November 2013 Archive

11th November Match Previews

Novak Djokovic is favourite for the final at the O2 Arena tonight...

So this is it!  The final of the World Tour Finals awaits and it's a fitting end to my match previews for this year as the undoubted top two players in the world fight it out for the title, 1500 ranking points and $1.92m tonight.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is the favourite at around 1.65 to beat world number one Rafael Nadal and those of you that like a statistical article might like to check out the article I added last night which gives a statistical breakdown of their battle to be the number one player in the world.

The prices look fair despite there being a fairly small difference in projected holds which are pretty close to the ATP Indoor Hard mean, and despite Nadal having a much better break point clutch score, according to the TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheets.  This is because I have to give some weight to Djokovic having lost just one post US Open match in the past two years (against Sam Querrey at Paris last year) and this has to indicate that he has superior fitness and drive to his competitors in the latter stages of the season.  

Both players have impressed this week with Djokovic getting through the trickier group and both will be highly motivated to beat the other player, regardless of the huge rewards that go with it.  

Looking at trading avenues it's interesting to see both players hold serve less in the latter games of the set - Djokovic has done so 2.08% less in 2013 than his average hold, while Nadal is even worse at 2.62% less.  It's very possible that the sets gets decided at the business end rather than an early unchallenged break so this is worth bearing in mind.

Whilst I'm on the subject of breaks of serve, it's also worth mentioning (I did this in the match previews prior to their last match too) that matches between these two tend to feature an above-average number of breaks.  In 9 matches from 2012 onwards, the two players have held an average of 73.96% which is a fair bit below the 78.5% ATP all-surfaces average, and clearly a long way below both players' average holds (although not my projected holds which take into account the opponent's returning quality).

Definite food for thought there and whilst I'm not necessarily convinced the courts are as slow as some make out at the O2 Arena (80.2% holds which is almost identical to the 80.5% ATP indoor hard average) there could be breaks of serve and swings here today.

The Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet stats favour a lay of Djokovic a break up - the Serb loses a break lead 17.7% in 2013 with Nadal recovering a break deficit 60.5%.  This gets us past the preferred 75 combined score mark detailed in my recent break back percentages article.  

Nadal loses a break lead 17.6% and Djokovic recovers a break deficit 53.2% so the stats aren't as favourable in the reverse situation.

There's plenty to take in to account today although with only one out of five 3 set matches going the distance between the two players since 2012 it's definitely far from a given that this match goes the distance.

Good luck in the markets today and please check back tomorrow for some exciting news...

10th November Match Previews

Today may be a match too far for Roger Federer...

It's semi-finals day at the World Tour Finals today and my job is made easier by the fact that there's no permutations and guaranteed effort from all four players can be assured!

The afternoon match is the one I'm potentially more interested in with Rafael Nadal taking on Roger Federer.

There's plenty of things to consider here but one thing I won't be wasting too much energy on is the stats (seemingly given out for fun by those backing Federer) that the Swiss has a 4-0 Indoor Hard lead.  The first two were when he was in his pomp, in 2006 and 2007 on the Indoor Carpet of Shanghai, whilst in 2010 and 2011 here, Federer was strong favourite (1.67 and 1.45 respectively) and in 2011 Nadal wasn't fit.  In all of those matches Federer was an elite player - clearly they are completely dissimilar match-ups to today and I feel they are totally irrelevant.

Much more relevant, in my opinion, is the fact that Nadal enjoyed an extra rest day here and has played less three set matches - so should be much fresher.  Furthermore the Spaniard has a much more impressive recent head to head record, winning seven of nine non-exhibition matches since 2011.

Nadal starts at 1.38 and for me that price is highly generous, as he boasts a solid difference in projected holds, and a much higher break point clutch score as can be witnessed on the TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheet, not to mention the above relevant factors.

As mentioned previously this week, Federer is solid a break up only having let a break lead slip back to being on serve 13.8% by the last update of the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet but with Nadal recovering a break deficit 60.5%, this combined score of 74.3 is very slightly below the preferred 75 as indicated by my break back percentages article.  However with Federer having let break leads slip way too often this week an update today would almost certainly see this figure going above 75 and I like the line of laying Federer a break up in-set here, hedging for profit should Nadal break back, or hedging for a loss at the end of the set should he not.

The evening semi-final should be fairly straightforward with Novak Djokovic 1.22 favourite over Stanislas Wawrinka and that seems justifiable, and possibly even offering very slight value on the Serb.

Djokovic has won all six encounters since 2011 and overall boasts a 16-2 head to head lead.  

Wawrinka has a low projected hold for this but a high break point clutch score (this is often the case for Djokovic's matches as he doesn't flatter on opponent's break points) and opposing him in-set is an angle I feel should work pretty well.  Laying his serve when the match is on serve (I want much bigger on Djokovic first though) is a thought, and with Wawrinka letting a break lead slip 25.3% in 2013 and Djokovic recovering a deficit 53.2% this combined score of 78.5 is above the preferred 75 as indicated in the break back article linked above.  

So as with Federer, laying Wawrinka a break up should be a route with positive expectation.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

9th November Match Previews

Who will prevail in the shoot-out match between Juan Martin Del Potro and Roger Federer?

The final two group matches in the World Tour Finals take place today and it's a pure shoot-out in the first between Juan Martin Del Potro and Roger Federer.

Both players need a win to progress to a likely semi-final with Rafael Nadal and it could well be the most exciting match of the tournament so far with both players naturally giving it their all.  Del Potro starts at 1.90 favourite which I feel actually should be the other way around.

Some may have noticed the last 6 matches going to a deciding set but I don't feel that's a given today, with Federer not winning a match 2-1 in any match where he has been priced between 2.00 and 2.99 in his career (15 matches) and when in this odds range he's only gone over the 23.5 game line twice in eight matches in this odds range since 2011.  

Del Potro has gone over 5/9 since 2012 when slight favourite (2011 stats not considered due to his injury recovery) so this match going to a deciding set or overs is far from guaranteed.

Looking at in-play scenarios, I feel this is a match best watched with both players very solid a break up.  Federer has given break leads up this week but over the season has been strong in this scenario and I'd rather base my judgement over a year's data than a few days...

Both players have a tendency to start slowly according to the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet (their first set win percentage is lower than their other two set win percentages this year) and this is slightly more prevalent for Del Potro.  

The evening match is between Novak Djokovic, who is heavy 1.09 favourite to defeat Richard Gasquet and in their last six meetings from 2011 onwards hasn't dropped a set against the Frenchman.

From what I can understand from the extremely confusing tournament rules, the Serb has already qualified (that's a given) but hasn't yet won the group and depending on the result between Federer & Del Potro either will need a set or a win to progress as group winner - something he will surely want to do so he avoids Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

With Gasquet losing a break lead 27.0% in 2013 and Djokovic recovering a break deficit 53.2% laying Gasquet a break up can be considered although I would want a great deal higher than SP (Djokovic 1.50 or more at the very least) before I consider this line.

I'd be very surprised if it got this far and I think this will be straightforward for Djokovic today.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

8th November Match Previews

Will David Ferrer give his all against Stanislas Wawrinka in today's afternoon match?

Today sees the start of the final round of group matches today with there being the  normal level of permutations to consider to assess who will qualify today.

From what I can understand, Tomas Berdych is through no matter what happens if he beats the already qualified Rafael Nadal regardless of any score.  Nadal needs a set to ensure he tops the group and avoids a likely semi-final with the other group winner (almost certainly Novak Djokovic).  

David Ferrer is out, and opponent Stanislas Wawrinka needs to beat the Spaniard to put pressure on Berdych in the evening match.  Should Wawrinka win and Berdych loses, the Swiss number two qualifies.

Should both Wawrinka and Berdych lose, Berdych will qualify on the basis of a superior set W/L record (there's currently a difference of 2 - Berdych is 3-2 and Wawrinka 2-3 so when both players have equal results this swing can not be overturned).  

My understand is that the score of each match has no bearing on who qualifies, and is only relevant for Nadal, who needs a set to ensure topping the group.

With the players theoretically having varying levels of motivation today it makes pricing up today's matches very difficult.  If there were more round robin tournaments I'd definitely do some research to see the ROI backing players that 'need' and 'don't need' to win but there just wouldn't be enough of a sample currently.  My suspicion is that players that 'need' to win will be plenty short enough as the market will be fully aware of their necessity to win.

That effectively is Wawrinka, who is priced at around 1.52 against Ferrer.

Given normal circumstances in a normal tournament where Ferrer is perhaps a little less tired I'd be pricing him up at around 1.75 for this so the price of just under 3.00 appears pretty generous.  Do his chances of winning drop by around 23% given he is out of the tournament and a little tired?  I'm sure no-one underestimates his fighting qualities and I wouldn't want to be a Stan backer today.

On Wawrinka's serve, the combined score of his giving up break leads and Ferrer's break down recovery is just under the preferred 75 (see the Break Back Percentages article for more information) but with Wawrinka potentially possible to get tight if and when he leads I do like the line of laying Wawrinka a break up in this at low odds).

The evening match is a slightly different prospect whereby Rafael Nadal needs a set to beat Tomas Berdych.  The Spaniard starts at a seemingly generous 1.27 and should he take the first set, a very low risk lay then could be a viable option purely on the basis that he may not worry too much from this point.  

Of course, the Spaniard is one of the toughest competitors on tour so this is far from guaranteed but after a long season it's possible he may switch off.  It's also possible he perceives the way to get the match over as quickly as possible is to play superb tennis and win 2-0 though...

Berdych has a terrible record against Nadal losing 17 of 20 career matches and more recently, he's 7-0 down in matches since 2011 (winning just 2 sets from 16) so on a historical basis he has a very large mountain to climb should Wawrinka win the afternoon match.

Many question marks today which could lead to some opportunities...

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

7th November Match Previews

Roger Federer does not impress when a break down...

It's day four of the ATP World Tour Finals and things have gone rather to script so far.  With there being two strong favourites today, that may not change...

The afternoon match features Roger Federer (above, pictured) and Richard Gasquet with both players having lost their first match in three sets.

Depending on what happens in the evening match the loser of this will be virtually eliminated so the stakes are high here.

The Frenchman will be looking to improve his 10-2 head to head deficit against Federer, with the Swiss taking 3 of the 4 clashes from 2011 onwards.

The TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheet shows that projected holds are closer than the odds suggest and around the ATP mean but Federer boasts slightly better break point stats, and of course, has had few problems with Gasquet in the past.  On that basis the starting odds of around 1.33 on Federer appear fair.

It's tough to recommend a trading angle for this with there likely to be few in-set swings according to the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet - Gasquet loses a break lead 27.0% in 2013 (better than the 32.1% ATP top 100 average) whilst Federer, for a top player, has very poor break back stats recovering a break deficit 37.0% this year (barely better than the ATP top 100 average of 35.4%).  When you consider Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have higher than a 50% break-back percentage, you begin to understand that backing Federer when a break down is not necessarily a position with high long-term expectation.

The Swiss uncharacteristically let a break lead slip several times to Djokovic on Tuesday night but he's still second on tour behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for holding onto a break leads so clearly laying him a break up also cannot be considered.

For me this match is best watched.

Both players in the evening match, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro won their opener and a win here virtually assures progress to the semi-finals.

The Serb is strong favourite at 1.32 for this and again this seems justified.

He has a much bigger difference in projected holds than Federer enjoys, but poorer break point stats.  However what cannot be ignored is that Djokovic breaks his opponents 34.1% on hard/indoor in 2013 which is the best on tour and compared to this Del Potro's 23.8% is not too impressive.  In fact, this stat which is barely above ATP average is the reason why the Argentine will never become an elite player, despite many people claiming to the contrary.

As with Federer in the afternoon match, Djokovic enjoys a strong record over Del Potro winning 10 of 13 career matches (7-3 since 2011) so this also backs up the fact that pre-match odds are about right.

There's a little more we can do here with regards to trading angles - Del Potro has a low projected hold (but a decent break point clutch score) and gives up a break lead 26.2% in 2013.  Djokovic recovers a break deficit 53.2% so this puts the combined score over 75 (26.2+53.2=79.4) which should indicate laying Del Potro a break up has positive expectation, with the idea of hedging for profit should Djokovic break back or hedging for a loss at the end of the set should he fail to do so.

However with Djokovic having poor break point conversion stats for a player of his calibre (which led to Del Potro's high break point clutch score) I would recommend at least taking liability out at a score like 15-40 on Del Potro's serve in case the Serb wastes his break point chances.

With Djokovic only letting a break lead slip 18.2% this year laying him a break up cannot be considered.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

6th November Match Previews

Can Tomas Berdych get revenge on David Ferrer today?

The World Tour Finals has gone superbly so far with the only match I thought would have a dominant victor in Rafael Nadal yesterday, whilst all three other matches have been tight three set contests.  As I mentioned in the Tournament Preview on Monday, there's a high propensity for matches to go three sets at this event and it's continued so far.

Who would bet against David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych going the distance today?  Last week in Paris these two had a close match with the Spaniard taking the decider 6-3 after Berdych led by a set initially.

On that basis the market has made Ferrer a 1.88 favourite (they were pretty much evens apiece last week) with Berdych around 2.20.  I feel that's a bit of a mistake because Ferrer now has the extra accumulated fatigue from his run to the final in Paris, plus Berdych has had an extra rest day between today and their first group match.

I've said before that tennis is a game of small margins, taking the key points is huge and I'm not a fan at all of moving a price based on a tight head to head result the previous week.

Having said that, Ferrer leads the head to head record 8-3 so Berdych clearly has some match-up issues here.  

Projected holds are low and actually are exactly the same - so there's little between the two players, although Berdych has much better break point stats - he should win more of the key points here although won a break point less last week from the same amount of chances.

I'm more comfortable with opposing Ferrer's serve here for several reasons.

Firstly, as mentioned, Berdych is much better at fending off break point chances generally (saving 67.7% to 58.1% across all surfaces in the last year) and also because he's much better at protecting a break lead according to the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet (he's lost a break lead 24.3% in 2013 compared to Ferrer's 32.6%).  With Berdych recovering a break deficit an above-average 47.5% the combined score on Ferrer's serve is 80.1 (for more information on this please read my break back percentages article). 

Laying Ferrer's serve both on serve and laying him a break up appear to be viable prospects here.

The other match today is slightly easier to assess with Rafael Nadal favourite at around 1.17 against Stanislas Wawrinka.

They've played 11 times in their career, and the Swiss world number 8 has yet to take a set in any of those matches - he's averaging 3.5 games per set so Under 21.5 games line at 2.05 with Pinnacle Sports maybe is the line to take here if you want to bet on the match, or Nadal 2-0 at 1.57, although I don't think either bet has huge value.

It's unsurprising that Wawrinka has a low projected hold for this so if he leads by a break then it should be worth taking the bigger price on Nadal, hedging for profit if the Spaniard breaks back, or hedging for a loss at the end of the set should he not.

As mentioned many times recently, Nadal has an excellent record recovering break deficits - 60.5% in 2013 and with Wawrinka losing a break lead 25.3% this also puts the combined score of 85.8 over the favoured 75 making this line viable.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

5th November Match Previews

Can Rafael Nadal reverse last week's Paris defeat to David Ferrer today?

There are two more matches at the ATP World Tour Finals today and it was interesting to see that both matches went to three sets yesterday, following the trend which shows a high percentage of matches going the distance in this competition.  

Laying the first set winner recommended yesterday would have obviously worked very well...

The early match today features world number one, Rafael Nadal against his 'bunny', the fellow Spaniard David Ferrer

It's an interesting match-up in that Ferrer appears to have very little faith in beating the more illustrious Spaniard but managed to do so en route to the Paris final last week.  

Perhaps Nadal, with a mediocre record in the French capital, had some of his attention on this week's event instead, and I feel he is value at 1.25 or so today to get revenge.

Ferrer has a low projected hold in this and as mentioned last week in a preview, my in-play stats from the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet shows this gets even worse in the late games of the set (as witnessed by his spectacular capitulation in both sets in Sunday's Paris final against Novak Djokovic).  Anyone privy to that information would have done very nicely trading that match...

Nadal also has immeasurably better break point stats and as I've stated before frequently, has by far the best stats on tour for coming back from break deficits (60.5% in 2013).  Ferrer gives up a break lead 32.6% which is high for a top player as it's around the top 100 average, so laying Ferrer a break up with a view to hedging for profit should Nadal break back, or to hedge for a loss at the end of the set if he doesn't break back, should be very viable.

Generally I feel opposing Ferrer's serve and him in general here is the way forward.

The evening match features an interesting clash between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with the Serb starting as favourite at around 1.35.

The dynamics of this are very different to the first match today because whilst Federer has a fairly low projected hold, he's one of the best on tour for protecting break leads, relinquishing them just 13.8% in 2013.  This puts him second on the ATP Tour for this stat behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Djokovic recovers a break deficit less than Nadal (53.2% in 2013) so clearly laying Federer a break up is much less viable than Ferrer in the afternoon match.

The way I feel that traders can expose Federer's low projected hold would be to lay his serve when the set is on serve.  His price is a little too big to lay immediately, but should he take the first set then laying his serve in the second set on serve is something I want to look at.  This should also be possible in the event of a deciding set too.

With Djokovic having an incredible post-US Open record in the last two seasons (just one defeat, to Sam Querrey in those matches) I feel that both favourites will come through today but looking at the prices based on the stats, I feel I'd much rather back Nadal pre-match than Djokovic.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

4th November Match Previews

The World Tour Finals this week brings the Tennis season to the close...

The final event of the ATP season is this week as the World Tour Finals, featuring the top eight players who have accumulated the most ranking points this season, starts at the O2 arena in London.

It's one of my favourite events on the tour with high quality tennis almost guaranteed, and prior to me moving to the north of England I used to try and get to the O2 to watch the action.

Last year there were 80.7% service holds which is very slightly higher than the 80.3% tour average for Indoor Hard so there's little to take into account there.

Going back through the historical results, in 2010 there were just 3 matches going the maximum 3 sets out of 15 (and just one group match out of 12).  In 2011 this figure was completely different, with 9 out of 15 going the duration whilst in 2012 this figure was 7/15.  So overall in the past three years 19 matches out of 45 went 3 sets and this percentage is high - 42.22% - which is one of the highest percentages on tour.  

On this basis competitive matches are likely and opposing the first set winner in select circumstances appears very viable.

It's interesting to see that in 2010 the percentage of matches ending in straight sets was very high and so was favourite success with 13/15 favourites winning, returning £413 from £1500 staked if you used £100 stakes with the best closing prices from

In 2011 the figure returned was a very slight profit of £12 (I disregarded the match between Nadal and Tsonga which was evens apiece) and in 2012 this was barely bigger at £14.

However it's interesting to note that there was not a negative year backing favourites and from the small 44 match sample a return of £439 was obtained (9.98% ROI).

I feel backing underdogs must be done in select circumstances this week.

One player I won't be likely to oppose is Novak Djokovic who despite potentially being more tired than his rivals after winning the Paris Masters has a truly incredible late season record, losing just one match in the last two years in matches after the US Open (September to November) and that defeat was a shock loss to Sam Querrey after bagelling the big serving American in the first set.

The Serb is a strong outright favourite with a current best price of 2.20.

Today's matches ease us in with four non-elite players taking to the courts.  

At around 2pm UK time, Tomas Berdych takes on Stan Wawrinka and it's a tough match to assess with the Czech having much better hard/indoor stats (he's held serve 2.5% more and broken 4.1% more) and his break point stats are also much better.

However Berdych really disappoints when slight favourite (1.50 to 1.99 odds range) winning a very poor 25 out his last 50 matches when priced in this bracket (-13% ROI) and with Wawrinka winning 17 out of his 35 career matches when priced as a slight underdog (2.00 to 2.99) it's clear that this will not be comfortable at all for Berdych.

Berdych actually does have the highest projected hold of the day today and as his break point clutch score in the TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheets also being high, backing his serve when losing at points specifically mentioned in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook should work well.

Both players are solid at defending a break advantage (Berdych gives up a break lead to go back on serve 24.0% and Wawrinka 25.3% in 2013) and Wawrinka's break deficit recovery is especially poor for a top 10 player at 37.5%.  Berdych's is higher at 47.5% which puts the combined score on Wawrinka's serve at 72.8 (25.3+47.5) - just below the preferred 75 combined score as mentioned in my Break Back Stats article/resource.

Juan Martin Del Potro is a strong 1.27 favourite against Richard Gasquet and although he's had some rest after being clearly tired against Roger Federer in Paris last week, I wouldn't want to be a backer at that price.

Projected holds are close and around the ATP mean with Del Potro having the edge, and he also has much better break point stats and a 5-1 head to head lead over the Frenchman.

In-play, Gasquet gives up a break lead 27.0% of the time whilst Del Potro recovers a break deficit 45.5% so again this falls below the 75 preferred combined score so laying Gasquet a break up is a fairly borderline move.

Del Potro is strong a break up too, losing a break lead 26.2% in 2013.  Gasquet recovers a break deficit 45.9% so again the situation is the same.

There's not a bundle of trading edges for me today prior to the matches so I'll look to see if any others crop up in-play and go from there.

If I have to take a watching brief, then I have no problems doing so.

Good luck in the markets and there will be more tomorrow!

1st November Match Previews

David Ferrer's match with Tomas Berdych is probably the one with the biggest chances of swings today...

The top players certainly banished their doubters yesterday with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych completing straight sets wins, and Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro fighting back from set deficits to triumph.

Nadal and Djokovic are both short-priced favourites today to beat Richard Gasquet and Stan Wawrinka today and there's actually probably a touch of value on the pair at around 1.17 and 1.22 respectively.

Gasquet is Nadal's bunny, with the Frenchman winning just one of twelve career meetings (their first, in a Challenger in 2003!) and it's unrealistic to expect him to win today unless Nadal has fitness or motivation issues.

The Frenchman has a low projected hold and with the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet indicating Nadal leads the ATP averages for break backs (an incredible 60.53% in 2013) laying Gasquet a break up if Nadal is in decent condition can be considered.

Backing Nadal when losing on serve at specific points illustrated in the TennisRatings Trading Handbook should also work well with his high break point clutch score.

Whilst there's a bigger difference in projected holds between Djokovic and Wawrinka (the Swiss' is low) than Nadal and Gasquet, there's a marked difference in Djokovic's ability to recover break deficits (53.19% in 2013) whilst Wawrinka is more solid a break up than Gasquet (25.26% to 27.00%) so the line of laying Wawrinka a break up should have some positive expectation (it's over the 75 combined score illustrated in my recent article/resource Break Back Percentages) it's definitely not as much as laying Gasquet a break up.

Possibly the best match to look for breaks and swings is David Ferrer versus Tomas Berdych with projected holds both below ATP average for indoor hard.  

Berdych has much the better break point clutch score as indicated in the TennisRatings Daily Spreadsheet but has a negative head to head record, trailing the Spaniard 7-3.

Both were impressive yesterday when some (especially in the case of Berdych) thought they might not be overly interested and with Ferrer defending winners points his motivation should be almost guaranteed.

One thing worth pointing out is Ferrer's poor record holding serve late in sets.  His late hold (considered to be in any service game where one player has 4 games in a set or later) percentage is 74.92% in 2013 but his average service hold is 78.3% and this 3.38% drop definitely is worth considering.  It might not sound much but puts him around the worst 15 drop offs in the ATP top 100.  

Ferrer gives up a break lead 32.6% in 2013 with Berdych getting a deficit back 47.5%, so laying Ferrer a break up can definitely be considered (as well as laying Ferrer's serve especially late on in a set).  

Berdych gives up a break lead a more solid 24.3% but Ferrer recovers deficits marginally better (48.4%).  However with Berdych having more solid stats a break up I would probably avoid laying the Czech a break up.

In the 'Tournament of Champions' in Sofia, the final three group matches are scheduled today and I've got a headache thinking of the permutations.  

As far as I can work out, should Ana Ivanovic take a set from Elena Vesnina she's definitely through but should she fail to that's where it gets complicated, especially if Sam Stosur defeats Tsvetana Pironkova 2-0 as expected.  That would put Ivanovic, Vesnina and Stosur all on two wins with the same set difference.  I don't know any further criteria for who finishes above who because I simply can't find them!  I'm very glad I don't have to worry about group matches all year round...

I think Vesnina is actually a bit of value today at around 5.00 and she beat Ivanovic in June on grass in Eastbourne.  Full motivation from the Russian should be guaranteed and a lay to back of Ivanovic at around 1.22 could work well.

Good luck in the markets!