WTA Tennis Betting: Kanepi To Handle Conditions And Keep Begu At Bay

The second round of the 2014 Portugal Open is in play at the Estádio Nacional do Jamor in Oeiras on Wednesday.

And there are a few decent-looking matches in the eight scheduled for today, with the likes of Sveta Kuznetova, Eugenie Bouchard and Lucie Safarova all in action.

My sole best bet of Tuesday was a winner when Barbora Zahlavova Strycova got the better of last week’s Marrakech finalist Romina Oprandi in three sets and her reward is a match with two-time finalist Carla Suarez Navarro.

Play starts at 11.00 UK time on Wednesday and it looks a good day in prospect for favourite backers.


Kaia Kanepi 1.38, Irina-Camelia Begu 2.90

This clash sees last year’s semi-finalist Kanepi take on the Romanian world number 117 and, now that Kaia has found her feet on the clay swing, I expect her to be too powerful for Begu here.

Kanepi was a little slow to adjust to the dirt last week in Stuttgart, but it was a unique surface at the Porsche Arena and the big-hitting Estonian seemed much happier in these Oeiras conditions yesterday.

The world number 23 enjoyed a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 win over the defensive Austrian Yvonne Meusberger yesterday and although this will probably be a bigger test I can still see a decent winning margin for Kanepi here.

Conditions were typically windy here on Tuesday, but Kaia got the best of the weather in that match and she’s able to be effective in them as she showed last year.

The pair have met previously just the once and that was at the French Open in similar conditions two years ago when Kanepi won easily and Begu fans must be concerned about her inability to test the top players.

She dropped down a level after making the last eight in Rio and went on a run of three straight ITF titles, but she has a record of 2-12 against top-20 players and 12-29 against top-50 ranked opposition, which indicates her best level.

The 2-0 to Kanepi looks likely here at 1.88.

Other favourites that should progress with few problems include Elena Vesnina, Timea Bacsinszky, who did indeed cause the upset over Sam Stosur yesterday, and Carla Suarez Navarro.

A couple of outsiders to consider today are Yanina Wickmayer over Roberta Vinci and Polona Hercog over Lucie Safarova.


Yanina Wickmayer 3.75, Roberta Vinci 1.25

I can’t have the Italian pushers Vinci and Sara Errani at the best of times and I wake up every day baffled as to how the latter made the top-50 let alone the top-10, while Vinci has been on the slide all season.

The perception that Vinci’s best surface is clay seems a little off to me, with a best of the fourth round at the French Open compared with two last eight showings at the US Open and this slow clay may not be her best conditions.

You need some power to hit through this court and Wicky has more of that, but does she have the control and consistency required?

The Belgian can play on clay, as a run to the final of Bad Gastein showed a couple of years ago and of course she won her first ever tour level title here in Portugal back in 2009.

She showed some decent fight and intensity in her win over Urszula Radwanska first up here, while Vinci, who has struggled all season long, stumbled to a three set win over a tearful Alex Cadantu.

From 15 matches in 2014 Vinci has just three straight sets win and she’s looked a shadow of a Grand Slam quarter finalist this campaign so far.

Wicky will almost certainly be outfoxed if she allows Vinci to play her own superior tactical game, but with the Belgian you have to catch her when she fancies the job and she seems to this week.

The 1.90 about Wicky winning a set here looks the call.

Perhaps the matches of the day from a viewing perspective could be Kuznetsova vs Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in which the latter has a fine chance if not fatigued from last week, and Bouchard against Slava Shvedova, who could well test the Canadian on this surface. 


Best Bets

Back Kanepi to beat Begu 2-0 at 1.88

Back Wickmayer +1.5 sets to beat Vinci at 1.90