Thursday, 11 July 2013

Budapest, Palermo day 5: Halep the favourite now

Budapest schedule:

Danka Kovinic vs. Chanelle Scheepers
Annika Beck vs. Yvonne Meusburger
Timea Babos vs. Simona Halep
Shahar Peer vs. Alexandra Cadantu

Palermo schedule:

Renata Voracova vs. Estrella Cabeza Candela
Lourdes Dominguez Lino vs. Roberta Vinci
Sara Errani vs. Silvia Soler-Espinosa
Klara Zakopalova vs. Dinah Pfizenmaier

Match focus:

Timea Babos vs. Simona Halep


With the exit of the top 2 seeds, Simona Halep automatically becomes the overwhelming favourite to win this title. Timea Babos will face an uphill task trying to upset the in form player. Babos is another puzzle waiting to be solved. She has all the makings of the modern game, strong serve and huge groundstrokes. She even has a title under her name. However, maybe success came too early for her as she lost her way and almost all of her matches. Against someone like Simona who is stingy with her errors, Babos will suffer. The Hungarian should be happy that she scrapped through 2 matches here to gain some precious points.

Pick: Halep in 2 sets

Shahar Peer vs. Alexandra Cadantu



I'll be honest here, I've never like Shahar Peer's game. I think her game isn't aesthetically pleasing even at her peak. However, it is commendable for her to continue on tour after her loss of form which saw her at the brink of the top 10. There seems to be a mini revival for the Israeli, overcoming her opponents easily in the tournament. But it looks set to end here against clay loving Candantu. Alexandra thrives on this surface (being an absolute bye in the others) and will be confident after her convincing wins in the earlier rounds. Peer might steal a set, but the Romanian is the favourite here.

Pick: Cadantu in 3 sets

Klara Zakopalova vs. Dinah Pfizenmaier



Dinah Pfizenmaier lacks the experience, which Zakopalova has aplenty. This contrast will be seen in this contest between the young upstart and the veteran. Klara will boss the youngster around with her flat groundstrokes, forcing the German to go for high risk shots. That said, Pfizenmaier is one of the fastest players on tour. If she can retrieve enough balls and induce the errors from Klara, we might have a match. However, experience almost always prevail.

Pick: Zakopalova in 2 sets

Sure win bets: Chanelle Scheepers, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci
Upset alert: Shahar Peer

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