ATP Antwerp/WTA Moscow Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 21st October by @DavAulak

Richard Gasquet v Jan-Lennard Struff

The indoor hard courts have seen the best performances from Jan-Lennard Struff through his career and he has reached the Quarter Final in Antwerp. However he has had some trouble along the way and the match with Richard Gasquet is another step up from his previous opponents.

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The win over Gilles Simon was impressive, but I am not sure how much Simon had left in the tank after a long and gruelling week in Shanghai which had ended just a few days ago. Travelling all the way back to Europe and playing in this tournament doesn’t sound the most appealing of schedules but Simon still had enough chances to win that match with Struff.

Gasquet should be the best server that Struff has faced this week and that has to be a concern when you think he has given up 28 break points in just two matches. Struff should be full of confidence having won a Challenger event on this circuit recently but he is scheduled to be at the Vienna Qualifying this weekend and I wonder if he will have the fight to dig in if he does get behind by a set.

It hasn’t been the most productive few weeks for Gasquet, but he was an easy winner in the Second Round and has plenty of indoor hard court experience too. If he can use that effectively I think the Frenchman can come through with a 6-4, 6-4 win and a place in the Semi Final to come on Saturday.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Richard Gasquet -3.5 Games @ 1.78 with Pinnacle

Pablo Cuevas v Diego Sebastian Schwartzman

There is no doubting that Pablo Cuevas as a Seed in a hard court event is very vulnerable and his best tennis is restricted to the clay courts. He has been very good on the clay this season which has seen him move up to Number 22 in the World Rankings and likely a Seed for the Australian Open, but that means I tend to stay away from him when it comes to being a favourite on the hard courts.

Cuevas hasn’t shown a lot of positive form since the Tour moved onto the last quarter of the season which is predominantly a hard court time of the year. I think it is also telling that he has not won back to back matches on this surface in the last twelve months and so it might come as a surprise that I am going to back him to win this Quarter Final.

That has much to do with the opponent he is facing as he meets fellow South American Diego Sebastian Schwartzman, another player who doesn’t have a lot of hard court form behind him and who is much more comfortable on the slower surfaces. Schwartzman should be credited for winning two matches in Antwerp already, but he too had been struggling with the move back to the hard courts.

The match up should be one that Cuevas enjoys much more as it should be one that develops into the kind of rallies you would see on the slower surfaces. I do think Cuevas has the bigger serve, which could be key, although the doubt remains with his lack of results on the hard courts in the past. However, I think Cuevas won’t have too many better chances to reach a Semi Final of an indoor hard court event and I think he battles through with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Pablo Cuevas -1.5 Games @ 1.82 with 188BET

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Preview

Diego Sebastian Schwartzman

Julia Goerges v Daria Gavrilova

 A couple of years ago Julia Goerges might have been considered a player that would be making the next step in her career to challenge some of the better players on the Tour. That hasn’t really happened for her on the Singles Tour, but she has performed better on the Doubles Tour which should see her competing at the WTA Finals next week.

For now she can concentrate on finishing her Singles season on a high as she gets set for this tough Semi Final with Daria Gavrilova. Both players have shown good form this week and I imagine Gavrilova will be going to Doubles partner Daria Kasatkina for tips having seen Goerges beat her handily in the Quarter Final.

I think Gavrilova has a little more power off the ground than Kasatkina at this stage of their careers though and that should give Goerges a few more things to think about. However Goerges has been setting up her play very well this week behind her serve and it should be able to keep her in this match and potentially win outright.

I really don’t think there is as much between the players as the layers clearly believe. Both should have their moments and, unless Goerges is thinking about heading to Singapore for the Doubles event at the WTA Finals, I think both realise how much is on the line in terms of vital Ranking points they can earn this week.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we need three sets to separate these players, but Goerges is the kind of streaky player that can be hard to stop when she is putting her tennis together like she has this week. Backing her with the games should be enough for the cover if this does go deep into a third set like I am anticipating, while I can’t rule out Goerges winning this one straight up and at odds against I will back her with the start.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Julia Goerges +2.5 Games @ 2.03 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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WTA Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Thursday 20th October by @DavAulak

Petra Kvitova v Johanna Larsson – WTA Luxembourg

The WTA Finals are out of reach for Petra Kvitova but she will be heading to the WTA Elite tournament which is played a week after that event. The form has most definitely improved in the final weeks of the season which included a title win in Wuhan and Kvitova showed her mental strength by coming through her Second Round match after dropping the first set.

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This is a tough Quarter Final for Kvitova against Johanna Larsson who has a decent serve and that can pose problems.

The Swede has a great kicker, but Larsson can struggle to deal with the power that comes back and Kvitova has plenty of that for this match. They did play a tight match in Indian Wells earlier this season which was won by Kvitova in three sets, but it perhaps should have been easier as Kvitova had more than double the break points and won 44% of the points against the Larsson serve.

Similar numbers will make it difficult for Larsson to stay with Kvitova who looks to be in much stronger form now than she was back in March. While this does look a lot of games on the face of things, Kvitova has been dominating opponents in wins over the last month and I think she can wear down Larsson and record a 63, 63 win for a place in the Semi Final.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Petra Kvitova -5.5 Games @ 1.79 with 888 Sport

 

WTA Tennis Handicap Betting Preview 20/10

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki v Monica Niculescu – WTA Luxembourg

Any talk of an impending retirement have been put to the back burner by Caroline Wozniacki’s recent form which has taken her back inside the top 20 in the World Rankings. The former World Number 1 is ending the 2016 with the kind of momentum that should give her confidence to take into the 2017 season and I think she looks strong for a position in the Semi Final in Luxembourg.

The Quarter Final match up against Monica Niculescu should be one that Wozniacki enjoys having beaten her in all seven previous matches on the main Tour. Wozniacki hasn’t dropped a set in those matches and she would have covered this number in all seven matches too as she can handle the variation that Niculescu brings to the court.

There are enough areas on the court where Niculescu will struggle to hurt Wozniacki and that has proven to be the case in the past. Even in defensive positions Wozniacki knows she can go to the forehand and it will almost neutralise her position and give her a chance to get back into the rally.

That is so important and Wozniacki should have enough success through this match to move through with a relatively straight-forward 63, 63 win. I thought the layers would have asked for Wozniacki to cover at least another game especially as Wozniacki is in very good form including winning the title in Hong Kong last week. I don’t mind though and will take the Danish player to cover on Thursday.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Caroline Wozniacki -4.5 Games @ 1.73 Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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WTA Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 19th October by @DavAulak

Kiki Bertens v Anna Schmiedlova – WTA Luxembourg

Neither Kiki Bertens or Anna Schmiedlova will be pointing to any great form in the closing stages of 2016 as they battle each other for the right to reach the Quarter Final in Luxembourg. However this has been a season that Bertens will look back on much more fondly than Schmiedlova who has won just 5/27 matches on the main Tour a year after finishing 2015 with 37 match wins.

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Unsurprisingly Schmiedlova has dropped outside the top 100 of the World Rankings and the mental block of all those losses has seen her lose other matches from very strong winning positions. The win over Yanina Wickmayer was impressive, but Schmiedlova will have to raise her game again if Bertens has recovered some of the lost form of recent weeks.

Bertens had lost seven matches in a row before beating Annika Beck in the First Round and she has been a little overrated behind a very strong clay court season when she surpassed most expectations. I don’t think she has been fully healthy, which is a concern too, but she looked a little better in beating Beck in the First Round and the Dutchwoman will be Seeded going into the Australian Open in January.

Her record on the hard courts is a concern when backing her in this match, but I do think she is in a superior place mentally than Schmiedlova who probably wants to draw a line under the 2016 season. Bertens crushed her on the clay courts when they met earlier this season, but I anticipate this will be closer on the indoor hard courts, although ultimately I like Bertens to cover in a 75, 64 win after a few breaks of serve are shared out.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Kiki Bertens -3.5 Games @ 1.74 with 888 Sport

 

WTA Tennis Handicap Betting Preview 19/10

Kiki Bertens

 

Jelena Jankovic v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – WTA Moscow

I have very little doubt that Jelena Jankovic is on the downward slope of her career and that has been highlighted by the fact she is likely to have her fewest wins on the Tour since 2003. The movement around the court is not as good as it used to be, but Jankovic has found some form over the last six weeks since the US Open and I think she can pose some problems for home favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The season is coming to an end for Pavlyuchenkova and Jankovic, but the Russian should have plenty of motivation playing in Moscow where she has won the tournament in 2014 and then finished Runner Up in defence of that title in 2015.

I think that is part of the reason why she is considered such a strong favourite in this match because Pavlyuchenkova has not produced too many wins since the US Open. She did play well in Linz last week before coming up short in the Quarter Final and Pavlyuchenkova has the superior serve in this match that can provide some cheap points and keep Jankovic under pressure.

In the past it has been the movement of Jankovic and forcing Pavlyuchenkova to hit extra balls that has kept the former World Number 1 competitive in matches. While I do think she has lost that half a step around the court, the recent form suggests Jankovic can trouble Pavlyuchenkova again and perhaps make these games count in a tight match.

Since the US Open Jankovic has been much more competitive and I think she can steal a set which will make it difficult for Pavlyuchenkova to cover this number.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Jelena Jankovic +2.5 Games @ 2.02 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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