On a rainy Tuesday in Paris my recommended selections were very profitable, after a tricky start to the week.
It wasn’t easy in the end but Marion Bartoli, Yaraslava Shvedova and Mariana Duque-Marino all won to make my doubles and treble bet a winner, but it was nerve-wracking watching Bartoli edge over the line after more than three hours.
I said yesterday that Olga Govortsova would most likely choke if she came close to winning and so it proved as she blew match points on her own serve to allow Bartoli back in it in the decider.
My remaining selection of the day of Aravane Rezai on the handicap is held over until today after the schedule was decimated by heavy rain for a large part of the day on Tuesday.
It looks a better day on Wednesday though and it’s worth adding Sveta Kuznetsova to your bet slip, despite her penchant for wearing the most awful outfits.
The Russian will presumably sport her horrendous tie-die number again today against Magdalena Rybarikova, when their second round match that kicks off mid-afternoon on Court 17. This should be a comfortable match for the former champion.
Rybarikova isn’t the best of movers and on clay she’s not far off Maria Sharapova’s ‘cow on ice’ assessment of herself of years ago. Kuznetsova’s tennis looked very good in her first round match against Ekaterina Makarova and any repeat of that level will see her breeze past Rybarikova today.
The Slovakian has only been past the second round of a tour level clay event once in almost four years. A win over the injured Pauline Parmentier in the first round is as good as it’s likely to get for Rybarikova and I like the Russian to win minus 1.5 sets at 1.73.
I’m also going to take a chance on Monica Puig today at odds-against, when she takes on the young American star Madison Keys in another mid-afternoon clash.
It’s not always easy to back up big wins at majors and that is a slight concern after Puig took down Nadezda Petrova in round one, but I think she has a better chance than 2.20 against Keys on clay today.
This battle of the teenagers will be the first time they’ve met since the US Open juniors in 2010, which Puig won. Although that match is hardly relevant to today, I prefer the game of Puig on slow European clay to the all-out attack of Keys.
The American has beaten Na Li on clay this swing, but also lost to Kirsten Flipkens and Mallory Burdette, so she’s not consistent, as you would expect at 18 and the value lies with Puig as the underdog.
A couple of seeded favourites who look very short today are Aga Radwanska and Caro Wozniacki, both of whom may not have things their own way against two big hitters in Burdette and Bojana Jovanovski.
Radwanska can be hit off court on clay and Burdette +6.5 games on the handicap looks generous. If the American is on form she could cause a shock at 6.75, but she should certainly cover the handicap in the early match on Court 1.
Back Kuznetsova –1.5 sets to beat Rybarikova at 1.73
Back Puig to beat Keys at 2.20
Back Burdette +6.5 games to beat Radwanska at 1.75
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