The second round of the 2013 Challenge Bell completes in Quebec tonight, where there are five matches on the schedule for Thursday.
It was a good night for my wagers on Wednesday, with two comfortable winners from two bets, with the overs easing home in the Eugenie Bouchard vs Sofia Arvidsson match that went all the way to a final set breaker. Marinka Erakovic also scored an easy win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova for the loss of just three games.
In the opener today, I would expect Bethanie Mattek-Sands to be too strong for Ajla Tomljanovic, but the American is short at 1.28 and that match holds little in the way of interest for me, as does the second match on the card, where the inconsistent Lucie Safarova is also short at 1.38. Lucie’s opponent Mirjana Lucic-Baroni enjoys quick conditions, but the 3-0 head-to-head in Safarova’s favour puts me off siding with her.
Lauren Davis vs Andrea Hlavackova
The US Open doubles champion Hlavackova was involved in a farcical match last night, where there was some highly questionable line calling on display, which, unsurprisingly led to a meltdown from the combustible Anastasia Rodionova and no handshake at the end of the match.
All in a day’s work for Rodionova, but the effect of that three-setter on Hlavackova after a tiring US Open campaign should give Davis the edge in today’s clash, which begins at around 7pm UK time tonight.
The diminutive American recorded a good win over flavour of the month Camila Giorgi in round one and she should be too consistent for Hlavackova, who is likely to become ragged as she tires during this encounter.
The pair have met once, which was on grass at Rosmalen this summer and Davis was a straight sets winner that day. I’ve never been convinced by the Czech in singles play and she’s shown nothing this hard court swing that makes me think she’ll get the better of Davis today.
Davis should be able to take advantage of Hlavackova’s inconsistency and 1.72 is a decent price against a fatigued opponent, whose focus is likely to be more on the doubles.
Bouchard didn’t look fully fit in her match with Arvidsson and that thigh problem would be a big worry for me if I were backing her at 1.36 tonight against Sesil Karatantcheva, who’s done well here this week to reach this stage via qualifying. The Canadian should win, but not for me at that price with injury concerns.
The last match of the day looks a 50/50 call and I slightly favour Petra Martic over Kiki Mladenovic, but not enough to invest in her in what could be a tight encounter.
Back Davis to beat Hlavackova at 1.72