Andrea Petkovic


Novak-Djokovic-Australian-Open-2012-ChampionNovak Djokovic (above), the prohibitive favorite to threepeat in Melbourne.

Men’s

Alexandr Dolgopolov

+15000

 

Andy Murray

+250

 

Bernard Tomic

+5000

 

David Ferrer

+2500

 

David Nalbandian

+25000

 

Fernando Verdasco

+20000

 

Gael Monfils

+15000

 

Gilles Simon

+25000

 

Janko Tipsarevic

+15000

 

Jerzy Janowicz

+6000

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

+3000

 

Juan Martin Del Potro

+1200

 

Kei Nishikori

+10000

 

Kevin Anderson

+50000

 

Lleyton Hewitt

+50000

 

Marcos Baghdatis

+10000

 

Marin Cilic

+15000

 

Milos Raonic

+5000

 

Nicolas Almagro

+25000

 

Novak Djokovic

-160

 

Richard Gasquet

+10000

 

Roger Federer

+400

 

Ryan Harrison

+25000

 

Sam Querrey

+25000

 

Stanislas Wawrinka

+25000

 

Tomas Berdych

+3000

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Ladies’

Agnieszka Radwanska

+1000

 

Ana Ivanovic

+6000

 

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

+10000

 

Andrea Petkovic

+10000

 

Angelique Kerber

+2000

 

Caroline Wozniacki

+3000

 

Daniela Hantuchova

+20000

 

Francesca Schiavone

+25000

 

Jelena Jankovic

+12500

 

Julia Goerges

+15000

 

Kaia Kanepi

+10000

 

Laura Robson

+8000

 

Maria Kirilenko

+15000

 

Maria Sharapova

+700

 

Marion Bartoli

+6000

 

Mona Barthel

+10000

 

Na Li

+2000

 

Nadia Petrova

+15000

 

Petra Kvitova

+1000

 

Sabine Lisicki

+6000

 

Samantha Stosur

+2500

 

Sara Errani

+12500

 

Serena Williams

-120

 

Shuai Peng

+25000

 

Sloane Stephens

+15000

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova

+15000

 

Venus Williams

+5000

 

Victoria Azarenka

+300

 

Yanina Wickmayer

+50000

……….

Venus (above) looking very serious in Luxembourg.

BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open — Final

9:00 AM EST (9 PM, TTC)

Venus Williams:  – 400

Monica Niculescu:  + 300

………

We can’t be happier than to see Venus with this easy opportunity in Luxembourg City tomorrow.  We of course hesitate here for a moment because we may have just jinxed her, and we have noticed that Lady V has played a lot of tennis this week, which she may not exactly be as used to as she was in her prime, or even just a mere two years ago.  This was a great week for Venus on the court though, beating the impressive but heavily acne-ed German Mona Barthel (yes, Venus slipped her the bagel), top seed Roberta Vinci (a shout for the Italian one hander), and German Andrea Petkovic.  Frankly, while the head to head sits at love love, Niculescu is a poor world #70, she is a bona fide journeywoman, and this was in all likelihood, the best week in her life.  Venus could not have asked for a better matchup in this final.  We also think Niculescu played way over her head earlier in defeating the heavily favored Daniela Hantuchova.  Niculescu may come into this spot with stars in her eyes, and she could be already satisfied at this run.  Or maybe, she’s super motivated to win her 1st career title.  That may be safe to assume, but she is playing Venus Williams here.

We don’t consider this at all similar to Williams-Rezai in Spain a few years back.  Rezai stunned Venus on the clay, after a great week, and we thought that Venus was unprepared to play on that Sunday.  Rezai is a very competent clay courter, theoretically, when she can be located on the face of the earth.  And clay does not suit our Lady V.  But indoors do.  Venus sits at world #41 right now, and with the win, she would re-enter the top 30, by our estimation, on Monday.  Should she win, it will be the first singles title for Venus since Abierto Mexicano, way back in 2010.  It would also be Williams’ 44th career singles crown.

WTA Kremlin Cup — Final

5:00 AM EST (TTC)

Sam Stosur:  – 115

Caroline Wozniacki:  – 115

………

Please.  Who thinks this is an even matchup?  Stosur leads the h2h 3-2, but she is obviously the much better player, the true champion, the contender with real weapons, whereas Caroline Wozniacki, The Dutch Miss, is the pretender, the chump, the so-so face with the pop gun game.  We would never lay money on Wozniacki, and if you follow us you know why.  Wozniacki is a joke.  Let’s be real.  Her time, which never really came, is now past, and until she makes serious coaching, training, and scheduling changes, she will remain a laughingstock.

ATP Kremlin Cup — Final

7:00 AM EST (TTC)

Andreas Seppi:  – 200

Tomaz Bellucci:  + 160

………..

Seppi is the better fast court player, and we are especially impressed with his play on grass over the last few years.  We feel that translates to indoors.  Bellucci is a clay court specialist, a very poor man’s Rafa, right down to the corkscrew lefty forehand, the grinding, and the incessant running.  But we aren’t comfortable with Seppi as a favorite.  Remember that our philosophy is to make the better bet and that we look for positive money lines.  Speaking for ourselves, we’d probably take a cheap flyer on Bellucci, even though Seppi is a better player.

If Stockholm Open — Final

9:00 AM EST

Tomas Berdych:  – 180

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:  + 150

……..

We feel like Berdych does everything a little better than Tsonga, and is much stronger mentally.  We’d not be surprised if this match is similar to the one they just played in Beijing, in which Berdych won in straights.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

2011 US Open — Round of 16

____________________________________________________

Novak Djokovic:  – 4000

Alexandr Dolgopolov:  + 2500

_____________________________________________________

Serena Williams:  – 1500

Ana Ivanovic:  + 1000

______________________________________________

Andrea Petkovic:  – 500

Carla Suarez Navarro:  + 350

_____________________________________________________

Caroline Wozniacki:  – 320

Svetlana Kuznetsova:  + 250

________________________________________________

Roger Federer:  – 4000

Juan Monaco:  + 2500

…….

Grumpy as we are, and as big as they come in terms of our patronage of Roger Federer (struggling above), there’s just no way we can sugarcoat this.  Any of it.  By the way, great job (that’s sarcasm) by ESPN, finding a way to not televise one of the best nights of live tennis in both the men’s and women’s games when they are the exclusive rights holder, going instead with boxing or little league baseball or NASCAR or poker or whatever it was they were trying to pass off as programming, and will do so again today, finding new ways to submerge our game in a cesspool of Americana.  But we were able to, thank God, pick up the feed to both matches live online, at the suggestion of one of our readers, who has a cool live streaming tennis site, and another site we found with a Google search.  http://watchonlinetennis.com/ and www.fromsport.com have been saving my life over here, and we are currently watching Stosur and Vinci live in the first ladies quarter-final from the Rexall Center in Toronto.

There are multiple feeds to every match available, and for Roger/Tsonga, we were lucky enough to find Robby Koenig’s and Jason Goodall’s feed.  Goodall asked Robby what was wrong with Roger while the players were snapping practice serves.  Koenig was pointed, essentially lambasting Roger for having “no plan B”, for continuing to go for his shots when they aren’t working, and for not showing a lot of fight, particularly in his Wimbledon loss to Tsonga.  We have to agree.  In a best of 5 set match, one has plenty of opportunities to change the momentum in match.  Slow the pace, speed the pace, call the trainer, take a bathroom break…do something.  I mean, we say what we want about Nadal, obviously, but we have to hand it to him for being able to change a match’s momentum.  In his last 2 major finals alone, Nadal changed the momentum at the end of the 1st set at Roland Garros that basically sewed up his 6th title there, and did so again, admirably, in defeat, to get the 3rd set from an unbeatable Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Roger?  It almost seems like he wants off the court at times, rather than digging in.  Sure he dug in against Nadal, 2 hours into the match, against his greatest rival, when the match was all but over.  But against Tsonga, up 2 sets to love, he just slid back down the mountain like an avalanche.  Okay, so we are in a mood and tough of on Roger here obviously, but we won’t apologize for it.  Was he due to lose a match at a major after winning essentially 175 and losing zero when up 2 sets?  Fuck that.  For us, it marks a different Roger.  And to see Roger in a return engagement with Tsonga here last night, watching him drop the first set in a breaker without facing a break point, and to, in the end, see the great man fall to the same guy not named Nadal or Djokovic in 2 of his last 3 matches?

We’ll come back to that.  Paul Annacone came in, and we know what he’s about.  I wouldn’t say he hasn’t made a difference.  Roger is hitting more aces, and has his serve percentages up since Annacone came on board.  Roger is serving and volleying more, and he’s winning a high percentage of those points as well.  Overall, he is getting to the net more and finishing pretty well there.  Last night in the second set, Roger’s set, he finished 12 points at net, and on this fast court, Tsonga could only get in 3 times.  These aren’t the problems.  For Roger, it’s pressure serving, and not bearing down on break points, a plague in big spots for him going back to the FO final in 2007 when he blew 18 chances, the Wimbledon final against Nadal in 2008 when he did not break serve at all (and let’s face it, Nadal’s strength is not his serve), and the 2009 extended fifth set final when it took him about 5 hours to finally break Andy Roddick’s serve.

It’s a much different denouement for Roger than for Pete Sampras, the closest comparable.  When Pete began to slide, he packed in to the net much more, often looked like a dead man walking, and was frequently passed like a sitting duck.  But Pete’s serve rarely faltered, and the great man could still muster up big man tennis when he served.  And he could still catch lightning in a bottle, showing enough flashes of brilliance to get him his last USO title as an unseeded player at the age of 31.

When just about every set is going to a breaker, and one successful chip and charge could be all you need to grab a mini-break and thus the set, then you can still look dead as a dog on certain points and win.  Like John Isner.  The guy looks spent, but pulls out big serves, deft volleys, and huge forehands when he needs them, and often, it’s all he needs.  Obviously Annacone has stressed this style to Roger, who seems content to abandon it.  And speaking of big forehands, these alarming trends could be stopped cold if Roger stepped up and took control of points with his forehand, rather than allowing guys to pepper his backhand, Nadal style, until the wing breaks down and he’s shooting and spraying the ball long and short and wide. 

Roger had a golden opportunity here.  Nadal was vanquished, paving a smooth road to the final, which Roger needed to make in order to defend his points.  Cincinnati is coming up, a place where Roger aabsolutely loves the court speed.  Roger is the two-time defending there, and he’ll need to defend those points too.  But moreso, it’s a place where he has probably looked the best overall in the last 2 years, bar none.  If he is not himself there, then what we have come to know of Roger being himself might be by the boards.  Today’s action below.

Masters 1000 Series Men — Montreal

________________________________________________

12:00 PM EST

———-

Mardy Fish:  – 160

Stanislas Wawrinka:  + 130

———-

2:00 PM EST

———-

Tomas Berdych:  – 170

Janko Tipsarevic:  + 130

———

5:30 PM EST

———

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga:  – 360

Nicolas Almagro:  + 280

——-

Novak Djokovic:  – 1000

Gael Monfils:  + 600

—–

Canadian Open Ladies Championship — Toronto

____________________________________________________

1:00 PM EST

———

Galina Voskoboeva:  + 400

Victoria Azarenka:  – 600

———-

3:00 PM EST

——–

Agniezska Radwanska:  – 125

Andrea Petkovic:  – 105

——–

7:00 PM EST

——–

Lucie Safarova:  + 400

Serena:  – 600

……..

By the way, huge props to our girl Serena on a most gutty win last night over Jie Zheng.  Though it’s more easily willed in the women’s game due to diluted talent, Serena has been able to will some impressive victories since coming back, after having bad starts.  At Stanford against Bartoli, the French women we despise so much was dominant early on, blasting serve after ugly serve, and making us think perhaps she had Serena’s number.  And then Lady S pulled it together, reeled off about 8 consecutive games, and walked away with her first title since the comeback.  Last night, Zheng looked to be timing the ball like Ted Williams, and you might have said to yourself, ‘well, Serena’s gotta lose sometime.’  But Serena kept coming, doing whatever it took.  Shots on the run, groundstrokes on the line, a magical lob, angles that stretched the diminutive Zheng off the court, ridiculous passing shots.  That was probably the match she needed to win in order to claim her first Masters level event since she has returned, with Clijsters, Zvonareva, and Kvitova all losing this week.  And Kvitova’s loss, 6-1, 6-2 to Petkovic, is a further blight on the women’s game that should bolster even further the confidence of the Serena camp with The Open approaching.  I mean, could anyone imagine the last 3 Wimbledon’s Mens Champs getting dusted like that in their next action after SW-19?  Wouldn’t be happening.  If and when Serena dusts Safarova this evening, she’ll face Azarenka/Voskoboeva in the semis tomorrow, and then the Stosur vs. Radwanska/Petkovic winner in the final.  If our math is right, a winner’s trophy here could see her crack the top 30 in Monday’s rankings.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Rafael Nadal (above) after stunning 3 set upset, suffered at the hands of Croat comer Ivan Dodig.  For Nadal, who was outplayed, it was the first time losing in the 2nd round of a Masters 1000 level event since 2008 (Rome, Juan Carlos Ferrero), and the first time doing so on North American soil since 2007 (Cincinnati, Juan Monaco).

Rogers Cup — Mens Masters 1000 Series (Montreal)

_____________________________________________________________________

12:00 PM

———

Tomas Berdych:  – 275

Ivo Karlovich:  + 185

1:00 PM

——-

Stanislas Wawrinka:  – 200

Kevin Anderson:  + 150

2:00 PM

——

Novak Djokovic:  – 900

Marin Cilic:  + 500

4:00 PM

——-

Janko Tipsarevic:  – 180

Ivan Dodig:  + 130

5:00 PM

———

Mardy Fish:  – 175

Ernests Gulbis:  + 125

5:30 PM

——–

Victor Troicki:  + 110

Gael Monfils:  – 150

7:30 PM

———

Roger Federer:  – 275

JW Tsonga:  + 185

———-

Richard Gasquet:  – 200

Nicolas Almagro:  + 150

……

Rogers Cup — Women (Toronto)

_________________________________________________________

1:00 PM

——

Andrea Petkovic:  + 150

Petra Kvitova:  – 200

——–

2:00 PM

——–

Roberta Vinci:  + 200

Ana Ivanovic:  – 300

——–

MJ Martinez Sanchez:  + 250

Victoria Azarenka:  – 400

——-

3:30 PM

———-

Maria Sharapova:  – 600

Galina Voskoboeva:  + 400

——-

Vera Zvonareva:  – 150

Agnieszka Radwanska:  + 110

——–

7:00 PM

——-

Serena Williams:  – 1200

Jie Zheng:  + 600

——

Francesca Schiavone:  – 185

Lucie Safarova:  + 135

……

The Williams sisters confer during a practice session on the grass at Eastbourne (above).

Earlier today, defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, in her first action in more than 11 months, came from a set down to defeat Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 4 minutes, in the first round of the AEGON Championships in Eastbourne, in East Sussex, UK.  On points, the match could barely have been closer, with Serena finishing with only 1 more point than Pironkova (80-79).  But Williams served bigger and better, finishing with 7 aces, two coming during a pivotal game at the business end of the 2nd set when Williams was down love thirty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVSGDQKrDJ4

Serena follows her sister Venus into the 2nd around, who played her first match since being forced to retire in the 2nd round the Australian Open–the 1st and only time she has ever retired in a major.  For Venus, the opponent was the same–German Andrea Petkovic, who has benefited from the paucity of talent in the wake of the injuries to the Williams sisters and all of the other displaced talent in the women’s game.  Venus took the match, also in close fashion, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.  Venus will face Ana Ivanovic in the 2nd round, whom she is 6-1 against lifetime, and 2-0 against on grass.  Ivanovic has only managed to take 3 sets of Williams in 7 matches, and she may never get a better opportunity to beat her then right now, before the grass court queen has regained her footing.  Ivanovic is coming off a semi-final showing in Birmingham, where she lost to Hantuchova.  The match marked the former French champ’s 1st semi-final of the year.

Venus’s half of the draw does look promising beyond Ivanovic as well.  She has a winning, lopsided record against most all, including a 10-0 record against Hantuchova, an 8-0 record against Schiavone, and a 5-1 record versus Radwanska.  The defending champ, Ekatarina Makarova is also in Venus’s half, as well as Kvitova and Li.  Surprisingly,Venus has yet to beat either.

As for Serena’s return rematch luck, she gets #1 seed Vera Zvonareva in the 2nd round, in a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon singles final.  The winner has a good likelihood of facing Pavlyuchenkova or Stosur in the quarters, and Azarenka or Bartoli in the semis.

The sisters are not entered in the doubles competition here at Eastbourne.  We’d take that as somewhat of a sign that they will only play singles next week at SW-19.  Neither sister has ever won here at Eastbourne, as usually, they don’t play much between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.  No American has won here since Chanda Rubin successfully defended her title in 2003, scoring back to back titles, 1st versus Myskina and then versus Conchita Martinez.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

The champ, Francesca Schiavone (above).

Ladies Semi-finals Odds (Thursday, 9:30 AM, EST)

_________________________________________________

Na Li:  + 170

Maria Sharapova:  – 210

_______________________

Marion Bartoli:  + 145

Francesca Schiavone:  – 170

We love Schiavone.  And how rare to have a two handed player, forehand and backhand, versus a one-hander on the women’s side.  Schiavone goes for her 13th consecutive win at Roland Garros, where she has developed the “it” factor.  Her intangible qualities far outnumber Bartoli’s, who is probably going to be the home town favorite.  Though it is hard to imagine the crowd taking to someone more than they have to Schiavone.  As for the match, the slow clay is to Bartoli’s advantage.  It gives her more time to change her stupid, gangly double fisted hack grips.  And she’s well conditioned, for her.  We’re grateful to her for upsetting Justine Henin at Wimbledon once upon a time, giving Venus a virtual walk in the championship.

We’re wrong all the time, but we can’t see the ultra fit Schiavone losing this match.  Maybe she loses to an ultra jacked up Sharapova in the final, or some other storyline plays out, but we like Schiavone to be in the final on Saturday morning.  As for the prop betting, Schiavone is favored to win in 2 sets (+ 125/ + 275) and 3 sets (+ 250/ + 350).  If anyone has a bit of lag from Tuesday’s tight 3 setters, we’re betting it’s Bartoli, who may have chased off some of the baby fat, as she is known to do from time to time, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to beat a far more tested and conditioned player in Schiavone, who is just a natural on the clay.

As for the other match tomorrow, Sharapova is still standing, and while we knew she’d flatten Petkovic, we are really surprised that Azarenka couldn’t do the job.  Not that Li Na is any slouch.  She’s super well conditioned, and a very tough cookie indeed.  Standing up to the Chinese Tennis Federation took great guts, and worked out well for her to boot.  But neither player is a clay courter, and we could see picking Sharapova here, which is the sexy pick.  We’d be surprised though, if we weren’t surprised in some way by this match tomorrow, though we’ll stop short of picking Li.  Li has won the last 2 matchups in straights, on grass, and interestingly enough, Sharapova won the last matchup on clay, here at the French in 2009, and it was a shaky shoulder Sharapova.  Li does seem to have improved, as did Sharapova, from her 2009 form.  Keep in mind the better mover on clay usually wins.  That’s all we’ll say.

As for the men Friday:

Rafael Nadal:  – 575

Andy Murray:  + 425

________________________________

Roger Federer:  + 240

Novak Djokovic:  – 300

We’ll keep an eye on these lines, which we can see moving quite a bit.  Especially Nadal’s line.  We won’t say much, but we’ll say this: we told you not to count out Andy Murray.  BTW, could you believe those quotes from Rafa about not expecting to win, and not enjoying the game, that it’s been too much work?  Didn’t we hear the same from Borg and Wilander, once upon a time?  Such is the life of a grinder, and we’ve been saying Nadal would max out at 24, but that said, we wouldn’t be surprised if he is biting trophy Sunday.  In fact, there is no outcome on the men’s side that could surprise us.

All four guys would make worthy champions, and 2 already have.  We’ll get you the odds changes as they come.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

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