FREE $25 when you Join Now –Use your Free $25 to get a FREE Pick!

Pregame Blogs

Pregame Blogs

Videos are just the START of the conversation. Each show has a dedicated blog post with show notes, links, and pics. Plus, the host and guests continue the conversation in the comments section!

0 Members
  • Type:
  • Created On:
    09/07/2011 9:56 PM
  • Last Update:
    01/17/2019 7:25 AM

For those who think tennis isn't a profitable sport....

 ATP Brisbane - Richard Gasquet vs Marc Gicquel & Robby Ginepri vs Julien Benneteau

Very interesting match to open the ATP season of 2009. Richard Gasquet is going to open his season in the new tournament in Brisbane (formerly played in Adelaide) and he seems to be highly committed for this season. He has a new coach and he is also promising to be more aggressive this season. Also he was the first European to arrive to Brisbane last Monday and he has already stated that he likes the new courts, whose surface (plexicushion) is basically the same from the Australian Open.

"It's a really, really great arena, the court is great,'' said seventh-seed Gasquet. "It should be a very good tournament for us because the court is not too fast and not too slow. It's good because you can play serve and volley and you can play from the baseline because it's not slow and it's not fast, it's good for every player.''

These are great news for Gasquet, who is known for liking the mid-fast hardcourt surfaces, where he can use his great game variety better, alternating between serve & volley and baseline rallies, where he can use his ground strokes (especially his one handed backhand) to hit some great looking winners. He has a solid 12-7 record in this area in the Globe since the 2006 season and he will face in his first match of the season Marc Gicquel, another French player.

Marc Gicquel is also a good player for this type of surface, but certainly not at the same level of Richard Gasquet. However, Gicquel won the last match between the two last season in grass by 7-6 7-5, in a game where Gasquet went 0-7 in break points conversion. So, I expect Gasquet to take this match very carefully. Gicquel has a good serve, with some heavy ground strokes, but the fact that he hits the ball extremely flat gives him little margin of error and that's why he ends up self-destroying so many times. Just like Gasquet, Gicquel also possesses a very inconsistent forehand, but he certainly didn't possess the other weapons that Gasquet has, like a good backhand for example.

This surface is certainly not as fast as the grass surface where these two players faced each other for the last time and that will favor Gasquet, who is the better returner of the two and he is also the most consistent player. Gasquet is 16-5 against fellow French players in the past two seasons and I expect him to punish the second serve of Gicquel enough times to get a comfortable win in here.

Another interesting match in today's card will oppose Robby Ginepri and Julien Benneteau. Ginepri has won the only match between these two players back in 2006 at the US Open and I expect the same to happen in here. Since Ginepri had the very good idea of hiring Jose Higueras (former coach of Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya, Sergi Brugera and Roger Federer - all of them Grand Slam Winners) last season, the American player improved a lot his movement on court, as also his match tactics and fighting spirit. Ginepri, who used to lack motivation to play some smaller tournaments, is now working hard under Higueras' wing and the results are visible. He is the current number 51 in the rankings, the best position he had in the past three seasons. Don't forget that last season at this very same time, Ginepri was way out of the Top 100 and was struggling in the qualifying draws of some minor ATP tournaments.

Robby Ginepri will face today Julien Benneteau, who clearly isn't a fan of Australia, as he is 3-9 on his career in matches played in ATP tournaments located in this country. The French player possesses a decent serve and can create some nice angles with his forehand, but he won't be able to dictate the points in the baseline likes he likes to against Ginepri, who is more aggressive than him and possesses also more firepower on his ground strokes. This will put Benneteau on a very defensive position, something which will make him spend a lot of energy while playing under the hot sun of the Gold Coast. The French will inevitability hit some short balls onto the other side of the court, where Ginepri won't have problems in finishing the points with either a powerful forehand and with a volley.

The only advantage Benneteau could have potentially in this matchup would be the fact that he is more consistent than Ginepri, but the American has greatly improved in the past few months and I expect him to show exactly that today and get the win in here against an inferior player.

Regular Play Parlay on Richard Gasquet x Robby Ginepri @ +102

WTA Brisbane - Samantha Stosur (AUS) vs Maria Kirilenko (RUS)

Very important match for Samantha Stosur, who will have the opportunity of debuting the first edition of this tournament and on her hometown. So, make no mistake. Samantha Stosur will give everything to win this match, which is already being called as historic by the Australian media.

Local hero Samantha Stosur will be first on court for the 2009 Brisbane International. Queensland and Australia's highest ranked tennis player has been given top billing for the first day of play, opening the tournament on Pat Rafter Arena against Russian world No.29 Maria Kirilenko. Stosur, currently ranked 52, continues to climb up the rankings on her way back from an illness-enforced lay-off. She is ready to start her 2009 campaign.

"I am really excited about playing tomorrow, it's going to be a really hard match," the Gold Coast-based player said. "I'll give it my best shot and I'm just really looking forward to playing at home again."

Samantha Stosur is currently out of the Top 50 and the only reason for that was the fact that she was injured in the beginning of the 2008 season and had to skip the whole Australian part of the season. This fact made her lose a huge amount of points and that's the only reason why she is not currently well inside the Top 30. The Australian player has one of the best serves in the circuit, not only her first delivery, but also her 2nd serve, which is full of kick and it uses to be highly praised by her opponents. Stosur loves to play with a serve & volley style and as Gasquet has referred in an interview to the Australian media, that's clearly possible in this surface. But in fact, Stosur has also some big weapons that she can use in the baseline rallies, especially her big forehand full of topspin and her recently improved athleticism and movement, two of the reasons why she is easily considered one of the best doubles players in the circuit.

Her opponent today will be the 7th seed Maria Kirilenko, who defeated Samantha Stosur in the final of Seoul last Autumn, in a close three set match. Kirilenko is also a very good player, with a decent serve, a solid baseline game and a great movement on the court, but her best results in 2008 were almost exclusively on clay, especially after the Spring. In fact, since February, Maria Kirilenko is just 3-12 outside clay against the current Top 50, with her only wins being against a lucky loser Ekaterina Makarova, a completely out of form Daniela Hantuchova and a very inconsistent Kaia Kanepi. Kirilenko had some very poor performances outside clay last season, including first round losses in both Wimbledon and the US Open. The Russian player won indeed a WTA tournament on hardcourt last season, but where she was the first seed and the highest ranked player she had to beat in that tournament was Kaia Kanepi.

Samantha Stosur uses to play very well on her home country and she has a 10-2 record in her last 12 first round matches on WTA tournaments played in Australia. Her only two losses were against Amelie Mauresmo in the Australian Open and a very close loss against Nicole Vaidisova in Sydney. Maria Kirilenko hasn't been consistently impressive on hardcourt lately and against a good player like Samantha Stosur, who will be ultra motivated and seeking revenge, I think the Australian player will take the win in here.

Regular Play on Samantha Stosur ML @ +115

WTA Brisbane - Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) vs Shuai Peng (CHN)

The Australian (born Slovakian) Jarmila Gajdosova finished the 2008 season in style by winning 28 of her last 32 matches! Most of them were at ITF level, but during this span, she reached the semi finals of the WTA tournament of Tokyo, where she defeated tough opposition like Mara Sanatangelo, Shahar Peer and Klara Zakopalova (all former Top 30 players). Gajdosova is a player full of potential, with a very decent serve, which often goes over 180 km/h, a big return shot, where she uses all her power to overpower some weak serves of her opponents and a tremendous backhand, capable of sending most of her opponents to a few meters behind the baseline. Her big weakness was always her excess of weight, which prevented her from moving well around the court, but that has been worked during the offseason, especially after such a great span of results, which put her back into the Top 100.

Her opponent today is going to be the Chinese Shuai Peng, one of the few players in the circuit, which hits her forehand shot with both hands. The main weakness of Shuai Peng is clearly her serve, with a very deficient ball toss, which prevents her to use her height and power in her serve at 100%. Gajdosova with her blasting return of serve should be able to take advantage of this fact, which gets even worse for Peng, as the Chinese struggles sometimes on her movement on the court and on her footwork, which sends her a couple of meters behind the baseline against powerful opposition like the one she will face today. Peng hits very flat and likes to hit down the line shots, a situation that makes her a very error-prone player. However, she can change the direction of the ball very well, but for that she will need to be in control of the baseline rallies to do that, something she will struggle to do, as she should be struggling to stay in the rallies against the rockets coming into her direction from the racket of Gajdosova.

It's true that Peng is overall the best player of the two, but she is just 4-7 in this area of the planet since 2006 and last season, she lost in the first round of the Australian Open against Alisa Kleybanova, a player with a very similar style of Gajdosova. The Australian player will surely get a lot of support from the crowd and the fact that she ended last season with a 28-4 record on her last 32 matches should give her the motivation and confidence to put her high-risk game working well today. I expect this game to go to a third set and the winner to be decided just by a handful of points. Take Gajdosova plus the games in here.

Regular Play on Jarmila Gajdosova (+3,5 Games) @ -115


Good Luck Yes

Topics: Tennis Picks

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

Email Share Sent

Your share has been sent.


Quick View


Future Game






Bet Type:



Contests: ,

Full Pick Details


Multi Quick View


Pick Name
Odds: Odds
Picked: Stamp


Quick View







x Join Contest