Tennis – 12 January 2017

Stay tuned to twitter today as Ace will post his suggested long-shot multi (not recommended generally, but regularly requested) and a few more bets later in the day that have been unable to be written up due to time constraints.

WTA Australian Open Qualifying

Krejcikova vs Muhammed

Krejcikova is a player I have had my eye on for around 12 months now, and I think the 21 year old has the ability to take the next step this year, starting with a solid performance here in Melbourne.

The reason for her ranking in the 200’s is partly to do with the reduced volume of matches across the year. Krejcikova has played 20 matches at WTA/ITF level since March, whereas Muhammed has played 20 matches since late July.

Although Krejcikova has gone 7-13 in those 20 matches I spoke about, there have been some very solid wins (vs Cibulkova, Bonaventure and Stefkova) and some very respectable losses (vs Lisicki, vs Vinci in 3, vs Halep in 3, vs Sramkova in 3). She is solid off both wings, has the ability to handle bigger serves (QF mixed doubles at US Open last year) and is a very serviceable doubles player (QF and SF at Grand Slam level last year).

I’m happy to take on the form of Muhammed to an extent. Yes I was on her last week, however when you isolate this patch of wins (vs Fourlis, Sasnovich, Bondarenko and Vekic) you quickly realise that none of those 4 have shown a great deal in 2017 so far (except perhaps Fourlis who is showing a lot of promise for her age).

This is one of those ‘track the player and wait for the price’ opportunities, and I am pretty comfortable having a decent go at Krejcikova here on the price. I’m not how she is $2.95, as i would rate her a $2.10 chance here in my opinion. If Krejcikova can get off to a good start, this will be very hard for Muhammed to come back from.

Suggested Bet
4 units Krejcikova to defeat Muhammed at $2.95 at Pinnacle

Galfi vs Moore

Galfi is one of my players to watch in 2017, especially after her strong finish to 2016. Wins over Sabalenka, Hibino, Abduraimova, Maria and Fett (who is in Hobart Qualifying) as well as serving for the match against Zhang Shuai is a lot better form than Tara Moore has been able to produce of late. Moore is unfortunate that the grass court season is so short, as she is a very serviceable grass court player.

Whilst I was initially concerned by Galfi’s 1-6 1-6 loss to Mertens in Hobart qualifying (after Galfi demolished Maria in round 1), my opinion of Mertens, coupled with the extra days in Melbourne for Galfi, have lowered my concerns.

Tara Moore’s best win of the last 6 months was actually against Mertens, however when you break it down, Mertens was coming off consecutive weeks as a quarter finalist and semi finalist before succumbing to Moore, so it isn’t a massive surprise. Outside of this win, there isn’t anything of significant note from late 2016, except for perhaps her 3 set loss to Kr Pliskova (we were on her that day, and she just never quite felt in the match even when you consider the score line).

Galfi for me here. For a bit of extra value, take the games handicap.

Suggested Bet

3 units Galfi -2.5 games vs Moore at $1.91 at Pinnacle

WTA Hobart

Bertens vs Mertens

Based on form and situation, this represents a bit of value in my opinion. Mertens has decided against Australian Open Qualifying, knowing full well a decent performance this week may result in not needed to qualify for the rest of the slams for the year.

Mertens has put together a very solid week,  beating Hibino, Galfi, Vickery (1 x win, 1 x retirement) and Mladenovic, all in convincing fashion. Bertens on the other hand has followed up her straight sets loss to Davis in Auckland to beat Beck and Voskoboeva comfortably.

On analysis of recent matches, Bertens has the ability to have some lapses where her form really does drop off, even though she may still win. For example, she did lose 4 games of if 5 in the second set vs Voskoboeva, and a better player such as Mertens will capitalise on that in a similar way that Davis did in Auckland.

Mertens is being given 3.5 to 4 games in most places. For those who like a slightly safer option, you can grab +4 games at $1.93 at Pinnacle. Personally, I like the $2.13 on offer for Mertens with a 3.5 game start here.

Suggested Bet

3 units Mertens +3.5 games VS Bertens at $2.13 at Pinnacle

Fett VS Cepede

If Fett plays anywhere near the way she played against Cabrera, this one will be a lot more one sided than their meeting in qualifying, where Fett came back from 1-3 in the third set to win. I think we can’t read too much into the performance of Petkovic last match, and I maintain that Fett has been the form player this week (sadly against Cabrera the other night.

Suggested Bet

3 units Fett to defeat Cepede at $1.78 at Pinnacle

Tsurenko vs Rogers

Tsurenko just very quietly went about her business late last year, and could be in line for a very big start to 2017 over the next few weeks. Of her last 18 hardcourt matches dating back to round 1 of the US Open, Tsurenko has won 15, lost 1, and retired in 2. Wins against include Begu, Cibulkova, Wang, Jankovic, Riske, Rodina and Larsson, which is a list of pretty solid players in my opinion.

Shelby Rogers on the other hand is also in line for a breakout 2017, and is certainly a player to watch. I thought Arruabarena was going to have too much for Rogers yesterday, but from all accounts Rogers played out of her skin.

On form over the last few months, as well as taking into consideration the previous 2-0 head to head (albeit from 2 years ago), I am very happy with the $1.65 available for Tsurenko to get the job done here against Rogers. Based on stats of her last 18, I’d recommend backing Tsurenko somewhere that refunds on a retirement.

Suggested Bet

3.5 units Tsurenko to defeat Rogers at $1.66 at Bet365

ATP Sydney

Gilles Müller VS Pablo Cuevas
If we played the game of ‘who had the better win yesterday?’ It would have to comfortably go to Cuevas, who put in a terrific performance to down our 3 unit selection of Mahut in 3 sets, whereas Muller just scraped across the line against Barton in a tight 3 setter.

I’m predicting a bit of a lean year for Muller, and that will start with a lean January. Cuevas has obviously benefitted from spending the last week in Sydney, and Muller hasn’t exactly set the house on fire this past fortnight, with losses to Donaldson and tight victories over Dolgopolov and Barton.

When you consider the matchup, you wouldn’t think that their only previous meeting which came last year would have gone to Cuevas…on grass!

Given the +2.5 game handicap on offer, i am pretty keen to take that against Muller, just as a safeguard in case of a tight 3 set loss or 6-7 6-7 loss. I also think Cuevas will back up from yesterday’s heat in far better shape than Muller, so that’s why I’m siding with Cuevas at both the handicap and the head to head price.

Suggested Bet

2.5 units Cuevas +2.5 games at $1.77 at Pinnacle
1.5 units Cuevas to beat Muller at $2.38 at Pinnacle

Pablo Carreno Busta vs Andrey Kuznetsov

Here we have the most intriguing matchup of the day in my opinion, with two players I have very high hopes for in 2017. I think on prices today, and based on how they have started 2017, I am happy to have a little nibble at Kuznetsov at the underdog price here. When you look at their meeting in august last year, Kuznetsov had 15/30 or a break point in 5 of PCB’s 10 service games but just couldn’t capitalise, whereas PCB converted all 3 time he had a 15/30 score line into breaks.

In a game of small margins, i am happy with a small play on Kuznetsov

Suggested Bet

2 units Kuznetsov to defeat Carreno Busta at $2.15 at Pinnacle

ATP Auckland

Sousa vs Haase

I am just as shocked as everyone else that Ferrer lost to Haase yesterday, however that may be a sign of things to come for Ferrer this year. I think the books have somewhat overrated that win from Haase, and there is no way in my opinion that Sousa should be $1.75 in this matchup. Even if it goes the distance, i still like Sousa to come out on top here. I just think he will be too fit and crafty for Haase across 3 sets.

Suggested Bet

3.5 units Sousa to defeat Haase at $1.75 at Pinnacle

Potential Multi Legs

WTA Aus Open – Zhu VS Patterson
Zhu is clearly the better player here in my opinion, so the $1.35-$1.40 leg for Zhu to beat the Australian is pretty decent value. The only way I can see Patterson winning here is if she plays out of her skin at home, but I am happy to take that on.

WTA Aus Open – Glushko VS Martincova
Unless there is a big change in form to late last year, i can’t see Glushko getting past Martincova here. Although I heard on Twitter (from @ozspoiler) that Glushko had a huge pre-season, she’d need to considerably up her performances on 2016. Martincova is available up to $1.61 so can represent a good value multi leg if that way inclined, but she isn’t one to load units onto at that price.

WTA Aus Open – Jorovic VS Tomova
If Jorovic plays to her level she did in Ankara in late December, she should be able to get the job done here. Odds available currently up to the mid $1.50’s at time of writing.

ATP Challenger Canberra – Struff VS Kravchuk
Struff clearly the value here, so long as he plays up to his level the week out before a Slam. Odds up to $1.60 available and I am still considering a play on Struff in some capacity.

Ones to watch, but no bet at this stage

Lucie Hradecka vs Antonia Lottner

Bit of an underdog flier here. Really think on her best form Lottner can cause Hradecka a bit of trouble here. The reason for not betting is i just haven’t quite seen enough of Lottner on hardcourt to make a bigger play here (learnt my lesson after she lost to Nara a few weeks back).

Amandine Hesse vs Laura Robson

Seems Robson hasn’t quite hit the levels she did pre-injury, nevertheless she finds herself as a favourite here, and I’m not entirely sure why. If Hesse serves well, she is a massive chance here.

KC Chang VS Haas

My view of Chang has swayed somewhat since her performance as a 5 unit play last week vs Pliskova where she showed no patience on her way to an absolute blowout loss. Haas isn’t a player to take lightly, especially now she has a few matches in Australia under her belt. If Haas starts strong, Chang will be thinking she wished she automatically qualified for the Aus Open via playoff instead of Luksika Kumkhum a few weeks back.




I've had a passion for Tennis since I was young and haven't missed a Grand Slam ever since I can remember. I'm always happy to talk Tennis on twitter and respond to any queries so feel free to tweet me your questions.

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