Madison Keys v Camila Giorgi
The second half of the 2016 season has been a big disappointment for Camila Giorgi who has dropped down to Number 82 in the World Rankings. The season probably can’t end quick enough for Giorgi who has been inconsistent through her career, but who has recently found wins very hard to come by.
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The Italian will be trying to help prematurely end Madison Keys’ season after the American took a Wild Card into the tournament in Linz in order to pick up the points which can earn her a place in Singapore. Keys has been in good form over the last couple of weeks which has put her on the brink of making it through to the WTA Finals, but there is still work for the American to do.
Her big game should mean she is in a position to put the pressure on Giorgi in this one, but the key will be trying to get a first strike in the return games. Both players will feel they have the power to dictate rallies, but the Giorgi serve can break down at times and that is where Keys has to try and take control of the match.
It is a dangerous match for Keys, have no doubt about that. But Giorgi’s form is not inspiring and I am not sure how deep she will dig if she falls behind in this match with little time left in 2016. I expect Keys will be able to use her serve to good enough effect to win this match 63, 64 and move onto the Second Round.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Madison Keys -4.5 Points @ 2.0 with Unibet
Belinda Bencic v Dominika Cibulkova
Players chasing their places at the WTA Finals have taken Wild Card spots this week in various tournaments to earn the points to make it to Singapore. One of those is Dominika Cibulkova who is outside of the top eight places going into this week so needs a deep effort in Linz to extend her chances.
She is a clear favourite to beat Belinda Bencic in the First Round as injuries have hurt the Swiss Miss through the 2016 season. That has to be factored into the match, but I still feel the layers might be overrating Cibulkova in this one knowing she is in a ‘must win’ position to get into Singapore.
The performances from Cibulkova in recent weeks has seen her produce a number of wins, but she has rarely been able to win those matches easily. Six of Cibulkova’s last nine matches have ended in three sets and Bencic winning a set should have every chance of at least covering in a losing effort.
I can’t ignore the fact that Cibulkova has only covered this number in one of her last eight matches which includes a run to the Final in Wuhan. Her serve can be vulnerable and someone like Bencic is capable of taking advantage if she is feeling back at 100% although I can’t completely guess that she will be at full tilt. I still think this is too many games for Cibulkova to be covering though and will take the games on offer.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Belinda Bencic +3.5 Games @ 1.84 with Pinnacle
Sorana Cirstea v Oceane Dodin
This has been a strong week for Oceane Dodin who has come through the Qualifiers and won a match in the main draw. Since failing to Qualify for the US Open, Dodin has won a title and reached the Semi Final of another at the lower levels, but also won a title at Quebec City on the main Tour.
There is no doubting the talent that Dodin has and I am expecting her to start making a significant impact on the main Tour in the next couple of seasons. The Frenchwoman is a strong favourite to see off Sorana Cirstea, but I can’t help thinking she is being asked to cover too many games in this one.
Cirstea was a comfortable winner in the First Round over an out of form Kiki Bertens who has been doing a lot of losing in recent weeks. This is going to be a much more difficult test for someone who struggles at big points when facing break point against her own serve, but Cirstea has to be respected having played well below the main Tour level which is where Dodin spends most of her time too.
It is the Romanian who has shown more success on the hard courts at the lower levels than Dodin, although the latter has to be respected for the way she has been able to play indoors. I can see both players having their moments in this one and I think Cirstea is more than capable of winning a set which will make this number of games very appealing. I still think Cirstea has every chance of winning this kind of match outright and I will back her with the games to keep this one competitive at least.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Sorana Cirstea +3.5 Games @ 1.85 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.