Rain replaced the baking heat in Melbourne on Friday, as the heat wave finally passed on a profitable day of tennis betting in the women’s tournament.
Ana Ivanovic was the star of the show for me as the Serbian battled past Sam Stosur by two sets to one as predicted to land a very nice priced winner, whilst Flavia Pennetta had no trouble in the expected 2-0 win over Mona Barthel.
Jie Zheng was unable to make it three on the day, but we head towards the second week in decent shape, as the third round completes on Saturday.
Garbine Muguruza 2.02 v Caroline Wozniacki 1.75 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 02.35
This 02.35 UK time clash could be the match of the day and I’d be backing the Spaniard under normal circumstances, but she’s played so much tennis over the last fortnight that I can see Wozniacki coming away with the win here.
I enjoyed plenty of success backing Muguruza in Hobart before she came to Melbourne, and Garbi certainly has what it takes to beat Caroline, but this is her 11th match in a couple of weeks and after the baking heat of week one this looks a step too far.
Muguruza will go all out to blast the Dane off court, but her power may be blunted and there are few better at dragging the resistance from tired players than Wozniacki. The 1.75 about Caro winning this looks good to me in these circumstances.
It seems written in the stars that Vika Azarenka and Sloane Stephens will meet in the next round after their controversial semi-final here last year, and both have very winnable round three matches.
Vika plays the counter punching Austrian Yvonne Meusberger and should win in two, and whilst Stephens is less certain her opponent, the talented Elina Svitolina, did turn her ankle in her last match and may not be 100 percent.
Carla Suarez-Navarro 2.60 v Dominika Cibulkova 1.48 – BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 00.05
This is another match that could well be decided by physical issues, with Suarez-Navarro suffering a leg problem in a three-hour plus marathon with Galina Voskoboeva in the last round.
CSN was struggling throughout that match both with her opponent’s big hitting and her own injury, and she faces more raw power in the form of the ‘pocket rocket’ Cibulkova at 00.05 UK time.
I’m not too sure how long Carla will last in this one, but if she does cling on it will likely be a defeat by some margin, as she does tend to either play very well or very badly and it’s interesting just how many of her losses do come in straight sets.
Six of her last seven defeats have been in straights and two of those have been by the dreaded double bagel, and so the bet here is either Domi in two at 2.08 or Domi minus 3.5 games at 1.83 and I’ll just about plump for the latter.
Of the other matches on Saturday, Jelena Jankovic may be made to work harder than her price of 1.13 suggests against Karumi Nara, who gave JJ a real test in New York last season. Nara has arguably played a couple of physically below-par opponents so far, but she’s beaten what was in front of her in Shuai Peng and Magdalena Rybarikova, and over 18.5 games looks interesting here at 1.88.
Maria Sharapova will need to use her powers of recovery after a long battle in the worst of the heat in the previous round, but opponent Alize Cornet had a tough one too and so Maria should be okay here.
There’s always a chance whenever Aga Radwanska steps on court against a power player, that she could be hit right back off it again should Nastia Pavlyuchenkova find her range.
The underdog could make things interesting at 4.40 in their 01.05 UK time clash.
Back Wozniacki to beat Muguruza at 1.75
Back Cibulkova –3.5 games to beat Suarez-Navarro at 1.83