Monday, 8 April 2013

WTA Katowice

The European clay court season is here and action on the WTA Tour gets underway in Poland. The inaugural event is being held indoors and along with Stuttgart is the only indoor clay court tournament on the tour. Petra Kvitova and Roberta Vinci are the top two seeds in the event and both best priced at 11/4. In fact Kvitova only lives a couple of hours drive from the venue and has been handed a draw that on paper appears relatively straightforward.

However, it's in the bottom half of the the draw where we will turn our attention with Klara Zakopalova at 20/1. The Czech is significantly overpriced where she faces a tricky but not overwhelming quarter of the draw. We are happy to back her with one point each-way, meaning one point at 20/1 to win the title and one point at 10/1 to reach the final.

1* Klara Zakopalova win Katowice (each-way) at 20/1 (Paddy Power) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Weekly Overview (9)

There were no selections made for the past week's tournaments and so everything is as it was on The Overrule.

Weekly performance - Stake: N/A Profit/Loss: N/A ROI: N/A

Season performance - Stake: 116.00 Profit/Loss: +54.41 ROI: 46.91%

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A Step Ahead: French Open

Back in late January The Overrule tipped Svetlana Kuznetsova for the French Open at 150/1 and another opportunity presents itself in early April to take advantage of a value price on a likely contender for the title. Kuznetsova is now best priced 50/1 to win Roland Garros and as short as 33/1 and The Overrule believes our second venture into the outright market will prove to be another case of us buying the price at the right time.

Sam Stosur has an outstanding record in Paris over the past few years and the 20/1 on offer has to be snapped up for her to have another good run at the French Open. Stosur is as short as 12/1 and that price is a far more accurate representation of her capabilities. In 2009 the Australian reached the last four, went one better a year later in reaching the final, suffered an early exit in the third round in 2011, before another semi-final appearance last year.

This year's French Open for the women will be the most open Grand Slam of the year with no sure frontrunners for the title. This presents the possibility of some big prices giving good runs for your money and we feel pretty comfortable with Kuznetsova 150/1 and Stosur 20/1 as part of our portfolio with the possibility of more additions and abilities to lay off once the tournament begins.

Stosur is a curious case for me, she's only ever won three singles titles in her career and yet one of them happens to be the US Open - which I know to my cost, but that's a story for another day! Sam is one of those rare players on tour who can produce a good tournament out of nowhere and off the back of no form. She's often very hard to read as a bettor. Playing well doesn't mean she'll play well the next day, likewise a run of bad form doesn't mean she won't be capable of reaching the latter stages of an event.

Sam's form has been poor this season and is returning from injury in Charleston later this evening. Providing she remains healthy she is one of the players on tour who will expect to make some noise during this clay court season and the time to back her for the French Open is now.

No article on Stosur is complete without this...

The Overrule will be backing Stosur with two points each-way which means two points at 20/1 to win the title and two points at 10/1 to reach the final.

2* Sam Stosur win French Open (each-way) @ 20/1 (Paddy Power) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Monday, 1 April 2013

Weekly Overview (8)

This week's breakdown below;

The Overrule placed maximum confidence in Serena Williams for Miami and she delivered the title despite twice having to come from a set and a break down in the tournament. Serena's cumulative match-betting price ended up at a touch under EVS as she saw off Flavia Pennetta 1/50, Ayumi Morita 1/33, Dominika Cibulkova 1/25, Li Na 1/4, Agnieszka Radwanska 1/6 and Maria Sharapova 1/4.

Serena's rhythm and timing was nowhere to be found for much of the first set and a half against Cibulkova before she was able to rally from 4-1 down in the second set to win the match in three. I expected Li to present the biggest challenge to Serena during the event and this year's Australian Open runner-up had her chances to take the match to a decider but fell short.

After a quite devastating display against Radwanska it looked highly likely that another routine win over Sharapova in the final was on the cards. I certainly didn't see Maria's performance coming. There had been little to suggest it was on the cards, particularly after a mighty struggle against Sara Errani in the last eight. Maria played very well against Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals but the Serbian had such a short turnaround from her quarter-final that it was difficult to read anything meaningful into it.

The first two sets of the final was women's tennis at its best. The quality and intensity from both players was exceptional. Sharapova refused to back down against Serena for the first time since she was a teenager. Eventually Serena was able to break Sharapova down, whose defence had been surprisingly excellent, which is often an area which Serena exploits well against Maria.

Despite the loss for Sharapova the match was a huge positive for her going forward. After so many meetings over a number of years where she has looked incapable of beating Serena, she was finally able to hurt the world number one and threaten her. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out the next time they meet on whichever surface. Sharapova isn't someone who lacks self-belief or will to win but she has been devoid of self-belief in important moments against Serena for many years.

I'm not convinced future matches will be more like this one as opposed to their other encounters last season, but it's certainly something we will have to consider more seriously when they next face each other.

Here's our weekly breakdown and season numbers thus far;

Weekly performance - Stake: 5.00 Profit/Loss: +5.50 ROI: 110.00%

Season performance - Stake: 116.00 Profit/Loss: +54.41 ROI: 46.91%