Thursday night was a bit of a frustrating one at the Bank of the West Classic, as my best bet was a couple of points away from landing. Jamie Hampton had too much class and power for Nicole Gibbs, but she was inconsistent at just the wrong time, which led to her losing the second set in a tie-break to foil my straight-sets win wager. Hampton went on to win the decider comfortably and goes forward to face Vera Dushevina tonight.
Although the American was very in-and-out last night it was her first match on hard for some time. With that under her belt I think she’ll improve tonight against the qualifier. Dushevina has had a great run here this week and capped it with a fine victory over Madison Keys, who I said was very short priced yesterday. The Russian used some nice variety to keep Keys moving around and she’ll no doubt try a similar tactic against Hampton when they face off at 11.30pm UK time tonight.
Hampton can move a little better than Keys though and although this could well be a touch closer than the odds suggest I have Hampton as a touch over a 60/40 shot for this, so the 1.52 about her winning is about right.
Friday’s opening quarter-final sees Sorana Cirstea take on Olga Govortsova. Although I rarely get involved in Cirstea matches due to her alarmingly erratic nature, I do feel that the 1.53 about her tonight is pretty good value.
Cirstea has been on a punishing fitness drive with Gil Reyes and plays well in these conditions. She faces a limited opponent in Govortsova, who is here thanks to a poor effort from Sam Stosur in the previous round. Cirstea will fancy this having beaten tonight’s opponent in both of their previous meetings.
Following this match is an intriguing encounter between Urszula Radwanska and Domi Cibulkova. These conditions suit the latter, who can be backed at around 1.83 for this one. The pair have split their four previous meetings, but I am happy to side with Cibulkova here, as the quick, low bouncing conditions are perfect for the diminutive Slovak. The Pole’s record since the start of 2012 of seven wins and 19 losses against top-25 opponents tells a tale and I’d make Domi a touch shorter here.
The final match for night owls at 4am UK time features the other Radwanska sister, Agnieszka. She should prove too much for American leftie Varvara Lepchenko, whose best results have come on clay of late. Aga is too short for my interest at 1.15, but she should prevail against an opponent she’s beaten in each of their three previous meetings.
Back Hampton to beat Dushevina at 1.52
Back Cirstea to beat Govortsova at 1.53
Back Cibulkova to beat Radwanska at 1.83