The WTA Tournament of Champions continues its round robin stage on Thursday in Sofia after another typically strange end of season day on Wednesday.
Andrea Petkovic and Tsvetana Pironkova played out a turgid opening set that seemed to last an age before the German won it and eased through set two to consign poor old Pironkova to yet another loss in her home tournament.
Then Garbine Muguruza ripped through the defences of top seed Kate Makarova in just over an hour without facing a break point.
Muguruza kicks us off today against Flavia Pennetta and if anything I’d side with the Italian in that one at a tempting 2.14 after her excellent start to the tournament.
But I’m going to give another chance to Alizé Cornet instead in the second match of the day at around 17:30 UK time.
Ekaterina Makarova vs Alizé Cornet
These end of season tournaments can prove to be somewhat of a minefield for punters and so it proved again yesterday with that unexpectedly routine win for Muguruza and Makarova gets a quick chance to try and redeem herself today.
The Russian doesn’t look in the right frame of mind to do so though after admitting last night that: “I don't really like this surface. It is tough for me.”
Makarova went on to note that the surfaces in Moscow and Singapore were also not suitable and it seems pretty clear from that and recent results that the US Open semi finalist can’t wait for the season to end.
That could well be the case with Cornet too, but at today’s prices it’s hard to back Makarova as a 1.68 shot in the mood she seems to be in.
It’s the first meeting between the pair and only Cornet’s fourth clash with a lefty this season and she’ll be hoping for a change of luck, having lost all three so far in deciding sets.
I think we have to look for the value in these kinds of tournaments especially and at 2.14 I’ll give Cornet another chance today after her horror show against Pennetta on match day one.
The qualification scenario in the 19:00 start between Domi Cibulkova and Andrea Petkovic is that the former qualifies if she takes a set and Petko needs the win, so for conspiracy theorists, the 2-1 win for Petkovic is a 4.60 shot.
That looks as good a wager as any others in that one, with both of their 2014 clashes proving close encounters – once in New Haven in the summer and in Fed Cup indoors back in February.
Petkovic won both and she should be slightly the more motivated here after finally getting her game together yesterday against Pironkova and needing the win.
Again, it’s little more than a lean at this stage of the campaign, but either Petko or the 2-1 to Petko look the ones there.
Back Cornet to beat Makarova at 2.14