Sunday’s wager on Dani Hantuchova to land the Aegon Classic proved to be a successful one as the Slovakian prevailed in straight sets against Donna Vekic.
It was a well-deserved first grass court crown for Dani, who took advantage of possible fatigue and poor serving from the 16-year-old Vekic to ease to a fairly convincing success on the day.
The WTA Tour moves on with the ATP Tour to two combined events on the grass this week at Eastbourne and s’Hertogenbosch, so there are plenty of matches to look at on Monday, weather permitting.
There are 19 WTA matches in total across the two venues on the schedule and the Premier Event in Eastbourne, the Aegon International is where stars such as Aga Radwanska, Na Li, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, and Ana Ivanovic will be in action.
The opening day sees Ivanovic, Maria Kirilenko and Marion Bartoli all on the schedule, while Heather Watson also plays her first round match today.
I think that Bartoli may well struggle to live up to 1.38 odds against Flavia Pennetta in the opening match on Centre Court after a pretty wretched season thus far.
We know that Marion is an excellent grass performer and has done well here in reaching the semi-finals or better each year since 2007, but she’s really struggling with her game and her record here has been overestimated in my view.
Pennetta is herself a very capable grass court player and has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon. She’s no mug on this surface and has bothered Marion before on grass, notably when taking her to 16 games in the decider of their 2011 encounter in the third round at Wimbledon.
Bartoli withdrew from Birmingham last week with an ankle problem and I’ll take Pennetta +1.5 sets in this one at 1.73.
In Rosmalen, it’s well worth opposing Dominika Cibulkova, who has big problems with her Achilles and who had stated that she probably wouldn’t play here this week, such is the pain. She’s only had one day of training for this.
The Spaniard is not great on grass, but she’s had some good results this season and it’s worth a small interest in her at 3.75 with Domi not in good shape.
Lauren Davis has played one match in her career on grass, which was last week in Birmingham and she was hammered by the out of form Tsvetana Pironkova.
The American plays Andrea Hlavackova this morning and she should be much too good on this surface for Davis to cope with, whose serve is surely cannon fodder on grass.
Back Pennetta +1.5 sets to beat Bartoli at 1.73
Back Dominguez-Lino to beat Cibulkova at 3.75
Back Hlavackova –1.5 sets to beat Davis at 1.90
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