Sharapova can saunter past Cibulkova despite her big price

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There’s plenty of value to be had in today’s Madrid Open betting as the women’s draw throws up plenty of intriguing match-ups.

Maria Sharapova vs Dominika Cibulkova

Sharapova’s match with Cibulkova will be the last of today’s match-ups but it’s the finest for punters with Sharapova currently trading at 8/11 to beat her opponent.

This is Sharapova’s first tournament back since losing to Victoria Azarenka in the Sony Ericsson Open at the start of April but having shown glimpses of her finest form, it’s hard to see Sharapova being beaten.

All three of the ties between the two have been on clay and while Cibulkova upset Sharapova on their last meeting, Sharapova won the previous two ties and holds all the value at 2/1 to win 2-0.

Cibulkova lost in the first round of her previous tournament and is in the third round on the Madrid Open thanks to a walkover.

The Slovak is a danger to Sharapova but recent form suggests this should be more one-sided than the Madrid Open odds suggest.

Julia Georges vs Dinara Safina

Georges upset a big field when claiming victory at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix last week and that victory means Georges enters the match as the 4/7 favourite.

Safina won on the only occasion these two have met on the clay courts but that was back in 2008 when she was at her peak and after struggling through her opening round match, there’s no value in backing the Russian at 5/4.

Georges will be high in confidence after last week’s victory and the German beat Safina 2-1 when they last met in Tokyo last year.

Georges is 3/1 to repeat her 2-1 win over Safina and is 1/1 to win the first set and the match.

A £10 stake on Sharapova beating Cibulkova 2-0 would return £30. Sign up here to take advantage of a free tennis bet worth up to £30.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.