The second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open completes in Tokyo on Thursday, with Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic both in action at the Ariake Coliseum.
Wednesday’s wagers got off to a good start when Domi Cibulkova was a straight sets winner over CoCo Vandeweghe in a match that involved 15 breaks of serve in total.
In my second bet I clearly gave Vika Azarenka a bit too much credit in expecting her to take a set in a 2-1 win for Ana Ivanovic, as the Serb emerged a fairly comfortable straight sets winner in the end.
Those on the outright match odds on Ivanovic would have enjoyed a win there, but Azarenka fans must be concerned about her continuing struggles at the moment.
Casey Dellacqua vs Marina Erakovic
This opening match of the day in Tokyo begins at around 04:30 UK time and looks a decent opportunity for the Aussie to defeat her Kiwi rival.
Both players had good wins in the last round, with Dellacqua taking advantage of a likely fatigued and below par Sabine Lisicki after the German won Hong Kong last week, and Erakovic beating Sara Errani.
Lisicki had a MTO for a shoulder problem in the Dellacqua match and looked fatigued, but that won’t bother the Aussie, who gets my vote today by virtue of her excellent record as favourite.
The 1.75 shot has won 15 of her last 19 as favourite in 2013 and 2014 and those are some solid stats, especially compared with Erakovic, who has a 9-13 record as underdog on outdoor hard courts in the same time frame.
Erakovic has certainly played well here in Tokyo this week so far, but she didn’t have much to beat until Errani, who has said that the courts here are too quick for her game.
That performance against a less than committed Errani has probably moved the Kiwi’s price in a few notches and her record against left-handers such as Dellacqua isn’t great.
Erakovic’s career win percentage against right handers is 61 percent, but that falls to 51 percent against lefties, which combined with Dellaqua’s record as favourite makes the Aussie my pick here.
The match following that one sees Garbiñe Muguruza take on Jelena Jankovic and it could pay to side with the Spaniard in this 06:00 UK time encounter.
Since retiring in the final here back in 2009 against Maria Sharapova, Jankovic has failed to make it past the last-16 and it might be a little on the pacy side for her in Tokyo.
Muguruza certainly has the tools to exploit the situation if that is the case and either the over 20.5 games at 1.82 or Muguruza win at 2.60 look the ones here, with JJ not having played since the US Open.
There doesn’t appear to be much of interest in the other two matches, with Wozniacki a very short price indeed to beat Jarmila Gajdosova, who must be fatigued by now after a lot of tennis in the last fortnight.
Woz has a 6-0 career lead over the Aussie and I can’t see Gajdosova turning that around after so much tennis in her legs in tough conditions lately.
There’s more chance of Carla Suarez Navarro faltering as a 1.1 shot against qualifier Daria Gavrilova, who has won her last three matches here as a biggish underdog.
I haven’t seen a great deal from Gavrilova though to make me think she can beat CSN, unless the Spaniard isn’t up for it or has a shocker and I’d be most tempted with the under 18.5 total games there at 1.87.
Back Dellacqua to beat Erakovic at 1.75