Sunday, July 01, 2012


Pretty spot on with the tennis yesterday, Zheng took Serena all the way, Petra Kvitova won easily and the "saver" position at big odds in the Querrey-Cilic marathon ( there was plenty of 7.0 around). meant that we didn't have to sit through marathon 32 game last set on the edge of our seats ! ( see below)

WIMBLEDON : ( sent to subscribers SAT 30/06)




Three matches to discuss fairly briefly.

The Chinese player can play a little on grass and made the semis here in 2008, where she lost to Serena 6-2 7-6. That day Williams served incredible well, 14 aces , 87% of points won on first serve and yet still Zheng found a way to get competitive in the second set and almost took it into a third.

Serena has not played anyone of note so far, but has lost an average of 5.5 games, despite hardly losing a point on serve against Melinda Czink and it is unlikely even she can reach those serving heights again today, especially with the wind getting up. Zheng is battle hardened with this her 11th match on the surface in the last three weeks. I definitely think she can take six games and like her getting a 6.5 game handicap start. Sometimes Williams can get distracted and dispite winning easily, she has looked a little "down" at times during the early rounds, anyway, this one to be closer than expected for me.

I expect the opposite in other Women's singles and for Kvitova to win the battle of the two lefties with a degree of ease.

The pair have met twice already and the defending champion won 1& 2 in Miami and 2&1 at Roland Garros, a surface which doesn't play to her strengths. Now that she is on her beloved grass, it is very hard to see beyond another  very easy win, her smooth as silk swing produces explosive power and she take players to areas of the court they didn't know existed with her acute angles. I was very impressed with her against Baltacha, not just that her awesome serve was already close to full throttle, but she showed a ruthless streak, that we expect from Sharapova , but have all too rarely seen from Kvitova before. She was fighting for every single point, as though it was match point and I cannot see here losing more than five games today, so -6.5 games Kvitova would be my pick.

Querrey and Cilic looks like being a titanic struggle, between two giants who both bomb the ball down.

They have met twice before, both on grass, here in 2009, which was a 55 game five set battle won by Cilic and he also won at Queens just a couple of weeks ago, in a match which also went the distance. It is hard not to see this being similarly close and another five sets would certainly not surprise.

I think the US player has a chance and he looks on the big side at current quotes, he had 28 break points across the two matches, Cilic just 12. He was pretty much the dominant player in the last meeting, especially in the first and second set, which he lost the first after failing to convert any of a host of break points and also getting troubled by a blister on his thumb.

Querrey is very focused to do well here, he missed last year through surgery and has had huge problems getting his ranking back up , he was previously top 20 and only early this year got back into the top 100, he can go top 50 with a win today and that is massive for him, he has been described previously as being as aggressive as a "man walking a dog" and has tried to find a more ruthless side to his game recently. He beat Milos Raonic in the last round taking two of the three tie breaks and Raonic has arguably,  the biggest serve on tour, certainly the most aces. Querrey said afterwards, "Lately, I feel like I have been a little more vocal, little more showing that I just want it because it's been a year. This is definitely my biggest win in a long time. It was a big moment, a big court, and it feels great." He has pledged to be very aggressive today and to go after every point.

I like 1.25 units Querrey to win @ 3.15 + on the exchanges, there is bigger available for lowish liquidity and I am pretty sure he will trade shorter at some stage. How about a small "saver" 0.5 units on Cilic to win 3-2 in sets @ circa 6.0.

Good Luck.

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