backhand movement on clay, whilst also pulling the trigger to hit down the line as required.

This is the first genuine test of fitness for Muguruza, and we get a streaky in-form opponent at odds around the $4 mark. This is worth a play for 2 units.

Suggested Bet

2 units Pera to defeat Muguruza at $4 (+300) at Topsport ($4.11 at Pinnacle)

Note: I would advise against backing Pera at a bookmaker that refunds for retirements.