Rain interrupted proceedings as far as my bets were concerned on Day 1 of Wimbledon 2014, with two of my three wagers still to complete.
Caroline Garcia grabbed the second set from Sara Errani and they will resume at around 14:00 on Tuesday, while Michelle Larcher de Brito and Sveta Kuznetsova only managed three games before they fell victim to the rain.
Earlier in the day my bet on Julia Goerges to win a set fell in two tie breaks against Lucie Safarova, with the German twice failing to serve set two out and she also wasted a lead in the ensuing breaker. That one goes down as very unfortunate.
Karolina Anna Schmiedlova vs Alizé Cornet
It looks worth taking a chance on the underdog in this one, with Cornet looking far too short at 1.24 considering her woeful record on grass.
Cornet has won just 35% of her career matches on grass and at Wimbledon she holds an unenviable 4-6 record and a 0-1 record against today’s opponent, so I’m not too sure where 1.24 comes from.
Granted, she probably should be favourite given Schmiedlova’s lack of grass experience, with only eight matches on the surface so far in her career, but the latter's good run in Paris will give her confidence she didn’t before possess that she can mix it with the big names in majors.
The teenage Slovak likes to counter punch and there’ll surely be times in this one when Cornet goes walkabout and any repeat of their one and only career meeting on clay last year will see Cornet suffer her fifth first round loss at Wimbledon.
The 2.04 about the underdog winning a set looks good here.
Other favourites who look like they could be vulnerable today include Klara Koukalova, who could get overpowered if Taylor Townsend is on her game; Heather Watson, who’s too short against Ajla Tomljanovic; Jelena Jankovic, who rarely enjoys playing on grass and has always struggled with Kaia Kanepi; and Vera Zvonareva, who hasn’t played at all since Indian Wells.
Kanepi’s on going Achilles issues put me off her and Zvonareva’s opponent Tara Moore is not exactly one who inspires confidence and instead I like another match-up today.
Annika Beck vs Jie Zheng
The 30-year-old Chinese player reached her first final for a couple of years when making the championship match in Rosmalen last week and she looks good for the win today over Beck.
I went against Zheng in that final and it worked out that way, with Coco Vandeweghe overpowering her, but there won’t be any of that today against the brick wall that is Beck.
The German isn’t up to much on grass, mainly due to the fact that players either hit right through her or she struggles to make her own pace and ends up making errors and it’s likely to be the latter today.
Beck’s weak serve is cannon fodder on this surface and in this first career meeting between the pair Zheng can use the confidence from last week’s final run to good order and grab the win minus 3.5 games at 1.74.
Genie Bouchard also looks rather short on opponent Dani Hantuchova’s best form and I wouldn’t be too keen to take a risk on Bouchard at 1.24 if Dani finds her spots.
Ana Ivanovic has a great record over Fran Schiavone and having seemingly improved on grass this year she should go through, as should Serena Williams over the feeble Anna Tatishvili.
Simona Halep, as ever, has injury concerns and is probably fortunate to have a weak-looking opponent in round one, while Petra Martic’s wrist problem stops me from loading up on her as underdog against Lourdes Dominguez Lino.
Others with injuries that concern me enough to not back them include Nastia Pavlyuchenkova and Tamira Paszek, while both Victoria Duval and Sorana Cirstea, who face each other, have injury problems.
Camila Giorgi vs Alexandra Cadantu
The most convincing winners of the day are likely to be Maria Sharapova and Giorgi, who face very weak opposition in Samantha Murray and Cadantu.
Maria looks decent to overcome a minus 7.5 game handicap against the hopelessly overmatched Brit, while Giorgi has the kind of game that will fire right through her Romanian opponent.
Cadantu has won just one match on grass in her career and that was against an injured Paskek last year and she’s never won as much as a set any other time on the green stuff.
Giorgi was unhappy about a delay in her match with Caro Wozniacki at Eastbourne last week and should take it out on Cadantu, with the minus 6.5 appealing at 1.90.
Back Schmiedlova +1.5 sets to beat Cornet at 2.04
Back Zheng –3.5 games to beat Beck at 1.74
Back Giorgi –6.5 games to beat Cadantu at 1.90