The final of the Swedish Open is set for Sunday afternoon in Bastad between Mona Barthel and Chanelle Scheepers.
The latter player ended my hopes of another winning bet on Saturday when she defeated a really disappointing Jana Cepelova two games short of the overs mark, but in truth the Slovak was rarely in the match.
It was one of those days for Cepelova, who admitted, “Nothing worked for me. I made too many unforced errors, and unfortunately I couldn't stop.”
A great match it certainly wasn’t and Scheepers will surely face a sterner challenge in Sunday’s final.
Mona Barthel vs Chanelle Scheepers - Live on Unibet TV
We start at around 13:00 UK time after the doubles final, which features Britain’s Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith, and it will be the fourth career meeting between the German and the South African.
Scheepers has won two of the three so far, but this will be the first on clay and similarly to yesterday I couldn’t trust Barthel as an odds-on shot given her erratic nature.
All of their prior meetings have been tight and I would expect nothing different today, with Barthel having won all bar one of her matches in Bastad this week by 10 points or fewer in total.
Typically for Barthel it was against her most illustrious opponent, Kaia Kanepi, that she bucked that trend, but she was back at it yesterday against Silvia Soler-Espinosa.
Struggling to find the correct balance between utilising her fearsome ground strokes and being patient, Barthel reverted to type just in time against SSE for a narrow three set win and once again it’s largely on her racquet today.
Scheepers, meanwhile, was a little more aggressive than usual against Cepelova and it worked very nicely for her and I would expect her to take on the Barthel serve to keep the German on the back foot today.
In finals, Scheepers has a perfect 1-0 record, gained after her sole WTA Tour success on hard courts in Guangzhou in 2011 over Magda Rybarikova, while Barthel is 2-1 in finals.
Mona’s successes have come on quick hard courts and this nervy sort will be tense here for sure, as will Scheepers, who was a bit choky when serving for set one against Cepelova yesterday.
Most of Mona’s matches are swingy and this will probably be excellent for in-play betting but I’m siding towards Scheepers with a 2.5 game start at 1.72 rather than Barthel outright at the same price.
There isn’t much between this pair and the over 21.5 total games looks good again here at 1.91, but I think the 2.5 game start for Scheepers, who’s been playing consistently good tennis here this week, should tip it in her favour.
Back Scheepers +2.5 games to beat Barthel at 1.72