Grass court tennis continues on the lawns of Eastbourne and Rosmalen on Tuesday, with another 16 matches on the card for today.
Week 25 of the WTA Tour got off to an unfortunate start on Monday, as my best bet of the day fell in a final set tie break.
After launching an impressive comeback from a set down to a break ahead in the final set Marina Erakovic’s efforts stalled and from 1.16 in-running the Kiwi went down 5-7 in the final set tie break.
In the end, Monday became a bit of a frustrating one, as my notion of backing Nastia Pavlyuchenkova that I avoided in the end due to her back problem, would have been a good choice, as the Russian came through that one in three sets.
Magdalena Rybarikova vs Andrea Petkovic
The prices look wrong to me in this 15:00 UK time Rosmalen clash between Rybarikova, who loves playing on grass, and Petko, whose mechanical game, stiff movement and average serve tend to come up short on grass.
This price, to me, seems like it’s based on the popular Petko’s run to the semi finals of the French Open, but clay is more suited to the German’s game and on grass she tends to have to do things a little too quickly.
She actually won this event in her ‘first’ career, before the horrendous run of injuries that led to her taking a long time away from the tour, but since that 2010 triumph she’s won just three matches on grass.
I was courtside for her match with Sloane Stephens at Wimbledon last year and came away thinking that Andrea wasn’t really making the most of her serve and if you’re able to move her up and down the court the win is there and that’s where Rybarikova could strike.
The unorthodox game of the tall, rangy Slovak suits the grass, where she’s won in Birmingham and she’ll be very keen to do well here after falling in round one in Edgbaston last week.
Rybarikova defeated Petko in straight sets in Melbourne this year and in Washington last year and her ability to mix it up doesn’t sit well with Petko, who likes rhythm.
It looks a good match-up for Magda and the 1.68 +1.5 sets or 2.65 about the win look good here.
Elsewhere in the Topshelf Open I wouldn’t be too keen on the 1.38 about Carla Suarez Navarro against an in-form Barbora Zahlavova Strycova or the 1.45 about Domi Cibulkova against Slava Shvedova, who can play a bit on the grass.
In Eastbourne Tsvetana Pironkova looks decent value as underdog against Heather Watson, with the overs also appealing there, while all eyes will be on Vika Azarenka as she makes her comeback from injury today.
No doubt her opponent Carla Giorgi will try and blast Azarenka off the court and it’s not a match to bet on with Vika having last played a match at Indian Wells back in March and in an unknown state of fitness and form.
Petra Kvitova should get the better of compatriot Lucie Safarova on grass all day long, while Britain’s Johanna Konta is really up against it versus young starlet Belinda Bencic.
Sara Errani hasn’t won a match on grass since beating the now retired Brit, Anne Keothavong, at Wimbledon in 2012, but whether diminutive American pusher Lauren Davis has the tools to beat the Italian is up for debate.
Jelena Jankovic has also had a poor run on grass and her last win on it was also against a Brit – Konta – and she’s lost four of her last five on grass, which makes her vulnerable to big-hitting Madison Keys today. The +1.5 sets on Keys at 1.87 looks tempting there.
Back Rybarikova +1.5 sets to beat Petkovic at 1.68