Tennis Betting: Cibulkova starting to fire
... if Cibulkova has one of her days when she doesn’t miss, she has every chance of causing an upset.
Saturday at Roland Garros was another rollercoaster ride in which Seal Calvert made a profit, but which came at the expense of vast amounts of nervous energy.
First there was a five-set thriller between my fancy Milos Raonic and Juan Monaco that we came out on the wrong side of, but in which there was every opportunity to trade out for a profit as the Canadian was up two sets to one before tiring.
And then an incredible match in which Kaia Kanepi almost threw away from 6-1, 5-1 and match point ahead against Caroline Wozniacki.
A choke for the ages from the Estonian not once but numerous times probably took a few years off my life, but it was an easy trade from [1.01] and she did just about go on to win in the deciding set.
So, with nails bitten to the quick it's on to the second week in Paris and the first bet that I'll take on is to back Dominika Cibulkova with a start against Victoria Azarenka.
The diminutive Cibulkova has really started to fire this fortnight in Paris with that massive forehand and hasn't dropped a set so far in the tournament.
She also matches up pretty well to the Azarenka game, having pushed the world number one to a decider in each of their last five meetings.
The concern for Domi's backers is that she's been unable to get the win in all bar one of those matches, even if it was the one played on clay...however it was too long ago to really be relevant today.
What is relevant is that Cibulkova has covered today's 4.5 game start in four of those five matches and the last time she failed to do so was also back in 2008 on a hard court. Back to lay punters will also note that Domi has won the opening set in each of the last three meetings.
They were scheduled to meet in Rome last month, but Azarenka pulled out and if Cibulkova has one of her days when she doesn't miss, she has every chance of causing an upset, but there's a higher likelihood that she can get over the line on the handicap @ around Betfair odds of (1.9).
Arguably the men's match of the day takes place on Court Suzanne Lenglen between Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych.
The layers have Del Potro as favourite for this @ Betfair odds of (1.84), but I can't really see why given that he hasn't beaten a top-10 player since February and has won just three of his last 15 against top-10 ranked opposition.
We all know how good Delpo can be, but he hasn't brought his absolute A-game to the courts for a long time now and I'd have Berdych down as a slight favourite personally.
Both players have had their problems physically this tournament and it's not worth second guessing their fitness today, so on an assumption that they're both ready to play, this match will surely go long.
Their last meeting on the blue clay of Madrid went narrowly the way of the Berdman after Delpo checked out mentally when he received what he thought were a couple of bad line calls (they weren't), and although conditions there were quicker the two are very closely matched.
Berdych had an unexpected struggle against Kevin Anderson in the last round, while Delpo was made to work by Marin Cilic, and this has the makings of another bruising encounter full of heavy hitting and not too much subtlety.
I would side with Berdych if I had to choose a winner, but for me the wisest bet in this one is the over 40.5 games at around Betfair odds of (1.7)