Close In The Betting For Sparta Prague Open

Wta Prague

Tennis
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Published: 28/04/2015

Karolina Pliskova is the current favourite for the Sparta Prague Open following the first round exit of reigning champion Heather Watson. The Brit failed to get the better of Slovenian Polona Hercog despite taking the second set by six games to three. Hercog ran out the 7-5 winner of the opening set before taking the decider on a tie-break. As a result, Pliskova has shortened in the betting and is now available at the best price of 7/2 with sportingbet.

Pliskova has reached the finals of WTA tournaments twice this year and will be hoping to go one better this time around. Her first yearly final came in the Sydney Open prior to the first Grand Slam of the season in Australia. The 6`1" player lost out to countrywoman Petra Kvitova on two tie-breaks. She was also the runner-up in the Dubai Duty Free competition, failing to get the better of Simona Halep. The Romanian took the first set by six games to four before the match was decided on a tie-break.

Last year, Pliskova managed to make it to the last eight in Prague but was eventually seen off by Watson, the eventual champion. Prior to this early exit, the 23-year-old star had dispatched both Mandy Minella and Magda Linette in the previous two rounds. Again one of a number of home hopes this time around, Pliskova will open her tournament account in a first round clash against Germany`s Annika Beck.

Lucie Safarova, another Czech player, picked up this title in both 2012 and 2013 before losing out to qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round of last year`s tournament. All of ladbrokes, sportingbet and Stan James have 4/1 on the Brno-born star claiming her third ever Sparta Prague title.

Safarova saw off Klara Zakopalova in straight sets in the final of the 2012 edition of this clay court tournament. Now ranked at number 13 in the world, Safarova took the first set by six games to three before securing the second by seven games to five. In 2013 she defeated Romanian Alexandra Cadantu, coming back from losing the first set 6-3 to just lose two games in the entirety of the remaining two sets. The result was 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.

The 28-year-old`s yearly highlight was in the Doha Open, managing to see off Victoria Azarenka in the final to secure her first WTA tournament of 2015. On her way to taking home the title in her straight sets victory in the final, Safarova also defeated top 10 players Ekaterina Makarova and Andrea Petkovic.

Frenchwoman Alize Cornet has already bagged her place in the second stage in the Czech Republic, seeing off last year`s losing finalist Kristina Schmiedlova. This victory being likely revenge as the Slovakian player got the better of Cornet in the quarter-finals of the Katowice competition in Poland. The fifth seed will now play Denisa Allertova in the second round with the winner facing a potential clash against the tournament favourite. This likely encounter means that Cornet is available at 7/1 at Betvictor and Stan Jamesto take home the title.

Cornet was particularly strong in the Australian Open this season but has failed to build upon her third round exit. The 25-year-old failed to get the better of Dominika Cibulkova down under.

Elsewhere, Zhang Shuai has already made her way through to the second round and will face the winner of Monica Niculescu`s clash with qualifier Danka Kovinic. The Chinese star looks over-priced at 40/1 at Stan James. Otherwise, Watson`s victor Hercog can be backed at 33/1 (sportingbet, Stan James) to triumph in the Czech Republic.

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