I am travelling today to see my parents. It is a relatively quiet day but these days tend to hone the focus. Australia should score 2 today, the Saudis are vulnerable to the top 3. The French Open is semi-final day and it does look an obvious 3-setter (i.e. lay the first set winner).
World cup qualifiers begin in Ernest tomorrow.
11:00 - Australia v Saudi Arabia - 1.46 Australia
- This is a World Cup qualifier Asia.
- Group B is dominated by Japan and......Saudi Arabia.Australia are 2 points behind these 2.
- 2-2 the last time these 2 teams met.
- 4 score draws and a 2-0 win v UAE for Australia.
- 0-1-0-1-0 goals conceded at home by Australia.
- 5 wins, 2 2-2 draws v Australia and 2-1 loss v Japan for Saudi Arabia. Good stuff.
- If we focus on Saudis v the top 3, it is 2-2 and 2-1 loss. They have conceded 2 goals. This implies that this Group B is weak outside of the big 3.
- I do think Australia will not lose today and Saudis have shown a propensity to concede 2 goals v the big boys so that suggests laying the Saudis if the Saudis score first.
Ostapenko v Bacsinszky - 1.68 Bacs
- Semi-Final day for the Ladies.
- We saw yesterday that matches deeper into a tournament get less readable. Remember this. The big profits are made at the start of the tournament when we have big rankings gaps. Cream rises to the top as the tournament progresses and players become better matched. There is an argument then, for the ladies, for a greater probability of 3 setters.
- 50th v 22nd in the rankings.
- No head to heads.
- Ostapenko looked dead in the water in her last 2 matches, losing the first set and with Wozza, going 2-0 down 2nd set if memory serves. Note her 2nd set scores of 6-2 v Stosur and Wozza sees her 'click' into gear.
- Ostapenko's recent victors have been high quality, in Muguruza in Roma and Pliskova in Prague. Indeed Pliskova is a semi-finalist.
- Bacsinszky is a relative unknown for me despite her rankings.She has arguably had an easier time of it although she beat 12th and 19th last 2 matches.
- For me, Ostapenko's 3 setters v 2 strong players could be the template for today. Lay the first set winner.
Halep v Pliskova - 1.3 Halep
- 5th v 3rd.
- 4-2 Halep head to head. Pliskova wins (perhaps significantly?) have come in Davis Cup matches.
- Where Halep has been favourite in head to heads bar the Davis Cup, she has won.And notably she has won in straight sets.
- With that in mind, it seems obvious to lay Pliskova if Pliskova wins the first set. It was my argument yesterday and Halep was superb in fighting back from a set and a break down to win the final 2 sets.