It’s quarter-finals day in Carlsbad and Washington DC on Friday of Week 31 of the 2013 WTA Tour.
Both Monica Niculescu and Magdalena Rybarikova won last night, but not in the straight sets that I had hoped for. Niculescu did indeed record another win in her sequence of taming the young ball bashers of the tour, but had to go to three to do it. Equally disappointing was Heather Watson’s performance against Alize Cornet, but I still think that that match was priced up incorrectly, with Cornet much too short.
There appear to be several matches across the two venues tonight that offer some value to the punter. We start in Washington, where the schedule begins with Paula Ormaechea taking on Andrea Petkovic at 6pm UK time.
The former is here due to Olga Puchkova whacking a line judge with the ball and being defaulted when losing and Ormaechea has her work cut out against the impressive Petkovic, who’s played some excellent tennis this week so far. I would expect the German to be too much in these conditions for the 20-year-old Argentine and Petkovic 2-0 at around 1.50 looks worthy of consideration.
Sorana Cirstea has a good record against Cornet, whom she defeated twice on hard courts last season in straight sets. The pair meet again at around 8pm UK time and I make Cirstea a touch of value here at around 1.73. I highlighted Cornet’s poor record at this time of year in these conditions yesterday. Although Watson wasn’t able to take advantage, Cirstea is in decent form and mood at the moment and should be able to add to her list of wins on this surface.
Ekaterina Makarova looks short at around 1.38 against the tricky Niculsecu, as does Angelique Kerber at 1.22 against defending champion Rybarikova. Kerber hasn’t been at the same level this season as she was last, but she’s still being priced up as though she is. This is the first meeting between the pair and I don’t envisage this being as easy for Kerber as the odds make it seem. I’d be backing Rybarikova here, but she did struggle physically last night with cramps and that puts me off somewhat.
Play at Carlsbad begins at 7pm UK time with Petra Kvitova taking on Virginie Razzano. Although Kvitova is a tad skinny at around 1.25 she does enjoy the conditions out on the west coast and I have very little faith in Razzano at the best of times.
The match following looks like it may offer more value and I make Roberta Vinci a spot of value against Ana Ivanovic at 9pm UK time. The Italian has won three of her last four against the Serb and memorably double bageled Ana in Montreal a year ago on hard courts. Ivanovic has been working with the Adidas team since splitting with Nigel Sears as her coach and her name often seems to make her shorter in price than she should be. Vinci has won 14 of her last 17 on American hard courts and I have her as favourite here, so the 1.90 about her looks good to me.
Back Cirstea to beat Cornet at 1.73
Back Vinci to beat Ivanovic at 1.90