WTA Katowice – 2nd Round – Klara Koukalova vs Vera Zvonareva
The main clay court season starts in earnest this week but today’s preview looks at a match on the solitary Indoor Hard event, in Katowice.
Katowice also used to be played on clay (Indoors) until last year, when it switched to Indoor Hard, and I’m keen to take on Klara Koukalova in the second match on the schedule today.
The Czech veteran has had a torrid time in recent months and now stands at 14-26 in the last 12 months, and 4-8 this season. In the last 12 months her notoriously poor serve has deteriorated further, only holding 53.7%, and this barely improves in 2015, to 55.5%. On hard/indoor hard combined, her hold percentage is even worse, doing so 49.6%, and breaking 37.3% in the last 12 months.
In addition to this, she’s lost a break lead to go back on serve 63.3% of the time in the last 12 months – around 20% above the ATP mean. It is clear she has real issues holding onto leads, and this again highlights how badly she has been serving in recent times.
After a long absence from tour, Zvonareva’s stats are solid enough without being particularly spectacular, and she still lacks consistency. However 61.6% holds and 40.9% breaks on hard/indoor in the last 12 months, winning 7/14 matches, is clearly superior to Koukalova, and generated a model price of 1.35 – showing nice value from the 1.73 currently available in the markets.
Koukalova is 4-10 in the last 12 months when priced 2.00-2.99, and of those ten defeats, she’s lost 6 in straight sets (43% of total matches in the price range). She also has a strong tendency to lose dominant sets, losing 11/35 sets (31%) in the 14 matches by a 6-0 to 6-2 set scoreline. This brings the game handicap into play, and of those ten defeats, nine came by at least 3 games, and eight by at least four games.
Zvonareva’s wins in the 1.50-1.99 price range all came by at least four games also, so the -3.5 game handicap line on the Russian looks very enticing indeed at slight odds against, and this is today’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Vera Zvonareva -3.5 games at 2.13
Prices correct at time of writing.
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