Tuesday was a fine day of WTA betting in Mason, Ohio at the Western and Southern Open, with all three of my best bets finding the mark.
Vania King took advantage of a rusty Vika Azarenka to cover the 7.5 game handicap in a match that she could easily have taken to a deciding set, before Dani Hantuchova won the required set against Andrea Petkovic. That was capped by Jelena Jankovic taking down Sabine Lisicki in a late night grind.
Elsewhere, Maria Sharapova turned into an unforced error machine mid-match against Sloane Stephens leaving Jimmy Connors yearning for the days when he was in charge of his own destiny, as Maria lost in three.
Another big-hitting star name who could be on the way out tonight is Venus Williams, who looks short at around 1.83 against Elena Vesnina. Venus is not worth backing as favourite these days and Vesnina is a big step up from Jana Cepelova, who Venus defeated in round one here.
The Russian is fresh after a recent break and easily defeated Venus on the American’s favourite surface of grass at Wimbledon last year and I think the wrong player is favourite here. Venus did reach the semis here 12 months ago, but her health and fitness are highly questionable and she’s declined badly as a consequence. Vesnina shook off the cobwebs with a three set win over Kirsten Flipkens last night and I like her as a 1.96 underdog today.
There seem to be a number of short priced near-certainties today,including Serena Williams against Eugenie Bouchard, Aga Radwanska against Varvara Lepchenko, Na Li against Lauren Davis and Sara Errani against Polona Hercog, so instead I’ll try a bigger priced shot and Petkovic looks decent value at 1.68 against Roberta Vinci.
It’s a bit quick here for the Italian, who was thrashed 6-4, 6-0 by Petkovic in their only career meeting and, although that was back in 2011, it does show how a fit and firing Petko can overpower Vinci in the right conditions. Vinci has been shaky in her last couple of matches on this swing and the German can take advantage of that by grabbing the win.
You can probably add Caroline Wozniacki to that list of near-certainties, as she takes on lucky loser Monica Niculescu, whose unusual style won’t trouble Caro, who is the master of the pushing tactic.
I’m also tempted by Mona Barthel at odds-against versus Maria Kirilenko, who is really struggling at the moment, but that’s been reflected a little in the price of the Russian and I’d want a touch bigger about the erratic German here.
Back Vesnina to beat V Williams at 1.96
Back Petkovic to beat Vinci at 1.68