The championship match takes place in Russia today of the 2013 St Petersburg Open at 1pm UK time.
Saturday’s wager on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to beat Joao Sousa 2-1 was foiled by GGL winning rather more easily over the Portuguese, who I said yesterday was pushing the boundaries physically. So it proved. He had nothing left in the tank.
The Spaniard goes forward to face Ernests Gulbis, who was also a straight sets winner over Michal Przysiezny, for this year’s St Petersburg crown.
Ernests Gulbis vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
The third meeting between this pair and the first since back in 2010 will decide the destination of the trophy this year, with Gulbis a pretty warm order at around 1.36.
The Latvian has been in confident mood all week and has adapted well to the slow conditions here at the Peterburgsky Sport Complex, while dropping just the one set in reaching the final. That one dropped set was more a matter of a loss of concentration than anything his opponent Jurgen Zopp had to offer and I expect him to record another relatively comfortable win here.
Gulbis has an excellent record in finals, winning seven of his last eight at all levels and three from three at tour level.
Today’s opponent Garcia-Lopez has been benefitting from the slow, gritty conditions to use his baseline game to good effect, but if Ernie plays somewhere near his best I don’t see GGL getting much joy today.
The Spaniard has a less than impressive record in finals, losing three of his last four and he has just the two titles to his name at tour level.
One break per set should prove to be enough for Gulbis, who has only faced one break point in his last two matches. The minus 3.5 games on the handicap at 1.88 looks the bet here.
Back Gulbis to beat Garcia-Lopez at 1.88
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