There are nine matches to choose from across the two venues of Week 31 of the WTA Tour on Wednesday night in Carlsbad and Washington DC.
For the second time in two nights my wager got off to a fine start only to fade badly. This time it was Eugenie Bouchard, who was beaten on the handicap despite winning four of the first five games against Ekaterina Makarova.
Tonight’s play in Carlsbad features Laura Robson taking on Petra Kvitova at around 7pm UK time and it’s generally worth siding with Laura as underdog against one of the game’s bigger names.
Kvitova had a really good North American hard court swing last year, but since then she’s been beaten as heavy favourite eight times from 10 hard court tournaments and she’s little value at 1.48 today. Laura came out on top in an incredibly tight match in Melbourne earlier this year on slowish hard courts and I think the bet in this one is to back Robson +1.5 sets at 1.65.
I also like the idea of backing hard court-loving German Mona Barthel, who likes to give the ball a good old clout and has conditions in Washington which will suit that style of play. As long as the element of control isn’t overlooked she should take at least a set against fellow German Andrea Petkovic.
The latter is surely priced on name and previous reputation and she hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders since her comeback from injury - this represents a decent opportunity for Barthel. The +1.5 sets looks good at 1.52 and the outright win at 2.25 holds appeal too if a little short.
Vika Azarenka makes her comeback from injury tonight in Carlsbad and she has a nice opponent for her on a hard court in Fran Schiavone. The 1.10 looks not far off right here, but it’s a watching brief for me there, assuming there are finally live pictures tonight.
The Domi Cibulkova/Ana Ivanovic clash looks a toss-up and of no real value as a betting proposition, but it’s often worth taking on Sam Stosur early in a tournament and she plays in the late night match in Carlsbad tonight.
Sam takes on Sesil Karatantcheva and 1.13 looks very short for Stosur, who rarely does things the easy way. I wouldn’t be too unhappy about chancing the +5.5 games on Karatantcheva here at 1.92, but until we get some live pictures I’ll stick with the two bets tonight.
Back Robson +1.5 sets to beat Kvitova at 1.65
Back Barthel +1.5 sets to beat Petkovic at 1.52