Laura Robson’s final set tie-break loss to Yulia Putintseva made it a painful start to the week in Dubai.
The Brit produced an error-strewn performance in a match she should have won comfortably and all Putintseva had to do at times was to keep the ball in play and wait for one of the 49 unforced errors that flew from Laura’s racquet.
Even so, Yulia almost produced a choke of Sabine Lisicki proportions from 5-2 up in the final set to 5-3 down in the breaker before, fittingly, a wild error from Robson handed her the match.
That result cost me my double, as Ana Ivanovic had earlier won in straight sets against Nastia Pavlyuchenkova, which made for a frustrating evening’s viewing watching Robson.
Conditions are quick and look like they will favour the big hitters in Dubai this week and that gives last year’s runner-up Julia Goerges a decent chance as underdog against Sara Errani in the early match that begins at 10am UK time on Tuesday morning.
It’s always a bit of a risk backing Goerges, as she can be very hit and miss, but a return to the stage of one of her best results of last season and conditions she enjoys, make it worth taking a chance against an opponent who can be hit off court by an on-song ball basher.
Errani hasn’t impressed me at all this year and she may also be fatigued after nine matches since the Australian Open compared with the three that Goerges has played. Errani won’t have great memories of Dubai either, after losing 6-0, 6-1 to another big hitter in Sam Stosur on her last appearance here.
They have played twice in the past, with Errani winning on clay and Goerges on grass, but this is their first meeting on hard and with it being quick, an in-form Goerges can certainly win this. It’s worth chancing that she’ll hit the ground running at around 2.30
Best Bet: Back Goerges to beat Errani at 2.30
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