WTA Madrid Masters Betting: Cibulkova will lick Lisicki

The good start to the WTA betting week continued in Spain when Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova comfortably covered the handicap on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Masters.

Pavlyuchenkova held a 6-3 lead in the first set tie-break, but blew it before recovering from 4-1 down to hold three set-points in the second set as well. A-Pavs was unable to handle the pressure and ended up losing that set in a breaker too.

It was more than enough to cover the generous +5.5 game handicap for my wager, but Martina Hingis will have her work cut out in erasing that match from Nastia's memory bank.

Tuesday's schedule features Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova on the show court and half a dozen other second round matches. Of these, I'm siding with Dominika Cibulkova in her clash with Sabine Lisicki on Stadium 3 at 2pm UK time.

This meeting of two of WTA's biggest hitting stars should be a thoroughly entertaining watch even if you're not having a bet. I like the chances of diminutive Domi today at around 1.75.

The pocket rocket has been backed in a touch from an opening 1.88, but regardless of the betting move she has the better pedigree on clay. Cibulkova is a former quarter-finalist here in Madrid where Lisicki is making her debut this year.

Lisicki has lost nine of her last 13 matches against top-50 ranked opponents on all surfaces since the grass swing last year and she's shown nothing this year of any note.

Cibulkova hasn't exactly had a vintage season either thus far, but she found some good form in Miami, where she should have beaten Williams. These quick clay conditions will suit her big hitting style. 

In fact, it will probably suit both players, but in a match that will involve plenty of stunning winners and pretty awful errors I favour Domi on this surface.

Best Bet: Back Cibulkova to beat Lisicki at 1.75

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