Thursday at the Internationaux de Strasbourg 2013 saw another winning best bet for this column when Eugenie Bouchard eased past Anna Tatishvili 6-3, 6-2 to comfortably cover the handicap and move through to the semi-finals.
That was it until late afternoon, when the action resumed following another of the lengthy rain breaks that have turned the Brussels event into a farce. When they came back they managed to complete a couple of quarter-finals, leaving two more today.
I’m not entirely sure why they schedule outdoor tournaments in northern Europe for May, as they’re always likely to be weather affected. That includes the French Open, which I think should have been ditched and moved to somewhere like Spain years ago. While I'm at it, I don’t think Britain is the right place for an outdoor grass court event either, but I digress.
Friday’s schedule in Strasbourg offers just the one match that I haven’t covered already. As the remaining two quarter-finals are being played at 9.30am UK time today due to rain, the only one I can preview is Bouchard vs Cornet, which takes place at 1pm UK time.
It should be a fascinating match. The talented Bouchard is the underdog against Cornet, who will be even more stressed than normal, playing at home in the event she reached the final of last year. I wouldn’t be on Cornet as favourite in this and I sense this one going the full three sets. Over 21.5 games at 1.87 looks good in that one.
In Brussels, the only semi-final currently available to look at is Romina Oprandi vs Shuai Peng. I like backing the Swiss clay courter on the handicap against the Chinese player, who has already been cramping this tournament. Oprandi defeated Peng comfortably on slow clay in Oeiras recently.
This one begins at around 2.30pm UK time and these conditions are perfect for Oprandi, who I expect to cover a minus 2.5 game handicap at a price of around 1.80.
Back Over 21.5 games in Cornet vs Bouchard at 1.87
Back Oprandi –2.5 games to beat Peng at 1.80